Our Story

After AIARE launched “Project Zero”, an ambitious plan to end all avalanche deaths, founder and publisher, Andy Sovick, invented the terrain-style atlas with a mission of safety and wisdom. Understanding that the missing link is often knowledge, Beacon Guidebooks was built with the objective of providing critical information to every backcountry skier and rider. The detailed route descriptions, max slope angles and terrain rating system are all designed with your safety as a priority. Over the last five years, these guidebooks have gone from a local secret to being used by avalanche professionals, guiding companies and schools. As we watch Beacon Guidebooks progress as a business, we are proud to say we continue to stand by our values we started with: safety and wisdom.

Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale (ATES)

Created by Parks Canada, ATES is a system that can be applied to any ski zone. Our authors and guides analyze each zone and rank it from 1 to 3 taking the history, the hazards, slope angle and much more into consideration. This system assesses each zone to help skiers and riders plan their tour and avoid potentially hazardous areas. Using this system in conjunction with the local avalanche forecast and good avalanche education can help you make better decisions when planning your tour.