MWAC Staff 2016-2017

Frank Carus

Frank Carus

Lead Snow Ranger, Director - Mount Washington Avalanche Center

Frank came to the avalanche center after an adventurous and diverse early career supporting his climbing and skiing obsessions by guiding, building things and picking up whatever job would fund another mission (or feed his two kids!)

Frank put his degree in Geography to use guiding climbs and ski mountaineering trips, or taking personal trips to the Alps, Andes, Patagonia and the western States and has worked for most every guide service in the Mount Washington Valley in the process. A summer in the Tetons guiding for Exum Guides broke up the monotony. He has an obvious passion for learning and has taken the AMGA Alpine, Ski and Ski Mountaineering guide courses in addition to being a certified Rock Instructor since 1996. Working vacations take him west to teach technical rope rescue to US Marine climbing instructors through Peak Rescue Institute as well as short trips to rig adventure elements for The Amazing Race television show. Frank is an Advanced EMT and has had AIARE and AAI Avalanche course 1, 2 and 3 training. He also enjoys Striped bass fishing from paddleboards, watching the Patriots dominate the NFL, and taking his avalanche dog, Lily, on long mountain patrols.

Helon Hoffer

Helon Hoffer

Snow Ranger, Trails Program Manager

A true New Englander, Helon has never lived west of Jay Peak. Realizing the Mount Washington Valley offered the perfect training ground for all expeditions, he moved here in 2008. He began his career with the Forest Service in 2014, spending winters as a forecaster for the avalanche center and managing the Androscoggin District Trails in the summer. Merging these two programs together, Helon spends much of his time working with several partners to better the skiing potential in the White Mountains Region. He is a licensed EMT and lives with his family in North Conway. When not gardening and restoring a 19th century farmhouse, he spends his time trying to find the next great birch glade.

Ryan Matz

Ryan Matz

Snow Ranger, Seasonal

Ryan recently relocated to the area after pursuing degrees in Physical Fitness and Outdoor Leadership at Southern Oregon University. Despite being just minutes from world class skiing, Ryan also managed to obtain a Master of Science degree in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism from the University of Utah. Ryan has worked as a backcountry ski guide for several seasons in the Wallowa range in Oregon and as a mountain guide on Mount Shasta, in addition to traveling to ski and climb throughout the American west. Along the way, he has acquired advanced training in snow science as well as ski guide training from the American Mountain Guides Association. He comes to us with a good bit of first-hand experience at managing risk in high consequence situations and even wrote a paper on the subject. In his spare time, Ryan enjoys numismatology, trail running, breeding a rare species of hairless, albino hedgehog, and tinkering with his top-fuel class drag racer. (Only one of those is true.)

Joe Klementovich

Joe Klementovich

Winter Backcountry Ranger and Photographer

Joe joined MWAC in 2011 and has helped out in times of need. He is the Vice President of Mountain Rescue Service and professional photographer.

Justin Preisendorfer

Justin Preisendorfer

Androscoggin Assistant District Ranger - Recreation and Wilderness

Justin started with the Avalanche Center in 2003. He left in 2011 to further his career with the Forest Service. In 2013, he moved back north and took over the Recreation Program on the Androscoggin District. Justin has worked steadily over the past 6 months to fill the vacancies left by Chris and Jeff. We are excited that he will be working part-time for the Avalanche Center until we are able to welcome the new full-time members of the team.

Brian Johnston

Brian Johnston

Saco Assistant District Ranger - Recreation

Brian began his 10-year career with MWAC in 2002.Currently, he leads a stellar recreation program on the Saco Ranger District and has been very encouraging of new recreation types. Brian is an active member of MRS and has a vast knowledge of the mountain. Be sure to thank Brian for taking time from the busy Saco to come north and spend time on the hill.

Lily Carus

Lily Carus

Avalanche Dog

Lily, also known as "that darned dog", is a crackerjack search tool for the program with a search speed that can better the most honed, snow-nerd in a multi-burial scenario. She is also known to sneak up on unsuspecting hikers on the deck and steal a glove, or a banana. She finds the ensuing game of chase to be great fun!