During the seventeen years as Ski Patrol and Snow Safety Director at Alpine Meadows Ski Resort in California Mr. Heywood’s responsibilities included all aspects of mountain safety, first aid, mountain rescue, hazard identification and mitigation, mountain signage, skier education, accident documentation, risk management, trail design and construction, explosive use and licensing, and avalanche forecasting and control. Alpine Meadows conducts one of the most comprehensive and intensive avalanche programs in the United States. As Director of Mountain Operations he directed all aspects of mountain operations, including ski patrol, lift maintenance, lift operations, snowmaking, snow removal, grooming, building construction and maintenance, terrain park planning, construction and maintenance, mountain construction and maintenance, environmental compliance and erosion control, ski area mountain planning and permitting, and guest and employee safety. He developed and authored numerous in-house manuals and procedures including Cal OSHA mandated documents such as Fall Protection Program, Injury and Illness Protection Plan, and Employee Training Logs as well as mountain procedure and safety documents such as avalanche control and rescue plans, accident documentation procedures, snow mobile and equipment procedures, and terrain park procedures.
Mr. Heywood has been retained by ski areas and attorneys throughout the United States and Canada as a consultant and expert witness. He has represented many of the largest western ski areas on a variety of issues including ski area operations, skier behavior and expectations, ski patrol practices, hazard identification and mitigation, grooming and snow making issues, mountain signage, padding issues, trail design and construction, lift operations and maintenance issues, explosive use, and avalanche control and safety issues. He has also provided expert witness and litigation consulting services to plaintiffs in litigation resulting from accidents in skier collisions, tubing operations, terrain park operations, ski lift operation and grooming operations. He has testified in court throughout the United States and Canada.
Mr. Heywood has instructed, lectured and presented professional papers to a variety of audiences from professional organization and elementary schools through college level. Topics have included Ski Area Operations, Skier Safety, Ski Patrol Procedures, Avalanche Awareness, and Avalanche Control and Explosive Use. A partial list of his clients includes the United States Forest Service, California State Parks, Association of Professional Patrollers, National Ski Patrol, National Ski Area Association, California Ski Industry Association, and the Association of Ski Defense Attorneys. Mr. Heywood was on the staff of the National Avalanche School from 1983 to 2011. This school is the most comprehensive and respected school in the United States. Mr. Heywood currently is the Technical Director of the California Ski Industry Association, which provides technical training to ski area workers in the western United States.
Mr. Heywood has consulted on a variety of snow and avalanche issues including; avalanche control, explosive use procedures, military artillery procedures, avalauncher procedures, avalanche land use issues, avalanche zoning and identification, avalanche rescue, avalanche training, avalanche forecasting, structure protection, snow wind transport problems, snow load considerations and other related issues. He has conducted extensive research in the wet snow avalanches and developed and presented forecasting and control considerations in articles and conferences. Mr. Heywood is considered one of the most knowledgeable workers on the topic of wet snow avalanches. In 1996 he was awarded the Bernie Kingery Award by the American Avalanche Association for his lifelong contributions in the avalanche field