The COAC Alex Kollar and Jillian Webster Memorial Scholarships support Pacific Northwest backcountry skiers, snowboarders, snowmobilers, and snowshoers in furthering their avalanche education and building life saving skills in their pursuit of mountain adventures. Many of us have struggled to finance the necessary training and education to help save our own lives and the lives of others in backcountry snow adventures. Our goal is to help you get the training and education needed to travel safely in the backcountry.

Jillian Webster was a professional mountain guide with Mt. Shasta mountain guides, a ski patroller at hoodoo, a teacher, an overall gem of a human and one who is loved and dearly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing her.  

Alex Vincent Kollar was a local extreme outdoor athlete committed to sustainability and the future of our planet.  He spent years working with the KEFA Project helping at-risk youth in Rwanda.  He was a rider of snowboards and bikes, a paraglider, and a kayaker who gifted our community with a heart of gold, a huge smile, and an indomitable stoke.  

In honor of Jillian Webster and Alex Kollar the selection committee will be focusing on applicants who exhibit these qualities and commitments:

  • Reverence for the Natural World and a commitment to protect it
  • Service to Others in one’s community, be that global, regional, local, or your backcountry crew
  • A Zest for Learning and creative expression of this eagerness to educate oneself and others  
  • Unquenchable Stoke and Passion for mountain adventures

Central Oregon Avalanche Center (COAC) is a non-profit avalanche forecasting center working to meet the demands of our growing backcountry community. We are committed to help our community stay on top of the snow.  As backcountry use in the mountains of Central Oregon continues to grow the public needs accurate and useful weather, snowpack, and avalanche information. COAC is meeting this need with –

  • Community avalanche education events.
  • Online distribution of relevant mountain snow and weather data with professional observations seven days a week.
  • Coordination with national and regional avalanche and weather entities that help identify operational shortfalls and associated enhancements to bolster and improve forecasting.
  • Provide funding to assist in purchase of relevant equipment and materials identified as best benefit to the general public.
  • Organizing local for-profit entities to best serve the local community.

Application Details:

The scholarship will be for tuition reimbursement for up to $800 toward avalanche education training from a certified course*. The recipient must take their course in the same season, or following season, as the scholarship reward. Please submit applications by February 1st, 2024. The recipient will then have until the end of next season to complete their course. The scholarship funds can only go toward avalanche course tuition, not toward travel or any other coursework expenses. Scholarship is not a guarantee of admittance or successful completion/certification of your course. 

This year Timberline Mountain Guides and Oregon Ski Guides have set aside a few spaces in AIARE 1 classes to help our winners take classes locally.  This is not required but may help to find a class this season.  

*Applications must be for an American Avalanche Association approved course, including AIARE, COCC courses, or other equivalent. 



If you are interested in supporting the Alex Kollar and Jillian Webster Memorial Scholarship please reach out to David Gaines at