Professional Observers

Mike Maurer
COAA Observer


Mike is originally from Canada, and has been skiing his whole life. He moved to Oregon 7 years ago and has been enjoying the Cascades backcountry ever since. Mike joined Deschutes County Search and Rescue 5 years ago. He initially ran the backcountry ski team and is now the Winter Skills Team Leader. Mike is also certified at the Rescue level with the Mountain Rescue Association, and is part to the SAR Mountain rescue team. Mike is AIARE Level 3 trained and is a certified Course Leader with AIARE. When not skiing, Mike spends his spare time thinking about skiing.

Kevin Grove
COAA Observer

Kevin is an Engineering Professor at Central Oregon Community College and has been an avid backcountry skier and climber for the past 15 years.  He grew up in Montana, attended college at Montana State University in Bozeman, and has called Bend home for the past 12 years.  He is passionate about snow science and loves to share this passion with COCC students and with the Central Oregon outdoor community. Kevin is AAI Level 3 trained.

Aaron Hartz
COAA Observer

Aaron is an Oregon native and started skiing at a young age.  After being introduced to backcountry skiing, he started climbing and skiing the Cascade Volcanoes to prolong the ski season.  He is currently a guide at Oregon Ski Guides and Timberline Mountain Guides.  Aaron is AAI Level 3 trained and a professional member of the American Avalanche Association.  He is passionate about skiing and snow safety, and excited to be involved with COAA.

Gabe Coler
COAA Observer

Originally from rural Massachusetts, Gabe grew up climbing and skiing through the beautiful hardwood forests of New England.  After moving to Washington to earn a BA in Economics from Whitman College, he relocated to Central Oregon in 2003 to work as a rock climbing guide at Smith Rock.

“Once I saw how much snow we get in the Cascades, I was hooked on living here year round!  I can’t get enough of storm skiing through quiet old growth forests.”

Now Gabe lives in Bend with his family and their puppy Shea.  He works year-round as a mountain guide and instructor.  During the winter he teaches AIARE avalanche awareness courses and enjoys helping folks explore the Oregon backcountry.  He is AIARE Level 3 trained, and is a course leader/instructor on the Level 1 and 2 courses for Three Sisters Backcountry.  Additionally he is a professional member of the American Avalanche Association.


Jonas Tarlen
COAA Observer

Jonas comes to us with 15 years experience touring and decision making in Central Oregon's backcountry. He is a backcountry hut operator, guide, and avalanche instructor with Three Sisters Backcountry, Inc. He has taught over 50 AIARE avalanche courses, and feels his experience has "made him pretty good at some stuff, not so good at other stuff...depends". His love of skiing and breadth of experience teaching, guiding, and touring in the Central Oregon backcountry make him an excellent addition to the Pro Observer network.