Beginning tomorrow, the Flathead Avalanche Center will start daily
winter avalanche forecasts.
From the forecasts, people will be able to track current avalanche conditions, learn where conditions are most
dangerous for a day, and what terrain offers the lowest risk.
“It’s important for people to check the daily forecast before heading out into the snow,” said Flathead
Avalanche Director Blase Reardon. “Backcountry skiers and snowmobilers especially need to know danger
levels, though it’s a good idea for anyone doing snow sports in the mountains to have a basic idea of the
While mostly stable avalanche conditions have existed since Thanksgiving, the avalanche danger will likely
increase with storms forecast for the next week.
This summer, public lands saw extensive recreation, and the Forest expects that the winter season may see
similarly high use. For people heading further out into snow-covered backcountry areas for the first time, it’s
very important to have a basic understanding of avalanche awareness and where to get safety and condition
The Friends of the Flathead Avalanche Center (FOFAC) is offering adult education courses this winter for a
variety of skill levels. “We encourage people to look at our course schedule and think about pursuing some
additional education. It could save your life or the life of a friend or family member,” said FOFAC Director
of Operations Emily Struss. “We have a committed donor base who make these programs available at low
cost and are dedicated to providing this education to people across the Flathead Valley.”
News Release Forest Service
Media21-06 Media Contacts:
Lauren Alley – USFS Public Affairs Officer
Emily Struss – FOFAC Operations Director
email@example.com, (406) 241-0562
United States Department of Agriculture
“In general, be willing to adjust your plans and match your travel practices to current conditions,” said
Reardon. “Avalanche danger varies daily, so the forecast can help people stay in tune with changes even
when they’re not in the backcountry. Always carry a full set of avalanche rescue gear – transceiver, probe,
and shovel – and be alert for the obvious signs of danger: recent avalanches, whumpfing collapses which
make a “whumpf” sound as the snow collapses, and shooting cracks in the snow.”
Flathead Avalanche Center is a service provided by the Flathead National Forest, and is funded by the
Flathead National Forest, Glacier National Park, the state of Montana, and donations to Friends of the
Flathead Avalanche Center. The Type 1 Center staffs four full-time forecast and observer staff and provides
daily avalanche forecasts for three geographic regions: the Swan Range, the Whitefish Range, and the
Flathead Range and Glacier National Park.