Fall Update

Though it’s still technically summer for a few more days, we here at the Flathead Avalanche Center (FAC) hope everyone is enjoying their fall. The sight of snow in the mountains last week conjured up images of winter, and we just wanted to send out a quick update to let folks know what is going on at the FAC. So here is what is going on:

September snow on the shaded north facing aspects already.

September snow on the shaded north facing aspects already.

  • We are diligently devising the education calendar in cooperation with the Friends of the Flathead Avalanche Center (FOFAC) for this fall and winter and hope to have that finalized in October. We’ve already had inquiries about classes for the upcoming winter and that is fantastic.
  • Erich Peitzsch is now the Director of the FAC after serving as the interim director last season.
  • FOFAC, a non-profit devoted to avalanche education and supporting the FAC, will be hosting a number of functions this fall and winter. A description of their mission and what they are all about will be on the website soon. First, they will be hosting the social event after the Northern Rockies Avalanche Safety Workshop (NRASW) on Saturday, October 25, 2014. The workshop is an extremely educational, fun, and social event centered around avalanche safety. There is a fantastic line-up of speakers this year, and it’s a great way to kick off the season. Registration opens soon.
  • FOFAC will also host a Snowball in early December. Look for details in the near future on the website about this fun event that benefits avalanche education and the FAC.
  • Speaking of website, FAC will unveil a fresh, new website at the NRASW on Oct. 25, and discuss how to utilize FAC products in your backcountry decision making process.
  • Finally, a new weather station exists at the summit of Big Mountain at Whitefish Mountain Resort. This sophisticated weather station was made possible by donations and grants from BNSF Railway Foundation, the Northern Rockies Avalanche Safety Workshop, and Whitefish Mountain Resort, and will continue as a collaboration between these entities and the FAC, Flathead Nordic Backcountry Patrol, and the Flathead National Forest. Check out the article about it from the Flathead Beacon. Final touches on the system are being made to ensure accuracy and reliability, and we will post the link to the weather data once available. This station will be hugely beneficial to not only our operations here at the FAC, but to the recreating public as well.
  • Whew! Well, that’s it for now, and check back periodically for updates this fall and feel free to drop us a line: fac.admin@flatheadavalanche.org