The Flathead National Forest is taking steps towards improving its avalanche program in response to public feedback, including a new name and website. By early December 2012, winter enthusiast will be able to view the website, learn about avalanche courses being offered in the Flathead Valley, and read the avalanche advisory. The Flathead Avalanche Center (FAC) formerly Glacier Country Avalanche Center will be managed by the Flathead National Forest.
The advisory area will be more focused and will no longer include Glacier National Park. It will cover areas in the Swan, Middle Fork, Hungry Horse Reservoir, and the Kootenai National Forest. Flathead Avalanche Center’s region will be approximately 7,000 square miles and encompasses seven mountain ranges.
The Flathead Avalanche Center will continue to provide advisories to the public and offer a yearly advanced avalanche course. As the FAC looks to the future and tries to respond to public needs, the center will continue to work with our partners such as Whitefish Mountain Resort to provide junior avalanche awareness classes at the Summit Education Center, and Big Mountain Patrol, Inc. to provide a Level I and possibly a Level II Avalanche Course. The FAC is eager to work with other partners, groups, individuals, and retail companies that want to become involved.
The Center’s website will be a key component of the Forest’s outreach to the community. Besides the advisory posting, people will find information on the beacon park atop Big Mountain, observations and incidents posted by volunteers and avalanche specialists, educational opportunities, and weather forecasts. The mountain weather forecasts are based on information produced by the National Weather Service in Missoula, Montana and local Forest Service weather stations.
At this point it's not clear what website or organization will be providing avalanche information for Glacier National Park.
For more information about the Flathead Avalanche Center, contact Wade Muehlhof, Public Affairs Officer for the Flathead National Forest at 406-758-5252.
Hikes in Glacier National Park