Avalanche Centers Receive Funding to Support Motorized Areas

Avalanche centers across the U.S. will be making significant long-term improvements for the motorized backcountry community thanks to the Avalanche Alliance grant funding.

This year the Avalanche Alliance focused on supporting avalanche centers that are making long-term impacts for backcountry motorized users by supporting projects that are serving high-use motorized areas, creating infrastructure to support forecasting, and getting forecasters on the ground. This year, the Avalanche Alliance awarded $119,365 to 10 avalanche centers.

We look to continue to support these efforts in the coming years. Learn more about each project:

Bridgeport Avalanche Center (BAC)– BAC plans to build a weather station and weather station satellite to allow users to view real-time wind and precipitation data. (Real-time data doesn’t currently exist for the forecast range.)

Wallowa Avalanche Center (WAC)– WAC plans to purchase enclosed snowmobile trailers to haul around the WAC-owned snowmobile and mobile classroom for training and avalanche courses to increase their educational offerings to the motorized community. The trailer(s) will be heated and set up for teaching.

Friends of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC)– Motorized backcountry use in Colorado is skyrocketing. Funding will support the expansion of CAIC’s snowmobile program.

Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center (GNFAC)– This area of southeast ID is very popular with snowmobilers and snow bikers, yet there is no avalanche forecast. There have been seven avalanche fatalities in this area since 1998. These deaths prompted the community and GNFAC to develop a solution to stem further tragedies. GNFAC hopes to provide daily avalanche advisories with their funding.

Friends of the Flathead Avalanche Center (FAC)– The Upper Whitefish River drainage northwest Flathead Valley has been popular with snowmobilers for decades. FAC is currently working with the local snowmobile association to offer free or subsidized classes, add beacon checkers to popular trailheads, and increase signage. This funding will support their next major project to enhance safety by installing a weather station.

Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center (HPAC) – HPAC plans to add a specific avalanche forecast for motorized users in Hatcher Pass, which is in Southcentral Alaska and is one of the prime recreation areas in the State. Currently, HPAC provides avalanche forecasts for various users, including backcountry skiers, cross-country skiers, hikers, and ski-bikers, but plans to expand forecasting to areas more frequently accessed by the motorized community.

Utah Avalanche Center Training (UAC)– UAC funding will support forecasting in more rural motorized areas across Utah.

Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center– Funds from the grant will support the development of a web platform to increase forecasting for motorized zones. Bridger-Teton hopes to incorporate crowd-sourced avalanche, snowpack, and weather data in areas popular with the motorized community but doesn’t presently have a daily avalanche hazard forecast or other avalanche center-based hazard assessment resources.

Northwest Avalanche Center (NWAC) – NWAC has been unable to issue a daily danger rating for their East South zone, historically dominated by the motorized zone. With funding support from the Avalanche Alliance Grant, NWAC will develop a daily avalanche forecast for this zone.

Payette Avalanche Center – The Payette Avalanche Center forecast was moved over to Avalanche.org last year to centralize their avalanche forecast reporting with other avalanche centers. With funding, Payette will be able to support monthly maintenance of their web platform to support forecasting.

Funding for these grants was made possible by the Avalanche Alliance Sweepstakes. Avalanche Alliance has partnered with Lynx, Fly Racing, KLIM, Marlon, Timbersled and others to give away a custom-built 2022 Lynx Boondocker 850 with many other incredible prizes to raise money for avalanche awareness and education initiatives around the U.S.

About Avalanche Alliance: The Avalanche Alliance’s mission is to raise avalanche awareness, facilitate training and improve backcountry safety for motorized users. With a full spectrum of focuses ranging from sponsoring beacon check stations to supporting avalanche training educators, Avalanche Alliance is at the forefront of avalanche safety improvement. The ultimate goal is to have all motorized backcountry users adequately trained. Learn more at: www.avalanche-alliance.org.