Support your local avalanche center | Missoula Gives! Image

Dear Friends,

The West Central Montana Avalanche Foundation (a.k.a. Missoula Avalanche, WCMAF) is honored to serve our growing community and participate in Missoula Gives. This fantastic event is an annual celebration of giving created to connect you with the causes you care about most.

As we celebrate Missoula Gives, we remain committed to connecting everyone to the information needed for enjoying the mountains and returning home safely. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on a variety of funding sources to operate. These include grants, fundraising events, classes, federal, state, and county support, and most importantly, donations from businesses and individuals (You!).

Reflecting on the winter 20/21 season reminds us that meeting the needs of a rapidly growing backcountry community is conceivable and achievable with your help. During an uncertain operating season, and despite many challenges, the avalanche forecasting and education programs undertook new initiatives and increased the number of forecasts and free educational events.

The education and awareness program was retooled for virtual offerings and reached a record number of backcountry travelers. Meanwhile, the avalanche center launched a public observation campaign and engaged remotely with new users across the region. As a result, we received more observations than ever before and had better coverage throughout the advisory area. These efforts generated more accurate forecasts and the ability to keep you better informed. This success was made possible through hard work, dedication, and direct support from gracious community members like you!

As the population in west-central Montana continues to grow, we anticipate an increasing need for avalanche information. Shifting our sights to next season, we are focusing on new program developments and striving to meet the needs of the growing backcountry community. Working together, we can save lives and continue creating the most fun, safe, and responsible backcountry community possible.

Tonight and tomorrow, you can make a direct impact on avalanche safety through Missoula Gives. Each contribution helps ensure that avalanche forecasts and education programs continue to grow and evolve throughout west-central Montana. All donations make a difference. Please help us, help you, by visiting our Missoula Gives page and spreading the word!

How to donate:

  • Donate through Missoula Gives online click here
  • Via Missoulaavalanche.org
  • Mail a check to West Central Montana Avalanche Foundation, PO Box 72, Missoula, Montana, 59806

What your donation covers:

$600: The West Central Montana Avalanche Center (WCMAC) published 63 avalanche forecasts during the 2020-2021 season. To produce one avalanche forecast requires two avalanche forecasters, three professional observers, an 8-10 hour field day, several hours to review public field observations, analysis of current and future weather models, discussion with the National Weather Service staff, and thoughtful considerations of how all these factors impact the avalanche danger for the day. A $600 donation covers the cost of 1 forecast.

$300: Case studies confirm that honing search and rescue skills is significantly improved with access to beacon training parks. The WCMAF oversees four west-central Montana locations for you to practice at your convenience. These valuable training sites provide safe group training opportunities and help you develop essential search and rescue skills. The ability to support and maintain beacon training parks is the sum of volunteer efforts and direct donations.

$200: Missoula Avalanche delivers over 40 free Know Before You Go (KBYG) avalanche awareness presentations each year to over 1,300 people. A $200 donation helps us sustain the KBYG program by covering the cost of 1 avalanche awareness presentation.

$100: Videos on changing conditions are one of the most valuable awareness products the WCMAC produces. These informational videos help to alert the public to changing snow and avalanche conditions. For the 2020-2021 season, the WCMAC posted 43 videos receiving over 27,000 views. A $100 donation covers the cost for the WCMAC to produce one of these videos.

$50: The WCMAC depends on daily observations submitted by the public. For the 2020-2021 season, there were 127 observations submitted, which users viewed on Missoulaavalanche.org over 19,000 times. A $50 donation covers the cost of reviewing and publishing 1 public observation.

$25: All donations make a difference. A $25 gift is a great way to show your ongoing support.

Recurring monthly donations are an incredible way to show your support. Navigate to this page and select “make this a monthly donation” before entering your donation information.

The West Central Montana Avalanche Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. We never share your contact information. Secure online payment processing provided by Paypal. Please don’t hesitate to email us with any questions or concerns.

Thank you for your consideration and for being part of the Missoula Avalanche team.

Sincerely,

Patrick Black
Executive Director
West Central Montana Avalanche Foundation