The West Central Montana Avalanche Foundation (WCMAF) is honored to serve growing communities throughout the region and participate in Missoula Gives. This annual online fundraising event is a celebration of giving created to connect you with the local causes you care about most.¬†With only a few hours remaining, it’s time to dive in, take part, and spread the word!

Our story:

The WCMAF was formed in 2001 to bridge the gap between the funding available from the USDA Forest Service and the expenses required to operate the West Central Montana Avalanche Center. Through partnering with the growing communities we serve, we succeed in raising over two-thirds of the funds needed to run the avalanche center, maintain the website, provide high-quality avalanche education courses, and deliver free awareness events for all backcountry travelers.

Each winter, we provide avalanche information and education through continued community support and the hard work of dedicated avalanche professionals. As an organization striving to equip all backcountry travelers with the tools needed to recreate safely in the mountains, we value you as a partner. As the population in west-central Montana continues to grow, so does the need for increased avalanche information and education. To continue our work, we rely on fundraising events, agency agreements, corporate sponsorships, and, most importantly, direct donations from local businesses and gracious individuals like you!

Collective impact:

You do not need to be an avalanche forecaster or educator to take pride in your local avalanche center and be a vital part of the backcountry community. As someone who uses an avalanche forecast or attends an awareness event, you have an essential role in ensuring these services remain possible. Putting to use helps you plan your next backcountry adventure and return home safely from great days in the mountains. By taking another step and donating to the WCMAF during Missoula Gives, you are investing in the future of avalanche center operations and education in west-central Montana. 

Simply put, showing your support during Missoula Gives helps us sustain the avalanche center’s vital public safety role and enables everyone to become educated about avalanches regardless of income. Additionally, you’re providing the team with resources to focus their efforts where they are needed most in the off-season.

Working together, we succeed in supporting the mission and creating the most fun, safe, and responsible backcountry community possible. You can show your support during Missoula Gives until tonight at 7 PM MST. All donations make a difference, and each contribution benefits avalanche information and education in west-central Montana. 

How to donate

What your donation covers:

$600: The West Central Montana Avalanche Center (WCMAC) published 57 avalanche forecasts during the 2021-2022 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 helps cover the cost of 1 avalanche forecast.

$400: The Know Before You Go (KBYG) avalanche awareness program connects our American Avalanche Association Pro Educators to all interested groups through custom-tailored virtual and in-person events. A $400 donation helps us continue providing the KBYG program at no charge to the public by helping cover the cost of 1 avalanche awareness presentation. 

$200: Case studies confirm that honing avalanche 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. A $200 donation helps cover the cost of routine maintenance and volunteer travel.

$100: Videos on changing backcountry conditions are among the most valuable awareness products the WCMAC produces. These informational videos help alert the public to changing snow and avalanche conditions. For the 2021-2022 season, the WCMAC posted 33 videos receiving over 37,000 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 2021-2022 season, there were 125 observations submitted, which users viewed on over 39,000 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.

If you would like to help us, help you next winter, please visit the Missoula Gives page today and spread the word. Additionally, we want to reiterate our most sincere thanks for your consideration and being part of the Missoula Avalanche team.


Patrick Black
Executive Director
West Central Montana Avalanche Foundation

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.