The West Central Montana Avalanche Foundations (WCMAF) ability to purchase and support beacon training parks is the sum of volunteer efforts along with various private and public sector partnerships. The WCMAF currently provides four beacon training parks distributed throughout the West Central Montana Avalanche Center advisory area.
1. Lolo Pass Visitor Center
A wireless avalanche transceiver training facility is installed each winter at Lolo Pass. The training opportunity is available 7 days per week. Snowmobilers will have to walk from the parking lot to use the site. You must have a transceiver and a probe to use the site. This 8 unit station is easy to use and emits a signal when a probe strikes the buried 20″x 20″ target. Please read the directions on the control box and let visitor center staff know if the unit is not functioning properly.
Winter hours of operation at the Visitor Center are Thursday thru Monday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.; Pacific Standard Time. Winter Recreation Passes are required at all times on all vehicles parked in the Lolo Pass parking area. Day, Season and Bundle Winter Recreation Passes can be purchased at the Visitor Center during normal business hours. After hours Day Passes can be purchased at the front door when the center is closed, for exact cash or check only. Day and Season Passes can also be purchased at the Lolo Hot Springs Resort, in Missoula at The Trailhead on Front St., The Outdoor Supply & Rental in Tremper’s Plaza, and the Lolo National Forest Supervisors Office at Fort Missoula.
Organized groups who want to use the site for an educational or training program need to contact Buffie Cerutti at the Powell Ranger Station (208) 942-3113 regarding special use permit requirements.
2. Snowbowl Ski Area
The Snowbowl transceiver park is located at the Point Six exit to the backcountry, just off the trail to Nutcracker. The control box is located on-site and is found by referencing the sign directing the user to the yellow waterproof box. You must purchase a lift ticket or have a ski pass to access this park.
3. Lost Trail Ski Area
The transceiver training facility at Lost Trail Ski Area on Highway 93 at Lost Trail Pass is located at the top of Chairs 1 and 2 (south of the ski patrol shack). You must purchase a one ride lift ticket ($5) to access the park during operating hours.
4. Seeley Lake Driftriders Warming Hut (near Lake Elsina and Lake Dinah riding areas)
A 4 unit transceiver training park will be operational by January 1 at the Warming Hut located in the Deer Creek drainage northwest of Seeley Lake. The Seeley Lake Driftriders Snowmobile Club will install and maintain the park.