The West Central Montana Avalanche Foundation, Board of Directors (BOD) is the volunteer Friends Group or nonprofit entity that engages in fundraising, outreach, and program oversight to support the mission. The BOD consists of skiers, snowboarders, and motorized mountain riders. We strive to be as diverse as possible and actively seek motivated members of the winter backcountry community.

Doug Hutcheon

President

Doug moved out to Missoula in 1994 after a childhood of ski club trips to the Poconos to ski in the rain, at night. He was inspired to find somewhere it snowed from the sky i... Read More +

Doug Hutcheon

President

Doug moved out to Missoula in 1994 after a childhood of ski club trips to the Poconos to ski in the rain, at night. He was inspired to find somewhere it snowed from the sky instead of a water hose to go to college. Soon after, Doug discovered telemark skiing and backcountry access. Safe backcountry practices were not instilled during those formative years skiing in the rain, but love for being outside in the winter was. In the years since Doug has continued learning how to safely recreate in the backcountry and works at helping others get outside with new gear as the gear buyer for the Trail Head. Missoula Avalanche’s mission to support avalanche forecasting and education programs for all backcountry user groups is what motivated Doug to join the board with the goal of ensuring others new to Missoula or the backcountry to have the resources and knowledge to safely get outside and back home.

Jason Harby

Secretary

Jason is a Missoula native with a strong passion for the outdoors. Growing up in Missoula he started skiing at a young age and quickly realized you don’t always need a chai... Read More +

Jason Harby

Secretary

Jason is a Missoula native with a strong passion for the outdoors. Growing up in Missoula he started skiing at a young age and quickly realized you don’t always need a chairlift to get in some good turns. According to Jason, he stuck around Missoula for College and Law School as it was too hard to leave the mountains. To this day he still hasn’t been able to get himself to leave western Montana. Jason joined the Board because he sees the increasing importance of both, avalanche forecasting and education as the number of backcountry enthusiasts continues to grow. When he isn’t enjoying the region's mountains and rivers Jason represents a number of for-profit and nonprofit developers in affordable housing projects throughout Montana, as well other nonprofit and business-related manners.

Betsy DeFries-Craske

Treasurer

After spending every winter since she could walk on skis in northern Michigan, Betsy found her way west for college at the University of Montana, and recently graduated from ... Read More +

Betsy DeFries-Craske

Treasurer

After spending every winter since she could walk on skis in northern Michigan, Betsy found her way west for college at the University of Montana, and recently graduated from Montana State University with a Master's of Science in Science Education. Currently a middle school science teacher at Sussex School, Betsy has largely spent her time outside as much as possible, as an educator in Glacier National Park, a winter naturalist in Colorado, and working on trail crews throughout Alaska, Washington, and Canada. These experiences and more have instilled a love for the mountains and rivers of the west as well as a deep passion for winter sports within Betsy. An avid skier of all types, she looks forward to utilizing her outdoor and educational experiences to serve on the WCMAF board. She is excited to further the mission of the WCMAF and help expand outreach and education programs so that anyone who enjoys being outside in winter can recreate safely and responsibly. Betsy lives in Missoula with her husband John and their snow-loving black lab, Teddy.

Seth Swanson

Nick Vanhorn

Nick grew up on the shores of Lake Erie, where despite the phenomena that is lake effect snow there were limited options to slide down leaving all that snow useless. A traged... Read More +

Nick Vanhorn

Nick grew up on the shores of Lake Erie, where despite the phenomena that is lake effect snow there were limited options to slide down leaving all that snow useless. A tragedy, to say the least. So Nick went west and did what any bright, educated young man would do, worked seasonal jobs and skied. Now a recovering Ski Patroller whose head is still in the snow Nick is proud to assist the West Central Montana Avalanche Foundation in providing free, informative and accessible avalanche forecasts as well as quality avalanche classes for users of all abilities.