Jason Harby

President

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

President

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.

Kaleb Retz

Vice President

Kaleb was raised between Coeur d' Alene and Whitefish before eventually landing in Missoula for college in 2010. Like many outdoor enthusiasts, he fell in love with the area ... Read More +

Kaleb Retz

Vice President

Kaleb was raised between Coeur d' Alene and Whitefish before eventually landing in Missoula for college in 2010. Like many outdoor enthusiasts, he fell in love with the area and hasn't been able to leave since. He was raised with an equal love for motorized and non-motorized recreation and still splits his time accordingly whether on skis or a snowmobile in the winter months and a dirtbike or mountain bike the rest of the year. When the funds start getting low you can find Kaleb developing affordable housing at Wishrock Investment group or working on a local deal at Zillastate Brokerage. His primary motivation on the board has been to bridge the gap between the mechanized and non-mechanized users and to bring more motorized specific avalanche education to the area.

Kara Daume

Treasurer

Kara has been a lover of winter all her life. Born and raised in the cold winters of the Chicagoland area, she found her true home when she moved to the Rocky Mountains to at... Read More +

Kara Daume

Treasurer

Kara has been a lover of winter all her life. Born and raised in the cold winters of the Chicagoland area, she found her true home when she moved to the Rocky Mountains to attend college at the University of Montana. It didn't take long to fall in love with skiing and Kara became especially fond of winter backcountry adventures. These days Kara still spends as much of her time as possible exploring in the mountains, preferably when they are covered in snow. Kara and her husband Selden have two winter loving kids who are part of The Missoula Freestyle Team, so inspiring the next generation to educate themselves and travel safely in the backcountry is close to her heart. Kara is the accounting manager and green bean buyer for Black Coffee Roasting Co. She is excited to serve on the board and looks forward to linking her passions for working collaboratively in teams, communications, and organizational systems, with her dedication to continuing to grow and support this region's avalanche forecasting and educational programs.

Doug Hutcheon

Secretary

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

Secretary

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.

Chandra Brown

Chandra is an Alaska-born writer, Grand Canyon river guide, and educator. She holds Bachelor’s degrees in Art Education and Spanish Education from Montana State University,... Read More +

Chandra Brown

Chandra is an Alaska-born writer, Grand Canyon river guide, and educator. She holds Bachelor’s degrees in Art Education and Spanish Education from Montana State University, and a Master’s of Science in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana. As an educator, Chandra has spent many years working in the public school system, teaching Spanish across the Northwest and designing effective curriculum. She founded the Freeflow Institute in 2017 and is dedicated to the fusion of creative and natural narrative in the name of thoughtful preservation of wild spaces. She serves on the WCMAF board with hopes of helping improve communication among wintertime user groups around mountain stewardship, safety, and community. Chandra lives in Missoula with her sweetheart Nate and their two canine roommates, all of whom love to get snow on their faces at every opportunity.

Betsy DeFries-Craske

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

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

Deana DeWire

Deana is a lover of all things snow; from slogging up mountains on her skis to studying snow dynamism and hydrology to sitting next to a warm fire with hands wrapped around a... Read More +

Deana DeWire

Deana is a lover of all things snow; from slogging up mountains on her skis to studying snow dynamism and hydrology to sitting next to a warm fire with hands wrapped around a steaming ceramic mug of hot drink and gazing through a frosty window at falling flakes- she loves it all! She took a circuitous route to find her forever-home in Western Montana after leaving her home state of PA, with stops in Virginia, Colorado and Oregon. She came to Missoula for graduate school where she majored in Geography and studied the climatic drivers of the snow hydrology of Western Montana. After grad school, she worked at the Flathead Lake Biological Station before returning to Missoula, where she now works as a Hydrologic Technician for the Lolo National Forest. She has a deep passion for the intersection of snow science and community safety, and she's very excited to help the WCMAC deliver these to our growing user groups! Watch for her chasing her young son & husband around the mountains, either on skis or bikes.

Katy-Robin Garton

As the Gartons moved from Washington to Oregon, Montana and Wyoming, one thing was always constant- snow. As a result, Katy was raised on skis all over the Rocky Mountain We... Read More +

Katy-Robin Garton

As the Gartons moved from Washington to Oregon, Montana and Wyoming, one thing was always constant- snow. As a result, Katy was raised on skis all over the Rocky Mountain West and inevitable ended up a powder enthusiast. Throughout college and graduate school she sought backcountry adventures in Alaska, Peru, Chile, and Argentina, and discovered her inner nerd while digging pits to see the history of a snowpack unfold. Avalanche knowledge and safety quickly became her focus. In 2003, Katy moved to Missoula and feel in love with the Montana backcountry. When not playing in snow, Katy explores the world as a documentary filmmaker. Through her production company Sprout Films, she has traveled around the globe and across the country to capture and share compelling stories. Katy joined the board in 2013 to help WCMAF engage the MT backcountry community in a new way- by providing a multi-faceted multimedia learning experience in which the audience absorbs avalanche safety in an effective and exciting way.

Ross Peterson

Ross is a life-long winter enthusiast with four generations of roots in Western Montana. He spent his late teens and early 20's as a professional snowboarder and was lucky en... Read More +

Ross Peterson

Ross is a life-long winter enthusiast with four generations of roots in Western Montana. He spent his late teens and early 20's as a professional snowboarder and was lucky enough to ride and compete at resorts and backcountry locations across the continental US, Alaska, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and Europe. Spending that time traveling eventually made him all he more appreciative of the incredible (and less crowded) mountains in his home state. He graduated from the University of Montana with an art/media arts degree and puts his creative talents to work as a web developer here in the Missoula valley. He was a founding member of the Montana Skatepark Association that helped construct a $750,000 public skatepark project in Missoula's McCormick Park. He volunteers as much as possible in Missoula and enjoys hanging out with his family, working on remodel projects, and traveling to warm places with a surfboard whenever possible.

Justin Metcalf

Justin spends the majority his free time in the mountains and rivers of Montana and Idaho. Growing up in a variety of places, he has lived in Alaska and Montana since 1994 an... Read More +

Justin Metcalf

Justin spends the majority his free time in the mountains and rivers of Montana and Idaho. Growing up in a variety of places, he has lived in Alaska and Montana since 1994 and is a graduate from the University of Montana. As a former member of the Gallatin County Search & Rescue teams, Justin has experience with all manner of first responder rescue and/or recovery responses. He joined the board for WCMAF because he strongly believes in furthering the education of avalanche safety in the backcountry. Justin is a partner with Rocky Mountain Development Group and works to develop affordable housing nationwide.