Posts Categorized: General

Big St. Joe avalanche case study part 2 Image

Big St. Joe avalanche case study part 2

General

This is the second of three articles in the case study of an avalanche accident that happened on Big St. Joseph Peak on Sunday, January 3, 2021. The first article included an overview of the accident and examined human factors and how heuristic traps can influence our decision making....

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Big St. Joe Avalanche Case Study Part 1 Image

Big St. Joe Avalanche Case Study Part 1

General

On January 3rd of 2021, two experienced skiers triggered an avalanche on the east face of St. Joseph Peak. One skier was caught and carried 300’. Luckily, he skied off the debris and was uninjured. Like all such incidents, there are valuable lessons to be learned through examination. Much...

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Beacon Training Parks | west-central Montana Image

Beacon Training Parks | west-central Montana

Education | General

  As the mantra goes: Practice makes perfect. The ability to respond successfully in an avalanche boils down to training and knowing how to use your equipment: a beacon, probe, and shovel. Beacon Training Parks provide users of all ages, abilities, and experience levels with an opportunity to hone...

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Loving La Niña | Happening Now! Image

Loving La Niña | Happening Now!

Fundraising | General

WINTER IS BACK, AND WE’RE LOVING LA NIÑA!  You’ve prayed, hoped, and danced for snow all winter, and it’s finally here! Western Montana’s mountains are busier than ever before, with new and veteran backcountry users enjoying the goods. We want to help keep the stoke high while encouraging our...

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Pray for Snow Image

Pray for Snow

Fundraising | General

Winter has arrived, and rallying in support of your avalanche center has gone virtual. Don’t despair; the Pray for Snow tradition is alive and well! While we won’t be gathering in person this year, the West Central Montana Avalanche Foundation invites you to our first-ever Pray for Snow online...

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Going Big… Image

Going Big…

General

Dear Missoula & Beyond, While my involvement with Missoula Avalanche stretches back 14 or 15 years, in the coming months, I will be retiring after 13 years of official duties. This will be both a rewarding shift and a bittersweet farewell. Over the years, I’ve served as the board...

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Missoula Gives | Today & Tomorrow! Image

Missoula Gives | Today & Tomorrow!

Education | Fundraising | General

Dear Friends, These are challenging times, and as a community-powered organization, we depend on you to make avalanche forecasts and educational programs possible. This year, more than ever, avalanche forecasting and education funding are uncertain. We expect reduced funding this year to impact us next season, and we are...

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Snowpack Update: 03-22-2020 Image

Snowpack Update: 03-22-2020

General | Snowpack | Weather

This month’s snowpack update comes as we transition from winter to spring. As of March 22, the Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) totals in west central Montana are just above average (Figure 1).   After a month of small storms and average temperatures, our primary avalanche concerns are focused on...

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Snowpack Update Image

Snowpack Update

General | Snowpack | Weather

Snowpack Discussion  The snowpack continues to evolve in West Central Montana. In late January, our primary avalanche concern was persistent slab avalanches failing on facets at the bottom of the snowpack. During this time period, several natural persistent slab avalanches failed near the ground. Although the exact timing remains...

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01-24-20 Snowpack Update Image

01-24-20 Snowpack Update

Education | General | Snowpack | Weather

Avalanche conditions from January 11th until January 24th have been at considerable danger, trending towards moderate danger. We are currently most concerned with persistent weak layers, failing near the ground on depth hoar and facets. The second problematic persistent weak layer is a combination buried surface hoar, near-surface facets, and crusts. This weak layer is found at different...

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The Collective | Will Call Tickets Available

General

It’s time to get excited for winter with another great film from your friends at Faction Skis & Red Bull Media House. Join us this Thursday, Nov. 7th, at the Roxy theater for the Missoula premiere of The Collective. Doors open at 7 PM with the show starting at...

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We’re Hiring!

General

West Central Montana Avalanche Center Avalanche Forecaster Position Currently one Missoula based position available: Full-time seasonal  Position Overview/Summary: West Central Montana Avalanche Center (WCMAC) Avalanche Forecasters deliver avalanche forecasts and other information as required for the West Central Montana avalanche forecast area. The forecast area covers approximately 908,721 acres and...

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Upcoming: 13th Annual Pray For Snow Party

General

Greetings From Missoula Avalanche Winter is just around the corner, and the biggest backcountry event in the region is coming up. The 13th Annual Pray For Snow Party will be held on Friday, October 4th from 5-10 pm at the Caras Park Pavillion in Missoula, Montana. If you have...

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Avalanche Fatality Near Choteau

General

Unfortunately, we just received word that an avalanche fatality occurred yesterday outside of Choteau. Preliminary information is that the individual was in a snowmobile group and not wearing an avalanche transceiver. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims family and friends. Flathead Avalanche Center staff will be...

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Pray For Snow Party | Save The Date

Fundraising | General | Pray For Snow

Time to mark your calendar for Missoula Avalanche’s 12th Annual Pray For Snow Party! This big bash benefits West Central Montana Avalanche Center (WCMAC) public avalanche awareness information and education opportunities. Festivities will include live music, local food vendors, Big Sky Brewing beverages, awesome raffle prizes, fun and more! With an increasing number...

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Missoula Avalanche | Friends Group

Education | Fundraising | General | Mechanized

Each US Avalanche Center is supported by an affiliated nonprofit entity, or friends group. In essence, the center provides the structure and technical know-how and the non-profit entity engages in fundraising and outreach. Nationwide, more than 50% of avalanche center operational costs are covered by community donations and other...

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Missoula Gives Event | Today!

Fundraising | General

🗓 | Today! Event: Missoula Gives Date: May 4th Time: Now – 10 PM MST Location: Join us from anywhere and everywhere through our online giving platform:  WCMAF | Missoula Gives Missoula Gives provides a great opportunity to give where you live and support the avalanche center services you rely on. Giving goal...

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Avalanche Terrain | Generating Travel Plans

Education | General | Snowpack | Weather

Generating backcountry travel plans without avalanche center forecast information requires knowledge of weather events. Review snotel data for current snow totals and weather station data for temperatures, wind trends, and speeds. With these tools, you can get an idea of the avalanche problems you could encounter on your trip and choose appropriate terrain...

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What you don’t know can kill you

Education | General | Snowpack

Many avalanche victims don’t know they are in avalanche danger and are unprepared to deal with an avalanche. This doesn’t have to happen – the danger signs are usually obvious to those who know what to look for. Just as those in Hawaii learn about the dangers of rip...

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Upcoming: Mechanized Mountain Rider avalanche education

Education | General | Mechanized

We are excited to offer new avalanche education offerings developed specifically for snowmobilers and mechanized mountain riders. These courses are taught from a mechanized perspective by certified avalanche instructors with 20+ years of mountain riding experience and excellent avalanche education skills. These courses are designed for recreational riders, guides, and...

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Weather Summary 1/14/18

General | Weather

The week started out simply enough, a scattered inch here and there before dramatically shifting mid-week. Wednesday brought a foot of snow to the Seeley Lake area and inch and a half of water. The northern half of the advisory area got the most snow and water from the...

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Weather Summary 1/7/18

General | Weather

This weeks weather is easier to summarized than the last two weeks. There were no storms bringing feet of snow, just the occasional inch or two here and there. It may come as a surprise considering the lack of any major weather events but this week was marked by...

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Upcoming – Avalanche Level 1 Refresher Course

Education | General

Has it been a while since you took your Level 1 Avalanche Course? The Level 1 Refresher Course is a great opportunity for refining your skills and catching up on best practices for decision making in avalanche terrain. Check out the upcoming Level 1 Refresher Course while spots are...

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Weather Summary 12/31/17 Thumbnail Image

Weather Summary 12/31/17

General | Weather

The second week of advisories are in the books and boy was it a doozie. The week started cold and relatively calm. Over the Christmas Holiday snow slowly started to accumulate as 3-6 inches of snow accumulated monday and again on Tuesday. Snows tapered slightly Wednesday before picking up...

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Advisories, Warnings, and Weather Updates

General

The first week of advisories are in the books and there was a ton of information presented in a variety of forms. If you felt overwhelmed last week rest assured you are not alone. We would like to take this time to explain the different methods that we use...

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The Mountain Weather Lecture Series

Education | General | Snowpack | Weather

In conjunction with UM Campus Recreation, the West Central Montana Avalanche Foundation is hosting a free two-part Mountain Weather lecture series. Featuring guest speaker, LeeAnn Allegretto, NOAA Meteorologist and Avalanche Program Leader from the National Weather Service. Both sections are open to the public and will be held in the...

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AVALANCHE AWARENESS LECTURE – TONIGHT 6 PM @ UM – FREE

Education | General

AVALANCHE AWARENESS LECTURE – Tonight! Time: 6pm Location: North Underground Lecture Hall 101, UM Campus Cost: FREE Join Josh Tapp, Avalanche Education Coordinator from the West Central Montana Avalanche Center for an introduction to avalanche awareness and safety. The presentation will include video, slides, discussion and Q&A session. Topics covered will...

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Montana Mechanized Avalanche Awareness and Education Event Thumbnail Image

Montana Mechanized Avalanche Awareness and Education Event

Education | General | Mechanized

The West Central Montana Avalanche Foundation would like to reiterate its sincere thanks to Gull Boats & RV for their continued support of avalanche safety, awareness and education. With over 400 in attendance, Mike Duffy delivered an outstanding snowmobile avalanche awareness and skills introduction. We are excited to have Mike back...

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Pray for Snow 2018

Education | Fundraising | General

Missoula Avalanche presents the 12th Annual Pray For Snow Party!! Join your friends on Friday October 5th from 5:30pm – 10:30pm at Caras Park in downtown Missoula to Celebrate the upcoming frosty time of year! This year’s fundraiser brings great music from Jameson and the Sorrid Seeds, 2 giant...

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