Who we are

Friends of the Flathead Avalanche Center (FOFAC), EIN 47-1135769, is the fundraising and education arm of the Flathead Avalanche Center (FAC) in Northwest Montana. Together, we provide quality and timely forecasts, education, and materials to meet our enthusiastic and growing user base both from local users and tourists to the area.

Supporting the Avalanche Center

Supporting the Flathead Avalanche Center takes many forms and changes depending on the need during that season. Support may look like:

  • Capital purchases such as weather stations and snowmobiles;
  • Small purchases such as radios, beacons, and other small gear or tools;
  • The website, flatheadavalanche.org, which is the primary mode of communication with the community and visitors to the area (with viewership up 43% last season);
  • Other communication services to help broadcast forecasts and important safety messages.

​Education Program

FOFAC’s education program complements our community’s passion for winter recreation. We teach more than just an avalanche course. We teach communication skills, leadership, decision making, and personal preparedness. Throughout the winter we typically host around 50 classes ​for youth and adults for varying levels of expertise or mode of recreation. Our three main programs include:

  • Youth Avalanche Education Program
  • Adult Avalanche Education Program 

  • Northern Rockies Snow and Avalanche Workshop (NRSAW) – now in its 10th year



It's pretty simple... 

Our mission is to save lives by providing quality education and supporting the Avalanche Center's seven-day-a-week avalanche forecasts for our community. We teach youth and adults a multitude of life and backcountry skills, and inherently get to throw in a bunch of fun science into the mix. In the summer our weather stations are used by emergency services such as firefighters and other first responders. We are here to keep our adventurous and winter-loving community safe. While doing so, we get the privilege of teaching our communities youth and adults avalanche education. By supporting us, you are supporting every winter recreationist in the Flathead Valley, giving them the tools and forecasts needed for safe winter travel.

To learn more about our impact last season, check out our annual report here:


FOFAC Board of Directors

This amazing group of humans works hard to make sure the Avalanche Center is successful in its mission to save lives, limbs, and property from avalanches through education and information. They do this by supporting the mission of FOFAC to fundraise for the Avalanche Center and to oversee the education arm of our work. These folks attend monthly meetings, plan and execute events and campaigns, and serve as our primary ambassadors for avalanche safety in the Flathead Valley.  

  • Ted Steiner (President)
  • Ron Bachrach (Vice-President)
  • Woody Hust (Treasurer)
  • Zak Anderson (Secretary)
  • Jenny Cloutier
  • James Heckman
  • Lloyd Morsett
  • Ed Visnovske
  • Ben Parsons (in Memorium)

Ex Officio Members

  • Chris Prew (US Forest Service)
  • Blase Reardon (Flathead Avalanche Center)


No longer greenhorns, this group of gals have been together since the 2019/2020 season sharing avalanche education and winter stoke throughout the Valley. They are back at it again for our 2020/2021 season and excited to get back in the field with this awesome winter-loving community. 

Emily Struss • Director of Operations    emily@flatheadavalanche.org

Meg Killen • Education Coordinator     education@flatheadavalanche.org

Kira Frye • Education Programs Associate     education@flatheadavalanche.org