Posted: Wed, 11/29/2017 1:06 PM
As fall transitions to early winter in NE Oregon, the Wallowa Avalanche Center has been busy preparing for another La Nina winter. We are gearing up to begin our weekly avalanche advisories, which will likely start the last week of November. The format for the advisories will be very similar to last season, with the exciting addition of TWO advisories per week in January and February. Advisories will cover the Blue Mountains, Elkhorns and Northern and Southern Wallowas.
Last spring, board member and forecaster Michael Hatch conducted a survey to determine the effectiveness of the WAC and areas for improvement. We received survey results from nearly 80 individuals and gleaned some useful information. Some of the major take homes included; users would like two advisories per week, users are more willing to donate if they know what the money is funding, there was interest in a new weather station in the Southern Wallowas and users would find an avalanche beacon park at Anthony Lakes beneficial. We are thankful for you help and input through the survey and have taken the recommendations seriously and will be moving forward with many of them.
Through grant money, we will have a brand new BCA beacon park at Salt Creek Summit this winter. Hopefully the old system will be relocated to Anthony Lakes. We received enough money through donations and fundraising to purchase a new weather station for the Southern Wallowas, which will be called the Kip Rand weather station. The station will be installed near the Norway yurt at 7,300’ and will record wind speeds, wind direction, temperatures, etc. Telemetry from the weather station will be available on the WAC website and at www.josephpregonweather.com this winter. Last winter we had a new logo designed and now have fun new merchandise available for purchase. These will be available for purchase online at www.wallowaavalanchecenter.org via Pay Pal and at our local area fundraisers and awareness presentations. If you are interested in making a purchase click the Donate Now button and in the notes section of Pay Pal explain what you are purchasing.
As a non-profit organization we rely entirely on donations and fundraisers to pay the bills. Last winter we were very successful in raising money and look to step it up this winter. We are greatly appreciative of all the incredible donations we received. Our organization wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for your generosity. To increase transparency with our users and donors here’s a breakdown of some of our costs from 2016-17; Please click on the graphic with this post!
YOUR Contributions are critical in providing reliable forecasts to backcountry skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers!
Fundraising Goals for 2017/18
1. Increase Directors Salary: Improve outreach to all backcountry users, meet fundraising and provide more advisories - $3,500
2. Increase Forecasting Budget: We will be providing two advisories per week in January and February - $3,500
3. Snowmobile Fund: Allow more thorough forecasting and awareness for snowmobilers - $1000
Thank you for donating and contributing to backcountry user safety!
Visit www.wallowaavalanchecenter.org to learn more.