FAC (Furano Avalanche Center) is an avalanche blog run by local Furano guides who saw the need to provide avalanche condition information to the public. There is a lack of a comprehensive government forecasts in most places in Japan in comparison to what is available in most developed countries.
The primary aim is to help readers understand the importance of avalanche education and to reduce the accident rate. There have already been several instances where the contributors of this blog posted observations and warned of dangerous conditions before accidents occurred.
Furano Avalanche Center is where guides from different local companies come together to contribute to the greater good.
The idea to create a resource like this has long been talked about by many people but never happened likely due to clashes in business interests. While a single company can provide a good set of observations, a combination of guides from different backgrounds operating in different ways, communicating openly, leads to the industry leading avalanche blog provided here.
The primary intended audience are the local Japanese backcountry users as it is our understanding that the amount of people educated around avalanche safety is lacking relative to western countries. In Hokkaido, avalanche conditions often extend down to sea level.
The overwhelming feedback from the local community has been very encouraging so as a result, this blog continues to grow in quality of information shared and size of audience.
Ryan Taylor of Furano Adventure Tours was the 1st person to lead the initiative to create FAC in 2019. To this day he is the most frequent contributor although often much of the information he shares is provided by other local guides who wish to remain anonymous. From 2022, the blog was also produced on this website to reach a wider audience.
Ryan has been guiding and exploring Furano area since 2010, has accomplished 1st know ski descents in the area and has a deep understanding of the conditions from the lowland forest to the highest remote peaks. Many would say he is the most knowledgeable guide in the area in terms of the terrain. He made 1st ski descents in countries such as NZ, Greenland, Tajikistan and Japan.
His education includes professional avalanche qualifications recognized in the west (Qualifications held by foreign forecasters in Japan are not recognized at a high level by the Japanese government), and Bsc in Earth Science and a Post Graduate Diploma in GIS with focus on avalanche and terrain modeling. He spends his summers mostly working as an exploration geologist in the remote mountains of Hokkaido.
While we strongly encourage avalanche education, we do not accept advertisements on our blog. If you run avalanche courses in the area, we are happy to provide your resulting observations on the page if we feel it complements the existing content. If you come from a background of avalanche forecasting and have lived in Furano for several years, you could likely become a contributor. We are particularly interested in finding a native Japanese speaking contributor.