Furano Avalanche Center (FAC)
FAC is an avalanche blog run by local Furano backcountry guides who saw the need to provide current avalanche condition information to the public.
In contrast to most developed countries, Japan lacks a comprehensive, government-backed avalanche forecast for most regions, including central Hokkaido.
Detailed avalanche observations should be recorded and analyzed by all guides, it is good practice, so why not share these observations publicly?
The primary aim of FAC 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.
Snowpack character varies greatly between regions, and avalanche risk often extends to sea level, making local knowledge indispensable. Ryan Taylor of FAT and friends have been at the leading edge of ski mountaineering explorations in the Furano Valley for several years. Having already skied everything in the front range of the Yubari Mountains, they have progressed to exploring Further into the wilderness including the steep, obscure couloirs of Ashibetsudake and beyond.
These experiences and direct observations provide a deeper understanding of the conditions. Even in the heart of winter, they are often climbing 1000m vertical into steep avalanche terrain while most don't venture beyond a short traverse from a lift or a few hours ski tour from the well know mountain passes.
FAC began operating in 2019 through it's Facebook page. Since then, feedback from the local community and other groups has been overwhelmingly encouraging. As a result, the blog continues to grow in quality of information shared and size of audience.