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.
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.
The primary intended audience are local (central Hokkaido) backcountry users. It is our understanding that avalanche safety knowledge and education are lacking among backcountry users in our region, relative to other popular winter mountain hubs around the world.
Snowpack character varies greatly between regions, making local knowledge indispensible. In Hokkaido, avalanche conditions often extend down to sea level.
FAC began operating in 2019 through it's Facebook page. Since then, feedback from the local community has been overwhelmingly encouraging. As a result, the blog continues to grow in quality of information shared and size of audience.
The idea to create a resource like this has long been talked about by many parties, but never happened prior to the launch of FAC in 2019, at least in part due to clashes in business interests. It is our belief that while a single company can provide a good set of observations, a combination of guides from different backgrounds operating in different ways, communicating openly, will provide the best information for local backcountry users. Furano Avalanche Center is where guides from different local companies come together to contribute to the greater good.