About Friends of the Chugach Avalanche Center

Friends of the Chugach Avalanche Center Logo Since 2003, Friends of the Chugach Avalanche Center is the official cost-share partner of the U.S. Forest Service Glacier Ranger District in Girdwood, Alaska. Support from our members, sponsors and partners bridges the gap between limited federal funding and the actual costs of operating the avalanche forecast center.

Donating to Friends of the CAC directly supports the avalanche forecasts and weather data you use on every backcountry adventure in Southcentral Alaska. Your support is saving lives by helping Friends:

  • Raise funds for the salaries of two professional avalanche forecasters, plus all of the CNFAIC’s necessary equipment, tools, and safety gear.
  • Maintain CNFAIC.org where the public has FREE access to:
    • essential daily avalanche hazard advisories for the Turnagain Pass area;
    • data from our remote weather stations and webcams in all your favorite local playgrounds from Hatcher Pass to Arctic Valley, Glen Alps, Turnagain Pass, and our newest site at Lost Lake near Seward; and
    • the community observations platform where you can submit photos and info to inform the forecasters of avalanche incidents and snow conditions.
  • Build an avy savvy recreation community so we can all explore and enjoy the backcountry more safely. See our events calendar!
  • Award scholarships for beginner to advanced avalanche training courses. Apply now! Due December 1.


JOIN US! Would you like to support the CNFAIC, promote safe use of our awesome local backcountry, and have fun working together with Friends? We are always interested in meeting with potential volunteers and board members who bring:

  • Passion for avalanche safety and education;
  • Enthusiasm to serve as an ambassador for avalanche awareness in our community;
  • Experience managing a nonprofit or serving on a board of directors;
  • Skills and enthusiasm for
    • fundraising and partnerships,
    • event planning and promotion,
    • design and communications,
    • website maintenance,
    • weather station and webcam maintenance,
    • nonprofit finance management.

Please inquire via email.

Our Mission

Friends of the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center (CNFAIC) is dedicated to enhancing avalanche awareness in Southcentral Alaska through information, outreach and partnerships. We work to bridge the gap between limited federal funding and the actual expenses of operating the CNFAIC.

Friends of the CNFAIC • PO Box 242482 • Anchorage, AK 99524-2482
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization since 2003 • Federal Tax ID: 68-0578518

We are an official Pick.Click.Give. organization of Alaska.

Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Email Friends of the CNFAIC

Board of Directors

Michael Smith
Our Board President, Michael R. Smith, loves getting out on skis. Backcountry, cross-country, crust-cruising, it is all good. Michael believes that supporting the community through non-profit organizations builds a better (Read more)
Jon Cobb
Vice President
Jon joined the Friends board in the spring of 2020 and is currently serving as the Vice President. He came to Alaska from his home state of Vermont during the (Read more)
Erica Livingston
Our treasurer, Erica Livingston, enjoys recreating on both sides of Turnagain Pass but will chase good snow anywhere. These days, epic adventures occur closer to home as she gets her (Read more)
Ray Koleser
Ray Koleser is the current board secretary and has been on the Friend’s board since about 2012. Ray has a great affinity for most things outdoors including water sports, especially (Read more)
Carrie Aro
Board Member
Board member, Carrie Aro enjoys snowmobiling and snowboarding during the winter months, although snowboarding takes a backseat when the snow is good. Carrie is also an employee owner at Alaska (Read more)
Stuart Parks
Board Member
Stuart Parks, a director since 2021, loves skiing, climbing and spending time with family and friends in Alaska’s outdoors. He believes that safety in the mountains is mandatory and, for winter (Read more)
Tina Boucher
Board Member
For board member Tina Boucher, exploring the backcountry with friends is the best part of winter in Alaska. Tina is a long-time supporter of the Chugach Avalanche Center—watching it grow (Read more)
Todd Kelsey
Board Member
Todd Kelsey came from Utah to ski Southcentral Alaska in the 90s and is still here, now raising two daughters with his wife Lauren. He has used the Chugach Avalanche (Read more)
Travis Smith
Board Member
Travis joined the Friends board in the summer of 2018. Although if you ask him he sees himself as more of a Friends and avalanche education ambassador than a board (Read more)
Danny Hovancsek
Board Member
Having grown up outside of Cleveland, Danny moved to Alaska after a decade wandering around the mountains and canyons of the West. On most winter weekends he can be found frantically (Read more)
Emma Walker
Board Member
Emma holds a master’s in outdoor and environmental education from Alaska Pacific University, where she studied decision-making among high-altitude mountain guides. She works as a program manager for the American (Read more)
Kelli Spencer
Board Member, President of Skiing
Kelli enjoys all types of skiing and snow—so much that she skis every month of the year and has nabbed over 100 consecutive months. She moved to Alaska for the (Read more)
Crane Johnson
Weather Station Master (former Board Member)
Crane started working with the Friends group in 2004 and then served as a board member for a few years. He helped to design and install the system of ridgetop (Read more)
Billy Finley
Web Master (former Board President)
Billy is a past Friends board member, most recently serving in the position of President. Among the many valuable and lasting contributions he has made to the organization is the (Read more)

The F-CAC Board of Directors are grateful to Cortney Kitchen of kitchenlegal.com for donating legal counsel.