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Avalanche warning issued for northwestern Montana

by Daily Inter Lake
| December 13, 2019 3:57 PM

A backcountry avalanche warning was issued Friday morning for the Swan Range, Flathead Range and Glacier National Park region.

The Flathead Avalanche Center raised the avalanche danger to “high” in the upper elevations following a significant snowstorm Thursday night. Eight inches of new snow was recorded on Big Mountain Friday morning. An additional 10 to 20 inches was possible in parts of the Center’s forecast region by the weekend.

According to the Center, the new snow is overloading weak layers buried deep in the snowpack, creating the potential for large, long-running avalanches. Natural and human-triggered slides were expected Friday.

“Intense snowfall and thick slabs of new and drifted snow have created dangerous avalanche conditions that will continue through today,” Blase Reardon of the Flathead Avalanche Center warned in Friday’s forecast.

People traveling in the backcountry were advised to avoid being on or under slopes steeper than about 30 degrees, and to avoid terrain traps like steep-walled gullies.

Check the Flathead Avalanche Center’s advisory online for the latest forecast.