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Western MT avalanche danger prompts safety advice - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Western MT avalanche danger prompts safety advice

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MISSOULA -  The avalanche danger has been hiked to "High" in the southern Missions and Swan ranges.

Travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended as a considerable avalanche danger exists, according to the West Central Montana Avalanche Center

Logan King says that the southern Missions and southern Swan Mountain ranges have taken the brunt of the storm thus far and more snow will further stress the snowpack.

While a high avalanche warning might deter some people from enjoying the Montana backcountry, it does not mean you have to avoid your outdoor activities altogether.

Packing the right equipment like a transceiver to send and receive a signal to members of your group can keep you safe in these conditions Keeping a shovel and an avalanche probe can also help, but understanding your surroundings is the easiest way to have fun while staying safe.

"Stay off...slopes greater than 30 degrees. Wind loaded slopes where the wind has obviously pushed the snow from one side of the mountain over to another side...and...are generally very unstable," said John Whitmarsh with Gull Boats and RV in Missoula. "But yeah, if it's a high avalanche danger you just play in the lower elevation and the flatter stuff."

Make sure you check avalanche conditions from the Flathead Avalanche Center or the West Central Montana Avalanche Center before heading out this weekend so that you can avoid possibly problematic areas.

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