Avalanche danger rises in Northwest Montana - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Avalanche danger rises in Northwest Montana

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KALISPELL - The avalanche danger has been hiked to "high" in Northwest Montana.

The Flathead Avalanche Center in Hungry Horse has issued a backcountry avalanche warning for the Flathead Range and Glacier National Park.

Very dangerous avalanche conditions exist and travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended.

Avalanches may run long distances and can run into mature forests, valley floors, or flat terrain, according to the warning that was issued early Thursday. 

(first report)

KALISPELL - Northwest Montana has seen a large amount of snowfall this winter and there are no signs of it letting up anytime soon.

Early season snowfall and rain -- combined with each new storm we see -- has had avalanche experts on their toes trying to figure out this abnormal season.

The avalanche danger in the Whitefish, Swan and Flathead ranges was "considerable" above 6000 feet on Wednesday and could be bumped up to "high" when this new storm system rolls in.

The avalanche season has been hard to predict so far and Flathead Avalanche Center Director  Zach Guy told MTN News when we have a season like this, you always have to be aware of slides, even at lower elevations.

“You can get surprised even if you are down in the low elevation terrain where the snowpack looks stable, feels stable, there’s no signs of instability you could have something come down from 4000 feet above you packing a tons and tons of debris with it so it’s an un-survivable avalanche,” said Guy.

Click here to view the latest avalanche advisory for Northwest Montana.

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