KALISPELL — Backcountry avalanche conditions in the Flathead, Whitefish and Swan Mountain ranges currently sit at moderate but may move to considerably dangerous in the coming days due to changing weather conditions.
Flathead Avalanche Center forecaster Cameron Johnson says a weak snow layer is buried in new snow from over the weekend triggering avalanche danger.
Johnson says warmer conditions and potentially more snow in the forecast will thicken the existing snow layer creating dangerous conditions in the coming days.
He noted a group of skiers triggered an avalanche in the southern Whitefish Range on Sunday that broke on both sides and above the skiers.
Johnson says they were luckily able to ride through avalanche debris to safety without injury.
He told MTN News that the skiers posted their experience to the avalanche center’s message board which is a great resource for all backcountry riders.
“You know we talk about those as our free lessons that we get while traveling in the mountains, those close calls and sharing them with the community is just really valuable information for everyone to hear,” Johnson said.
Johnson says those venturing off into the backcountry should be well prepared by checking the avalanche center's website each morning for daily updates.