MISSOULA – Authorities say conditions are safe enough on Mount Jumbo to lift the avalanche warnings that have been in effect for nearly three weeks.
The “urban avalanche warning” was issued at the end of February after a small slide was spotted above the International School in the Rattlesnake, drawing attention to the risk posed by a heavy snowpack and windy conditions.
The warning was issued on the fifth anniversary of the fatal slide that hit the mountain in 2014.
But the latest check by forecasters from the West Central Montana Avalanche Center shows the snowpack has stabilized in the warmer conditions and the risk of a slide is decreasing.
The “L” Trail and US West Road are being re-opened. However, hikers and runners will be required to stay on those paths and keep their pets on a leash to keep from disrupting wildlife.
Biologists are going to keep the South Zone closure in place until early April to protect the 75-to-90 elk that are still wintering there. Jumbo’s North Zone is expected to remain closed until May 1, depending on conditions.