Oct 20, 2015 @ 2:01 pm

Thank you western Montana!

We’re off to a great start already this year with a new budget allocation from the Forest Service for avalanche center operations, a Recreation Trails Program grant from MT Fish Wildlife and Parks and a very successful Pray For Snow benefit at Caras Park.  The success of our mission is due in large part to the strong support all of you have shown the past few years.

We plan to add another day to our advisory program as well as continue to offer free avalanche education opportunities in area schools, the University of MT, businesses and other interested parties. We have also scheduled a Level 2 class with the American Avalanche Institute, and four Level 1 classes including a women only L1 cosponsored with Yurtski. These classes fill quickly so get registered early. Check our Education and Events page for details.

Travis Craft, Logan King and Brian Martens are attending the National Avalanche School in Snowbird UT later this month. This training will help qualify them as avalanche specialists/forecasters. Travis and Logan will be writing and posting our avalanche advisories this winter. Brian will again be coordinating avalanche safety programs for interested schools, university students and other groups.

If you are a teacher (or have a group interested in awareness training) contact us by sending a short email to [email protected] and Brian will work out the details with you.  We don’t charge for these awareness programs but have limited resources so again, it is important to schedule early.

Donations go a long way toward helping us provide avalanche information and education so please consider a tax deductible donation.  For details visit



Problem 1 - No Snow No Problem

  • TYPE


    Loose Dry

    Release of wet unconsolidated snow or slush. These avalanches typically occur within layers of wet snow near the surface of the snowpack, but they may quickly gouge into lower snowpack layers. Like Loose-Dry Avalanches,they start at a point and entrain snow as they move downhill, forming a fan-shaped avalanche. They generally move slowly, but can contain enough mass to cause significant damage to trees, cars or buildings. Other names for loose-wet avalanches include point-release avalanches or sluffs. Loose-wet avalanches can trigger slab avalanches that break into deeper snow layers.

  • SIZE


    < 1 (Small)

    The potential size of avalanche resulting from this problem.




    The likelihood of an avalanche resulting from this problem.

Very little snow so far. Shaded north aspects at the highest elevations may be holding pockets of snow. Pay close attention to how any new snow bonds to last winter’s snow or glacial ice. Wind loaded or lee terrain is typically the most likely place to find potentially dangerous conditions this early in the year.


The simple answer is yes. It will snow in the mountains this winter. The big question is how much?

This information is the sole responsibility of the Forest Service and does not apply to operating ski areas. The avalanche danger rating expires at midnight tonight but the information can help you make a more informed decision regarding travel in avalanche terrain for the next few days.

Our advisory area includes National Forest System lands in the Bitterroot Mountains from Lost Trail Pass north to Granite Pass, the Rattlesnake Mountains north of Missoula and the Southern Swan and Mission Mountains near Seeley Lake, MT. Avalanche information for the Lookout Pass/St. Regis Basin area is available from the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center.