Jan 13, 2011 @ 8:55 am

Avalanche Warning for January 13.

An avalanche warning is in effect for all mountain locations above 5000 feet in West Central Montana.  The avalanche danger is HIGH, very dangerous avalanche conditions exist on all slopes steeper than 30 degrees.  Travel on or beneath avalanche terrain is not recommended.

Heavy dense snow and in some areas rain has added a significant load to a weak layer of cold snow and facets that formed during the past few days.  Natural avalanches are likely, human triggered avalanches are very likely.

Most mountain SNOTEL sites are reporting 1″ to 2″ of snow water equivalent or several inches of snow.  Many of the sites are at temperatures at or above the freezing level this morning.

Expect conditions to remain unstable for the next 24-48 hours as this current weather system passes.

More information will be posted later today or early Friday after we’ve had the chance to further assess conditions.


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.