Friday, February 21, 2014

Avalanche Danger High as More Snow Falls on the Flathead

The Flathead Avalanche Center (FAC) has issued another Special Avalanche Bulletin for February 20th through 23rd, 2014 to advise backcountry travelers of the elevated avalanche danger through the weekend. The Flathead Avalanche Center advisory area has been under an Avalanche Warning since Sunday with the Hazard Rating at HIGH, meaning natural and human triggered avalanches are likely. The FAC has received many reports of natural avalanches and close calls from human triggered avalanches.

The advisory includes the Flathead, Swan and Whitefish ranges within the Flathead National Forest and portions of Glacier National Park.

FAC will be issuing regularly scheduled advisories on Saturday and Sunday, and will issue a special advisory on Friday and continue the avalanche warning if the conditions warrant. Even if the threat of natural avalanches decreases, the potential for human triggered avalanches will remain elevated, while the magnitude of the avalanches will increase as time passes. If you would like more information, the Flathead Avalanche Center and Flathead Nordic Backcountry Patrol will host a discussion on current avalanche conditions at 6:30 on Friday at the Columbia Falls City Council Chambers, City Hall, 130 6th St West.

Flathead National Forest Supervisor Chip Weber says, “The Flathead Avalanche Center and its partners are working hard to stay on top of the current, elevated avalanche hazard. Please utilize the information they put out when planning your outings. Public safety is our top priority for the forest, its partners and all users. We encourage backcountry users to use caution this weekend.”

FAC and its partners are urging backcountry users to make very conservative decisions this weekend while choosing terrain and making decisions. This will be a good weekend to stay out of avalanche terrain or choose only low angle slopes with low exposure and consequences. Because of the current avalanche hazard, some groups have cancelled planned outings. The Summit Snowgoers Club cancelled their outing scheduled for Saturday at the Skyland area and the Flathead Snowmobile Association is going to delay grooming the Canyon Creek Trail until conditions moderate.

For additional information, please visit the Flathead Avalanche Center website. For updated weather forecasts and conditions, please click here.



Jeff
Hiking in Glacier National Park

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