With the heavy, wet snow expected over the next few days - on top of the light, dry snow ... avalanche danger. Check your local advisories before heading out!

From last weekend:
It's early in the snow season, but avalanche danger is always a concern for those heading into the back country on skis, snowshoes or snowmobiles.

So far, the avalanche advisories are advising caution. The Missoula website is a great resource for those heading into the Bitterroot or Sapphire Mountains.

At Chief Joseph Pass this past week, there was some cracking and collapsing of the snowpack, according to the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. They note the snowpack has multiple weak layers in the upper sections. That can lead to some slabs breaking off. In fact, the Missoula Avalanche Site mentions persistent slabs and wind slabs as the main danger right now.

Advice from the experts:

Avoid slopes of between 30 and 45 degrees and ...
Get the gear (transceiver, shovel and probe), get the training, get the forecast, get the picture, get out of harm's way.

And make sure you tell someone where you're going and when you expect to come back.

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