THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON March 3, 2018 @ 4:42 am
Avalanche Advisory published on March 2, 2018 @ 4:42 am
Issued by Ben Bernall - Kootenai National Forest

Kootenai

bottom line

The moderate temperatrures and lack of addtional loading has allowed the upper snowpack to strengthen significantly since last weekends storm. Triggering a windslab on leeward terrain at treeline and above is still a possibility. The facet layer above the February 4th rain crust is also healing but still harbors the potential to be triggered and should be given consideration in steep and open terrain above treeline.

How to read the advisory

The moderate temperatrures and lack of addtional loading has allowed the upper snowpack to strengthen significantly since last weekends storm. Triggering a windslab on leeward terrain at treeline and above is still a possibility. The facet layer above the February 4th rain crust is also healing but still harbors the potential to be triggered and should be given consideration in steep and open terrain above treeline.

2. Moderate

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Above Treeline
Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.

2. Moderate

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Near Treeline
Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.

1. Low

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Below Treeline
Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
    Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
Avalanche Problem 1: Wind Slab
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Wind slabs from Sundays' storm are several days old now but still remain a threat near leeward ridgelines.  Moderate temperatures and lack of significant loading has reduced but not eliminated the potential to trigger a wind slab in these areas.

Avalanche Problem 2: Persistent Slab
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The possibility of triggering an avalanche on the facets that rest above the February 4th rain crust is diminishing for now; but, the consequence of triggering an avalanche on this layer would be catastrophic. Sound terrain management is the name of the game right now as this hazard is most likely to be found in steep and open terrain, convex rolls or thin spots within the snowpack.  Great riding and sliding conditions exist on sheltered and anchored slopes going into the weekend.

advisory discussion

March 8th at the Cabinet Mountain Brewery we will be partaking in a "Brews for Benefits" fundraiser that is benefiting the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center. Come and join us from 5 to 8 PM.  The good folks at Libbys' finest (and only) brewery will be donating $1 for every beer sold. See you there!

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary
Backcountry Forecast from NWS Missoula issued:
340 AM MST Fri Mar 2 2018

DISCUSSION: Snow has been spreading from south to north this
morning and combining with gusty winds in many locations across
central Idaho. We still anticipate the greatest snowfall
accumulations to occur here, however moisture will become more
widespread with time today as this system shifts north and 
eastward. West central Montana mountain ranges will have to 
do battle with a period of fluctuating snow levels today, rising 
to around the 4500-5500 foot range, with a quick crash down to 
valley floors tonight. 

For the Swans, Flathead, Glacier, and Whitefish ranges: your
period of greatest snowfall will happen later this afternoon
through this evening. The Kootenai may be on the fringe of this, 
so be watching as this storm evolves if it changes track. 
Intensities will peak across NW MT this evening before tapering 
off again overnight (the exception may very well be the northern
Whitefish where snow may not shut off). 

Winds will be an issue everyone will have to contend with today,
with the strongest gusts once again expected in west central MT
and central ID mountains.
-Allegretto

Kootenai:

--------------------------- 5000-7000 FT ----------------------------
                      Today        Tonight      Sat      
Cloud Cover           95%          90%          75%      
Hi/Lo Temps           25 to 30     15 to 21     26 to 32 
Winds(mph)            S 11G31      SW  8G23     SW  6    
Precip Chc            90           60           40       
Precip Type           snow         snow         snow     
Liquid Amt            0.15         0.15         0.04     
Snow Ratio(SLR)       17:1         17:1         17:1     
Snow Amt(in)          2-3          2-4          0-1      
Snow Level            1500         1500         1000     
Disclaimer

Avalanche conditions change for better or worse continually. Backcountry travelers should be prepared to assess current conditions for themselves, plan their routes of travel accordingly, and never travel alone. Backcountry travelers can reduce their exposure to avalanche hazards by utilizing timbered trails and ridge routes and by avoiding open and exposed terrain with slope angles of 30 degrees or more. Backcountry travelers should carry the necessary avalanche rescue equipment such as a shovel, avalanche probe or probe ski poles, a rescue beacon and a well-equipped first aid kit.  For a recorded version of the Avalanche Advisory call (208)765-7323.