THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON March 30, 2019 @ 4:34 am
Avalanche Advisory published on March 29, 2019 @ 4:34 am
Issued by Ben Bernall - Kootenai National Forest

Kootenai

bottom line

Avalanche danger will continue to be driven by the sun right now. Expect to find firm surfaces and LOW avalanche danger in the mornings followed by the potential for small, loose-wet slides to develop in the afternoon on steep, rocky terrain that is exposed to the sun. Continue to pay attention to objective hazards above you such as Glide Cracks and Cornices that may be getting weak in the sun.

How to read the advisory

Avalanche danger will continue to be driven by the sun right now. Expect to find firm surfaces and LOW avalanche danger in the mornings followed by the potential for small, loose-wet slides to develop in the afternoon on steep, rocky terrain that is exposed to the sun. Continue to pay attention to objective hazards above you such as Glide Cracks and Cornices that may be getting weak in the sun.

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.

2. Moderate

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Below Treeline
Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
    Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
Avalanche Problem 1: Loose Wet
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Loose wet slides will continue to be the main avalanche concern on Friday and Saturday as the sun comes out and heats the surface of the snow pack. With freezing night time temperatures the snowpack will lock together at night and reduce both the size and frequency of these slides with each daily freeze/thaw cycle. The most likely spots to encounter this problem will be in steep terrain with rocky outcroppings that are exposed to the sun.  Observations on Monday from steep terrain in the East Cabinets showed these slides were becoming small and infrequent, with firm surfaces and cold nights this hazard will continue to decline in danger.

Avalanche Problem 2: Glide
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Glide cracks continue to be seen on most any aspect or elevation where the continuous warm temperatures have caused free water to lubricate the underlying bed surface, this problem may be a concern where the snow is resting on rock slab or bear grass. We have yet to see any slides associated with this problem but it is a potential. Watch for large cracks on steep slopes and avoid lingering under these features on warm or sunny days. Super simple.

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary
Backcountry Forecast from NWS Missoula issued:
400 AM MDT Fri Mar 29 2019

DISCUSSION: The remnants of the Thursday storm system will remain
over the Northern Rockies, with light snow accumulations possible
above 4000 feet and mainly across Clearwater, Bitterroot, and
southwest Montana ranges through today. 1-3 inches will be 
possible for ridges and peaks. Low clouds and variable fog will 
obscure visibility at times.

Conditions dry and warm for Saturday. The next notable storm
system is expected along the Continental Divide on Monday.


Kootenai:

--------------------------- 5000-7000 FT ----------------------------
                      Today        Tonight      Sat      
Cloud Cover           50%          35%          35%      
Hi/Lo Temps           38 to 50     24 to 29     40 to 52 
Winds(mph)            NE  7        NE  5        W  5G16  
Precip Chc            0            0            0        
Precip Type           none         none         none     
Liquid Amt            0.00         0.00         0.00     
Snow Ratio(SLR)       0            0            0        
Snow Amt(in)          0            0            0        

Snow Level            3500         4000         4000     
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.