Avalanche experts keep close eye on conditions after storm


POSTED: 6:42 PM Nov 09 2012
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Experts say there's anywhere from 10 to 12 inches of new snow in the mountains around Bozeman and Big Sky.
In a lot of places, they say there's around two feet on the ground, more than enough snow to produce an avalanche.

Luckily, experts with the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center tell me winds have been pretty light from the south but any amount of wind will move that snow and form wind slabs- one of their primary concerns.

They say this storm is building the base of our snowpack, but it's still pretty thin and very susceptible to weather conditions.
That's why experts say they'll be paying close attention to what happens over the next few weeks.
Soon, they'll be able to track layers of snow and they say it will be important to see what develops.
They do say, however, that most avalanches occur within 24 hours of a big storm.

"Tomorrow will be prime time to find avalanches as the snowpack had time to adjust and settle, the likelihood of avalanches generally goes down," says GNFAC Avalanche Expert Mark Staples.
Experts say, if you're heading out, make sure your avalanche beacon has fresh batteries, your shovel and probe are ready to go and you're thinking about avalanches.
Once you're out, experts say it's important to look for signs of unstable conditions.