Experts warn of avalanche activity near Glacier


Active avalanche cycle in recent weeks

WEST GLACIER, Mont. - The same warming trend we have enjoyed in the Flathead may be to blame for the several avalanches that came down on U.S. Highway 2 near East and West Glacier.

"We had a really active cycle last week when we had a bunch of warm weather come in, with a bunch of precipitation, that caused a lot of natural avalanches," said Seth Carbonari, avalanche expert.

Burlington Northern worried about the avalanches so much that crews used a device suspended from a helicopter to purposely trigger avalanches. The idea -- if controlled, the railroad is safer.

"They had a lot of activity and they wanted to see if anything else was going to come down on the tracks as well," said Carbonari.

Avalanche experts at the Flathead Avalanche Center hope to see the danger of natural avalanches die down this week as the precipitation decreases. Just the same they'll be keeping a close eye on conditions.

"But we're still definitely in a time where there's an elevated opportunity for, especially, human-triggered avalanches," said Carbonari.

Carbonari and the Flathead Avalanche Center recommend checking the advisory before heading out to have some recreational fun in the backcountry this week.

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