Avalanche experts advise caution in the backcountry

MISSOULA, Mont. - Slippery roads and hazardous driving conditions aren't the only winter-time threats.

With snow sticking in the mountains avalanche experts say it's time to start watching out for avalanches in the backcountry.

We're told evidence of several large avalanches have already been detected in the Flathead Valley.

The Swan Range and Jewel Basin have each received a good dumping of snow; reports in Jewel Basin say two feet of fresh snow have fallen just in the past day.  

Avalanche experts say regardless of where you are traveling there is enough snow for avalanches to occur.

"If you're recreating in steep areas where this new snow has fallen on old existing snow then you need to be aware there could be a problem," says avalanche expert Dudley Improta.  

Improta wants to remind residents to survey their avalanche gear.  He says it's important to check your beacon and replace the batteries, and to make sure your shovel, probe and transceiver are in good working condition.  

He encourages folks to take an avalanche safety class.

To find a class near Missoula County, click here.

For an avalanche safety class near Flathead County, click here.

Click here, to find a class near Gallatin County. 

More Stories