Conditions right for wet slab avalanches in SW Montana


BOZEMAN, Mont. - A warning Friday in southwest Montana. Officials are saying to be extra careful as conditions are right for wet slab avalanches. Experts say wet slab avalanches are like moving slugs of cement.

The Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center reports slides of this type near Cooke City and West Yellowstone. The forecast has experts boosting the avalanche danger to considerable on all southwest Montana slopes.

NBC Montana spoke to Kevin Weisner who owns Ph.D Ski in Bozeman. He told us wet slab avalanches can be incredibly dangerous. Weisner keeps an eye on conditions to make sure customers know what's happening in the hills

One wet slide last year piled debris 20 feet high in a gully.

Weisner told NBC Montana he lost a friend to a wet slide. He says skiers need to take these warnings seriously.

"Springtime skiing can get pretty dangerous in the backcountry just because we have changing temperatures. We can go one day from 50 above to 20. That's a 30 degree difference in the snow," Wesiner.

Weisner said residents headed out should always check conditions before they go.

Eric Knoff from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Cente tells us there were reports of a wet slide in the Bridgers on Friday.  He also says Bridger Bowl closed down most of its ridge terrain Friday because of the possibility of slides.

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