High avalanche danger in western Montana

Avalanche warning issued

The Flathead Avalanche Center has issued a backcountry travel avalanche warning for northwest Montana.

Heavy snowfall and powerful winds have created unstable slabs of new and drifted snow, according to the center, which advises that large and very large avalanches are likely.

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Fred Dietrich stands at Red Meadow Lake on Jan. 17, 2006, the day after two people were killed in an avalanche that swept across the lake. (David Reese photo/Montana Living)

Recent heavy snow combined with wind will create widespread areas of unstable snow, according to the avalanche center. The warning says very dangerous avalanche conditions exist in the backcountry, and travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended.

The avalanche advisory is for areas below steep slopes at upper elevations in the Swan Range, Flathead Range, and parts of Glacier National Park, John F. Stevens Canyon and Marias Pass area. The avalanche warning and advisory are in effect until 7 p.m. Feb. 21.

For more information go to  http://www.flatheadavalanche.org/ or www.avalanche.org.

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