Back Country experts are warning skiers and snowmobilers that avalanche danger in west central Montana is very high at this time. 

The combination of nearly two feet heavy wet snow on top of a weak snow base, followed by rain makes for high avalanche danger in the backcountry.

Here is an excerpt from the recorded message made by Steve Karkanen at the Western Montana Avalanche Center early Monday morning.

"An avalanche warning is in effect for the mountains around western Montana above 5,000 feet," Karkanen said. "Avalanche danger is now 'HIGH' on terrain steeper than 30 degrees. Natural avalanches are likely, but human-triggered avalanches are very likely. Travel in and underneath avalanche terrain is NOT recommended."

Steve Karkanen

Director of the West Central Avalanche Center in Bozeman, Doug Chabot, echoed Karkanen's assessment of the avalanche danger in the western Montana backcountry.

"Anyone who wants the most up-to-date information should go to Missoula Avalanche dot org," Chabot said. "Check out the weather conditions in the area, heed the avalanche warnings and stay safe. Take an avalanche education class, carry rescue gear such as a shovel, beacon and probe, and only put one person at a time on a steep slope."

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