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Forecasters Brian Lazar and Blase Reardon discuss the early season snow, and what it may mean for the upcoming season.
Avalanche Fatality in Montana
Two backcountry tourers triggered and were caught in an avalanche on the north side of Imp Peak, in the Madison Range of southern Montana, on Saturday October 7. One skier was partially buried. One skier was fully buried and killed. The Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center's Report is available on the US Accidents page. Our sincere condolences to the family, friends, and everyone affected by this tragic accident.
The first serious snowfall of the year brought about two feet of snow in the deepest areas of the Northern Mountains. Less snow added up in the Central or Southern Mountains. Winds were drifting snow over all mountain areas.
Observers reported the first five avalanches of the season with the storm on northwest, north, and northeast aspects above tree line. The largest of the avalanches “Left sizable debris for early October”.
There is is enough snow to produce small avalanches in steep terrain, particularly on smooth surfaces like old snow, grass, rock slabs. Nearly every fall, avalanches catch eager riders, late-season hikers, and hunters off-guard. Please be thinking avalanche if you visit steep slopes in the high country.