Storm day in the backcountry near Whitefish Mountain Resort. Strict travel protocols and sticking like bugs on flypaper to slopes not steep enough to slide let us check out some remarkably touchy conditions. We were mostly on mid-elevation, northeast to east-facing slopes.
As the storm snow settles into stiffer slabs, the Storm Slab and Persistent Slab hazards may grow less touchy but produce larger avalanches.
Small, shallow slabs released with ski cuts, or remotely with hard turns on adjacent slopes. Slabs on slopes less than about 32* cracked but did not slide. Derbis soft, ran relatively far but on surface.
Party reported triggering these remotely from road, on steep slopes immediately above. Felt several whumpfs nearby. Crown investigation showed they ran just below a thin, fragile crust 50 cm below the surface. F-4F slab. COuldn't conclusively ID weak layer. Simlar slopes immediately below road did not slide with ski cuts or landings of large jumps.
Saw debris from one natural slide off of Skook Face. Fog obscured most chutes and the crown for this slide. Appears to have run longer, so guessing as D2. Probably also failed at density change.
Forecast Hotline: 406.257.8402
Call or text an observation: 406.66AVYOB