Flathead Avalanche Center staff visited to the location of a partially buried snowcat on the Werner Peak road, south of Werner Peak proper. On Tuesday night (February 6th) at approx. 2345, a snowcat was grooming the Werner Peak road when they accidently triggered a 35 degree slope above the road. The avalanche failed approx. 3 feet deep, propagated approx. 150 feet wide, and ran approx. 50 feet downhill stopping on the road grade below. The avalanche failed on what is believed the 12/17 rain crust with 0.5 mm facets above the crust. It does not appear the avalanche failed naturally. The avalanche deposited 8 to 10 feet of debris onto the road, burying the uphill side of the snowcat, but leaving the downhill side of the snowcat visible. The snowcat operator was not injured in the incident and was evacuated approx. 1 to 2 hours afterwards by a third party (exact time unknown). Flathead Avalanche Center was informed of the incident on Wednesday morning, February 7th. Currently, the Werner Peak road is impassible at the avalanche location but not closed.
Accessed Canyon Creek road trailhead via North Fork road. Traveled Canyon Creek road through the notch, then followed the series of groomed trails to the location of the buried snowcat on the Werner Peak road, just south of Werner Peak proper.
Visibilty was approx. 50-100' once we ascended above 5500'. Below 5500', visibility was better but still limited to several hundred yards. Rain/ snow line was approx. 4500'.
Forecast Hotline: 406.257.8402
Call or text an observation: 406.66AVYOB