Centennial Mountain avalanche danger spikes

The Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center issued a backcountry avalanche warning for the Centennial Mountains, southwest of West Yellowstone, Tuesday morning.

Heavy snow and strong winds were creating dangerous avalanche conditions, elevating the danger to “high” on all slopes.

Snowmobilers and backcountry skiers were being cautioned that human-triggered and natural avalanches are likely.

The southern mountains were forecast to receive 8 to 14 inches of snow, with 3 to 4 inches near Big Sky and 1 to 3 inches near Bozeman.

At the end of last week there were signs of danger with avalanches breaking naturally up to 1000-feet wide and 4 to 6 feet deep on many slopes at Lionhead Ridge near West Yellowstone.

In Cooke City, natural and human-triggered avalanches were large and plentiful, including a 2000-foot wide and 4 to 6 foot deep avalanche near Abundance Lake.

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For more information on current conditions, log on to www.mtavalanche.com.

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