We headed into the Whitefish Range keen to keep our slope angles mellow in order to avoid the persistent slab problem that's been so slippery lately. Our tour plan kept us at or under 30 degrees for the day given the uncertainty and fickle nature of feedback from our various layers of buried scaries.
Precip was inconsistent during the day, but enough snain came down that we found a light zipper crust on all west aspects while descending. Temps were just below freezing, with overcast sky and light/moderate SW winds that increased in intensity as we gained elevation. Our pit at 6300ft on a SW aspect in an open area showed no signs of instabilty or propogation, though we did have numerous locallized, audible collapses, primarily in more treed, sheltered locations. Above 6400ft in open areas, wind had clearly affected the snow and was creating small lenses of medium density.
And though zipper crusts are rarely useful, we speculated that the one we experienced might help reduce AST with the winds beginning to kick up as we left.
Forecast Hotline: 406.257.8402
Call or text an observation: 406.66AVYOB