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Jan 31, 2013 7:46 PM by MTN News

Avalanche danger high

All that new snow has many outdoor enthusiasts anxious to get outside and hit the slopes but you may want to think twice before hitting the back country.

Experts with the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center (GNFAC) say conditions in the Bozeman area are the worst they have been this season. The danger is highest in the Bridgers and North Gallatin Mountains where there has been the most wind and snow.

"Whenever we have the combination of new snow and wind, we see wind slabs and we see an increase in avalanche activity because what happens is when the wind blows is it takes that good fluffy powder snow and it packs it down into these slabs which can be quite dense and they're more susceptible to being triggered," Said director of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center, Doug Chabot.

Chabot says while these conditions are temporary, he expects avalanche danger to remain high through the weekend.

You can check the latest avalanche conditions at the Gallatin Avalanche Center's website.

In addition to checking conditions before you head out, experts urge those who venture into the back country to never go alone and bring the proper safety equipment. You should have at least an avalanche beacon, a shovel and a probe.

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