Mt. Jumbo Stable – Wind and Warmer Temperatures Coming
As the temperatures begin to warm this week, the many layers of snow piled on the sides of Mt. Jumbo will begin to shift, so authorities are watching closely while the area is still closed to the public.
Missoula City Fire Chief Jeff Brandt said the weekend was uneventful, thanks to people staying off the mountain.
“It’s not our intent to send Travis Craft and his team up on the mountain again until we receive some more precipitation,” said Brandt. “We’ll just continue the closures up there and try to keep anything from triggering another avalanche in and around that area. We have had some high winds up in the mountaintops, and that has shifted most of the snow to where it’s going to go. We don’t expect the conditions to really change on the layers up on top until we get some warmer weather and those layers start to collapse, so we still have dangerous conditions up there.”
Brandt confirmed that a mini-slide occurred late Friday following the press conference.
“There were a couple of slides indicated that next day on the bottom third of the slope and ran for a couple hundred feet,” he said. “Most of it ended up in folks’ back yards. It’s important for people to know that even those smaller slides could result in some bodily injury if you’re out and around that area.”
Brandt said avalanche danger is widespread throughout the western Montana mountains.
“In 2014, we helped folks dig out from some slides in the South Hills area that affected houses over there, and we helped them dig out from around their houses,” he said. “That avalanche danger is certainly not just local, but throughout the area whether people are snowmobiling, cross country skiing, snowshoeing or just recreating in the hills, you should certainly pay attention to what’s going on.”
The Mount Jumbo area closure will continue until the danger of avalanches has passed.