- Associated Press - Saturday, December 23, 2017

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - Officials are warning skiers taking advantage of fresh snow brought by a recent winter storm to be cautious in Montana’s backcountry.

The Missoulian reports that the Flathead Avalanche Center issued an advisory for a large area of northwest Montana where more than 3 feet of dense snow fell. The center advised skiers to let the new snow settle before venturing out.

Employees at the state’s ski resorts say the snow couldn’t have come at a better time ahead of the Christmas holiday. For instance, Whitefish Mountain Resort got 28 new inches of snow during the last week, allowing staff to open another chairlift and more terrain.

Spokeswoman Riley Polumbus says the recent snowfall puts the resort in good shape for a white - and deep - Christmas.

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