Snowmobilers, cross-country skiers and all other winter backcountry enthusiasts should use extreme caution going into the weekend.

The National Weather Service has issued an avalanche warning for west central Montana. Areas affected include the Bitterroot, Rattlesnake, southern Missions and southern Swan Mountains near Seeley Lake.

The recent heavy snow and rain combined with wind will create widespread areas of unstable snow. The risk of both human-triggered and natural avalanches has increased, especially on slopes steeper than about 30 degrees.

But please note: The National Weather Service wants to emphasize that the warning does NOT apply to operating ski areas where avalanche mitigation measures are performed.

We're trying to scare the crap out of you. We just want you to use common sense and extra caution this weekend.