Current Advisory

GNFAC Avalanche Advisory for Wed Oct 19, 2016

Good Morning. This is Alex Marienthal with the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center with early season avalanche information issued on Wednesday, October 19 at noon. Today’s bulletin is sponsored by Grizzly Outfitters, our title sponsor for the Powder Blast event this Friday. This information will be updated as conditions change.


Mountain Weather: 

A series of storms since last Friday delivered snowfall throughout the mountains of southwest Montana. Another 4 to 8 inches of snow fell last night, and there is 8 to 12 inches of dense snow on the ground throughout our advisory area. Wind has been out of the west to southwest at 15-25 mph for the past 24 hours, and temperatures this morning are in the mid-20s F. Temperatures will be in the 30s F today and rise to the upper 40s F through the weekend. Wind will remain westerly through the weekend at 10-20 mph with the exception of gusts near 30-40 mph late Thursday to early Friday. Expect showers today to taper off by this evening, and then a few brief showers Thursday and Friday night.


Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion: 

There is around one foot of dense snow measured at SNOTEL stations, and likely more snow at higher elevations. It’s time to get the skis and boards ready to slide, but don’t leave home without your avalanche beacon, shovel, and probe. Put fresh batteries in your beacon, check your shovel and probe for damage, and practice using all of them.

Slopes with the deepest snow will be the most attractive for travel, but they also have the highest potential to avalanche. Wind drifted new snow could be more than a foot deep near ridgelines and in wind-loaded gullies, where it will be possible to trigger an avalanche. Avalanches could be large enough to bury a person, and even a small slide this time of year can have large consequences due to thin snow cover and exposed rocks. Choose terrain cautiously and travel one at a time in avalanche terrain, whether climbing or descending.

Hunters should avoid avalanche terrain, as they often travel alone or without avalanche rescue gear. Small slopes can slide and easily bury a person in confined terrain features like a gully or a steep road-cut. Avalanches have caught and injured skiers, hunters, and climbers during the early-season before. Travel and prepare for avalanches like you would in the middle of winter.

We will update this information as conditions change. In the meantime, we need your observations, so if you get out please drop us a line at or call 406-587-6984.



Friday, October 21, 6:30 pm @ Emerson Cultural Center, Bozeman.

Grizzly Outfitters of Big Sky is title sponsor of this year's 18th Annual Powder Blast. Mystery Ranch, World Boards, and Spark R&D, are our other key supporters. Join us for the best fundraiser of the year! All proceeds benefit the Friends of the Avalanche Center which supports avalanche awareness, education and information throughout southwest Montana.

Your $30 donation gets you an unforgettable evening at the Emerson Cultural Center.

Beer from Katabatic Brewing Company; Wine from Montana Ale Works; Dinner by Bountiful Table; Music by DJ Missy O'Malley

And the best silent auction of outdoor gear in the valley!

Upcoming Events and Education


25 October, 7 p.m. at the Ellen Theatre: Monumental movie. More info HERE.

2 November, 6-7:30 p.m. at REI: Avalanche Awareness.

9 November, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at MSU Sub Ballroom A: Thinking Local Skiing Global: MSU Snow and Avalanche Workshop 2016. More info HERE.

16 November, 6-7:30 p.m. at MSU Yellowstone Hall: Avalanche Awareness.

30 Nov. and 1 Dec., 7-9:30 p.m. at MSU Sub Ballroom B: Introduction to Avalanches with Field Course. Sign up HERE.


16 November, 7-8:30 p.m. at Grizzly Outfitters: Avalanche Awareness.


15 November, 6-7:30 p.m. at The Basecamp: Avalanche Awareness.