Current Advisory

GNFAC Avalanche Advisory for Sun Mar 1, 2015

Good morning. This is Eric Knoff with the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Advisory issued on Sunday, March 1, at 7:30 a.m. Gallatin County Search and Rescue in partnership with the Friends of the Avalanche Center sponsor today’s advisory. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.


Mountain Weather: 

This morning temperatures are in the single digits above or below zero F under mostly clear skies. Winds are currently blowing 5-10 mph out of W-NW with a few stronger gusts being recorded around Big Sky. Today, quiet weather will persist over southwest Montana. Temperatures will warm into the upper teens to mid-twenties F and winds will remain light to moderate out of the W-NW. Calm and dry weather will continue over the next 24 hours, but a weak storm system is forecasted to impact the region tomorrow evening into Tuesday morning.


Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion: 

Bridger Range   Madison Range   Gallatin Range   

Lionhead Area near West Yellowstone   Cooke City

Not much has changed with the weather and snowpack over the past 24 hours. Winds have picked up slightly out of the west-northwest, which may have moved a little snow around in alpine terrain. In a few isolated locations, skiers or riders may encounter small wind slabs below upper elevation ridgelines. This problem is not widespread and will be easy to recognize and avoid.

Backcountry travelers may also find small areas of instability within the new snow. Yesterday, skiers outside of Cooke City triggered a few small slides that failed on a weakness about a foot deep. Although not particularly dangerous, these slides are a good reminder to keep the avalanche radar turned on.

Aside from a few isolated issues, the snowpack is generally stable. Yesterday, my partner and I skied around Mt. Blackmore in the northern Gallatin Range and observed no signs of instability (video). We also observed multiple people center punching the main SE face of Mt Blackmore at the same time. Although conditions are generally safe, it’s important to continue following the three main rules of backcountry travel: 1) Everyone carries rescue gear and knows how to use it. 2) Only expose one person at a time on steep slopes. 3) Always watch your partner from a safe location.

Today – generally safe avalanche conditions exist and the avalanche danger is rated LOW.


I will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning at 7:30 a.m. If you have any snowpack or avalanche observations drop us a line at mtavalanche@gmail.com or call us at 587-6984.


AVALANCHE EDUCATION and EVENTS

Take a look at our Education Calendar for all classes being offered.

1-hour Avalanche Awareness, Bozeman, REI, 6:30 - 8 p.m., Wednesday, March 11.