Current Advisory

GNFAC Avalanche Advisory for Thu Sep 21, 2017

Good Afternoon. This is pre-season avalanche, weather, and event information for the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center on Thursday, September 21st. This bulletin is sponsored by The Friends of the Avalanche Center and the Powder Blast event on October 27th, 2017.

Mountain Weather: 

It is the last day of summer and area SNOTEL stations show up to 10 inches of snow on the ground. The mountains received 3-5” water equivalent precipitation over the past week, which totaled 2-4 feet of dense snow at high elevations. Temperatures have been high 20s to 30s F, with winds south to westerly at 10-20 mph and gusts to 40-50 mph.

Fall will begin with well below average temperatures in the 20s F, and snow above 4000 feet. Valley rain this afternoon will become snow at all elevations early Friday morning. By Friday evening the mountains could have 10-15” of new snow with 2 feet in the highest ranges. Warmer, drier weather returns Sunday through next week.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion: 

The saying with every winter’s first storm (or summer’s last) is, “If there’s enough snow to ride, there’s enough snow to avalanche.” A phrase as worthy of seasonal repetition as the classic ski film, The Blizzard of Aahhh’s. In addition to watching new and classic ski films this fall, sharpen your avalanche skills at various classes and events, listed below and HERE.

A few feet of new snow in the mountains makes avalanches possible. Hunters, skiers, and hikers should travel cautiously where snow is deep and wind-drifted. Last weekend, an avalanche was observed in the Tobacco Roots that was large enough to injure or bury a person (photo). Here are some things to consider when you head to the mountains.

  • Everyone in your group should each carry a beacon, shovel, and probe. Put fresh batteries in your beacon, check your probe and shovel for damage, and know how to use them.
  • Expose only one person at a time in avalanche terrain, whether climbing or descending.
  • Avoid steep slopes with thick slabs of wind-drifted snow, or if there is collapsing or cracking of the snow.
  • If you are unsure of snow stability, travel in terrain less steep than ~32 degrees.
  • Small slides can cause serious trauma if they push you into rocks or trees, and can bury a person in small terrain traps like confined gullies, road cuts, or creek beds.

We are preparing for winter, scheduling avalanche classes, and setting up weather stations. Drop a line if you get out in the hills and have any avalanche or snow observations to share, e-mail or call 406-587-6984.


Powder Blast Fund-raiser

27 October, 6:30 p.m. at The Emerson Cultural Center. Tickets and Info

Grizzly Outfitters of Big Sky is title sponsor of this year's 19th Annual Powder Blast. Mystery Ranch, World Boards, Community Food Co-op 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!

Events and Education Calendar - Stay tuned as we will update our calendar with more classes over the next few months.

5 October, Avalanche Awareness @ MSP Ski Movie, 6:30 p.m. at Emerson Center

11 October, MSU Snow and Avalanche Workshop, 5-9 p.m. at M.S.U. Free event! Info Here

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

6 December, Avalanche Awareness, 6-7:30 p.m. at REI Bozeman

7 December, Avalanche Awareness and Beacon Practice, 6-8 p.m. at Beall Park, Bozeman

Nov. 29, 30 and Dec. 2 or 3, Introduction to Avalanches w/ Field Day, Info and Register Here

Jan. 12 and 13, Companion Rescue Clinic, Info and Register

Jan. 17, 18 and 20 or 21, Introduction to Avalanches w/ Field Day, Info and Register Here

Jan. 24, 25 and 27, Advanced Avalanche Workshop w. Field Day, Info and Register Here

Feb. 9 and 10, Companion Rescue Clinic, Info and Register

  <<   This is the most recent advisory.