GNFAC Avalanche Advisory for Fri Oct 5, 2018

Not the Current Advisory

Good Afternoon. This is Alex Marienthal with pre-season avalanche, weather, and event information for the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center on Friday, October 5th. This bulletin is sponsored by Grizzly Outfitters, our title sponsor for the Powder Blast event on October 26th.

Mountain Weather

Like it or not, winter made its first appearance overnight. The mountains near Bozeman and Big Sky got 6-8” of snow, and near West Yellowstone and Cooke City got 2-4”. Temperatures this afternoon are in the high 20s to low 30s F with wind at 5-15 mph out of the west-southwest. This weekend, high temperatures will reach the upper 30s with lows in the 20s F. Wind will be northerly at 5-15 mph. Snow is expected in the mountains Saturday afternoon through Sunday. Most areas will get 2-5” with up to 8” possible near Cooke City by the end of Sunday.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion

All Regions

If you venture to the mountains this weekend, whether hunting for turns or for animals, pay attention to the possibility of avalanches. Slopes that hold the most snow and the best riding conditions are the most likely place to trigger an avalanche. A small slide this time of year can cause season ending injuries if it carries you into the many exposed rocks. Avalanches have caught and injured skiers, hunters, and climbers during the early-season. Travel and prepare for avalanches like you would in the middle of winter.

  • Equip yourself with all the tools you normally travel with mid-winter: beacon, shovel and probe at a minimum. Helmets are especially helpful with rocky runout zones and thin coverage.
  • Travel one at a time in avalanche terrain.
  • Small avalanches can be season-ending affairs at best and deadly at their worst. Be careful of getting swept into rocks or buried deeply in gullies or carried off cliffs. All of these have occurred early season in Montana.
  • Avoid steep slopes with thick drifts of snow. These slopes are the most inviting because they have full coverage for skiing, but they are also the likeliest area to trigger a slide.
  • Cracking and collapsing of the snow is bulls-eye information that the snow is unstable.

There are two things you can do right now to prepare yourself for successful backcountry travel. First, read this accident report from October 2012 in the northern Bridger Range. It’s chock full of useful lessons. Second, plan to attend one of our avalanche education courses listed HERE.

This month we are preparing for winter, scheduling avalanche classes, and setting up weather stations. If you get outside send us an observation via our website, email (, phone (406-587-6984), or Instagram (#gnfacobs).

Powder Blast Fund-Raiser

Tickets HereFriday, October 26th at 6:30 p.m. at the Emerson Cultural Center.

Grizzly Outfitters of Big Sky is title sponsor of this year's 20th Annual Powder Blast. Mystery Ranch, World Boards, Community Food Co-op, Highline Partners and Spark R&D are key sponsors along with Alpine Orthopedics, Stronghold Fabrication, Werner Wealth Management, Scott Lawson Dentistry, and Knoff Group Real Estate. Additional support comes from Javaman, Edward Jones, Massive Design, Bountiful Table and Katabatic Brewing.

Beer from Katabatic Brewery and Wine from Montana Ale Works
by Bountiful Table
by Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs and the best silent auction of outdoor gear in the valley!

Upcoming Avalanche Education and Events

Events and Education Calendar

The Last Word

There are two things you can do right now to prepare yourself for successful backcountry travel. First, read this accident report from October 2012 in the northern Bridger Range. It is chock full of useful lessons. Second, look over our avalanche education courses which are listed below and HERE.

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