Regional Conditions for Cooke City Area

as of 5:00 am
Today2" | 10-20 SE
Feb 21 T-1" | 10-20 SE
Feb 20 0" | 10-20 SE
10,000′     02/22 at 22:00
-1.7℉
SE - 6mph
Gusts 10mph
9100′   02/22 at 23:00
0℉
130″ Depth
Bottom Line: Around Cooke City there is blowing snow, wind-loading and also a thin layer of facets 1.5-2’ under the surface. Between wind-loading and a buried weak layer, avalanches are possible.

Past 5 Days

Sun Feb 18

High
Mon Feb 19

Considerable
Tue Feb 20

Moderate
Wed Feb 21

Moderate
Today

Moderate

Photos- Cooke City Area

  • Skiers up Mt Blackmore triggered small wind slabs near the ridgelines. These slides were small, but could produce high consequences if triggered in steep terrain. Photo: C. Ronemus 

  • Cornices have grown very large and are severely overhung. They sometimes break much further back than anticipated and can take you for a nasty, sometimes fatal ride. Plus they are excellent at triggering avalanches in the wind pillows below them. This photo was taken on the ridge north of Bridger Bowl. Photo: GNFAC

  • A skier observed large cornices north of the Bridger Bowl boundary, despite the east wind several days ago eroding some snow at higher elevations. Always give these beasts a wide berth, and remember that they can break farther back than expected. Photo: H. Coppolillo

  • Cornices break easily and have killed many unsuspecting people. They fool us into thinking we are on solid ground when, in fact, we are standing on a thick diving board of snow. Give cornices a wide berth.

  • This natural avalanche was observed on an east aspect around 9000' on Mt. Republic.  Crown estimated at 4-6' deep, on a rocky wind-loaded convex rollover.  3" of SWE and heavy winds have drifted wind slabs at various elevations. Photo: B. Fredlund

  • A widespread natural avalanche cycle occurred in the mountains west of Cooke City in Yellowstone National Park. This photo was taken on the 12th of February, so these slides likely occurred last weekend. What's interesting is the mountains right outside of Cooke City did not see this kind of activity. Photo B. Fredlund 

  • This large, natural avalanche occured likely when the avalanche Warning was issued on Thursday or Friday (2/8 and 2/9) of last week. Another view of it: https://www.mtavalanche.com/images/18/natural-avalanche-near-republic-pass  Photo: S. Logan

  • This slide caught and buried a rider on Saturday 2/10. His partners found him with just one finger sticking out and uncovered his face in 30 seconds. His sled was buried 4-6' deep. The slide broke 2-4' deep on a south aspect at 8,800'. Estimated 40 degrees steep. Photo: F. Madsen

  • Avalanche observed Saturday (2/10). Likely ran a day or two earlier during heavy snowfall. Photo: G. Kuehn

  • Cornice along ridgeline between Mt. Republic and the Fin. Give these monsters a lot of space as they can break farther back than expected. Photo: G. Kuehn

  • Avalanche near Wall Lake north of Cooke City. Observed Saturday 2/10 and likely ran during recent heavy snowfall. Photo: R. Taylor

  • Large natural avalanche on Mt. Republic. This is a heavily wind loaded slope as indicated by large overhanging cornices, and likely broke at the end of the recent storm that dropped 6 feet of snow (6" SWE) in seven days. Photo: B. Fredlund

  • Skiers saw this natural avalanche occur on Friday (2/9) on a W-SW aspect around 9,500' near Yellowstone N.P. Photo: B. Fredlund

  • A cornice at the front door of the Round Lake Warming Hut is a sure sign that it's been snowing and blowing a ton, hence the Avalanche Warning! Photo: GNFAC

  • This natural avalanche occurred late in the day on Feb 5 (Mon) at 9800' on the northeast face of Sheep Mountain outside Cooke City. This was the tail end of the storm and on the day we issued an Avalanche Warning. Photo: J. Schutz

  • On Tuesday, Feb 6, "Woke up this morning to a fresh deep slab avalanche that was triggered by a cornice drop sometime early this morning on east Woody Ridge.... Estimated D3.5 R4... This path has had several avalanches this season, but the crown looks to be at least 10' tall on lookers right." Photo: B. Zavora

  • Eric Knoff and Doug Chabot talk about how steep a slope you need to dig a pit on to get good data. The answer is, "Not that steep".

  • Natural avalanche east of Peak 9595' in YNP. Photo B. Fredlund

  • A small avalanche low on Baronette Peak. This is to the left of a popular climb, Dancing with Hippos. Small avalanches are especially dangerous to ice climders. Photo: B. Fredlund

  • A skier triggered this avalanche on Saturday (2/3). It was a wind slab about 18” deep, 150’ wide and ran about 300-400 vertical feet. From e-mail: "Strange thing is that was only about a 25 degree slope, possibly 28 near the crown. One friend was caught in the slide and rode down the path on some of the blocks. Said i‎t was so slow moving it creeped down the hill." Photo: Anonymous 

  • The areas circled in red show examples of cross-loaded slopes and commonly wind loaded areas near ridgelines (below large cornices). These types of terrain should be avoided after heavy loading from recent wind and snow. This is the east face of Miller Mtn. near Cooke City. Photo: G. Turnage

  • Surface hoar buried 1-2' deep is showing signs of instability near Cooke City. This was an ECTP15. This layer is not unstable on a lot of slopes, but could produce large avalanche with heavy loading from more snow and wind. Photo: GNFAC

  • Check out this blog post by Evelyn Lees at the Utah Avalanche Center on “Avalanche Fatalities During Uphill Travel.” One third of tourers die on the ascent, a surprisingly high statistic. Photo: C. Pruden

  • This avalanche released Monday night on a northwest facing slope (9,700') at the north end of Woody Ridge. Wind-loading clearly was a factor in pulling out this deep avalanche. A few hundred feet wide, with a crown to be estimated at 8-10' at it's deepest.  Photo: B. Fredlund

  • It feels good to be living in the snowy "Haves" vs. "Have not" group. Look at the blue squares clustered in southwest Montana. We have over 125% of average snow water content and Cooke City has over 150%! Whoop, whoop.

  • A skier triggered this 40' wide, 1-2' deep soft slab avalanche from lower angle terrain above. It is on an E aspect near 8,500' outside Cooke City. Photo: K. Miller

  • A skier triggered this 30' wide, 2' deep soft slab avalanche from lower angle terrain nearby. It is on an E-SE aspect near 9,000' outside Cooke City. Photo: B. Fredlund

  • A couple of big avalanches observed on Mt. Hornaday (in Yellowstone Park). These avalanches occurred on S, SE aspects around 9,100', most likely last Friday (1/19). Photo: B. Fredlund

     
  • Southwest of Silver Gate (between Amphitheater Mtn. and Abiathar Peak), a natural avalanche broke from this last storm, likely on Saturday.  It's a northerly aspect around 8,200' with a crown depth of approx. 3-5'.  Photo: B. Fredlund
     
  • This avalanche was seen on Saturday (1/20) after the storm cleared. The new/old snow interface is where instabilities were most prevalent. Photo: Kt Miller

  • This avalanche was observed on 1/21 and looks to be natural. It is on a wind loaded, east facing slope. Photo: S. Strenge

  • A layer of surface hoar was buried by the recent snowfall (1/19) at Lionhead. This layer was observed through most of our advisory area prior to this storm, and should be searched for by digging 1-2' deep before riding in avalanche terrain. Photo: GNFAC

  • This avalanche near Pebble Creek is on a west facing slope at 9,000' and likely occurred yesterday (1/16). Collapses were reported in the area too. Photo: B. Zavora

  • This avalanche likely released on Jan 12 and is estimated to be 3' deep near the top of the slope and 8' deep lower down. Photo: B. Fredlund

  • This avalanche likely released on Jan 12 and is estimated to be 3' deep near the top of the slope and 8' deep lower down. Photo: B. Fredlund

  • This avalanche likely released on Jan 12 and is estimated to be 3' deep near the top of the slope and 8' deep lower down. Photo: B. Fredlund

  • More snow = more avalanches. Graphic is snowpack change in inches of water since 10/1/17. The storm that ended Saturday is the steep increase at the end of each line. Large avalanches were triggered during and after that storm and remain possible for a few days.

  • Strong wind on Sunday night loaded a few slopes. This avalanche released off Scotch Bonnet on a southwest facing slope. Photo: GNFAC

  • Strong wind (NW) Sunday night scoured some slopes and loaded others. The slopes above Henderson Bench were raked clean of powder. Photo: GNFAC

Weather Forecast Cooke City Area

Extended Forecast for

2 Miles NNE Cooke City MT

  • Tonight

    Tonight: Isolated snow showers.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around -7. Wind chill values as low as -20. Southeast wind around 6 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 20%.

    Isolated Snow
    Showers

    Low: -7 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: Isolated snow showers after 11am.  Mostly sunny, with a high near 18. Wind chill values as low as -20. Light west wind becoming west southwest 5 to 9 mph in the afternoon.  Chance of precipitation is 20%.

    Isolated Snow
    Showers

    High: 18 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: Scattered snow showers, mainly after 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 1. Wind chill values as low as -20. West southwest wind 13 to 15 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.

    Scattered
    Snow Showers

    Low: 1 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: Snow likely, mainly after 11am.  Mostly cloudy and cold, with a high near 15. Wind chill values as low as -15. West wind 14 to 20 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of around 2 inches.

    Snow Likely

    High: 15 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: Snow likely, mainly before 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 2. West wind 8 to 15 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of around 3 inches.

    Snow Likely

    Low: 2 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: A 40 percent chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy and cold, with a high near 15. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    High: 15 °F

  • Sunday
    Night

    Sunday Night: A 50 percent chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 10. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 10 °F

  • Monday

    Monday: A 50 percent chance of snow.  Cloudy, with a high near 20.

    Chance Snow

    High: 20 °F

  • Monday
    Night

    Monday Night: A 40 percent chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 5.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 5 °F

The Last Word

A snowmobiler was caught and killed in an avalanche in Idaho, near the Wyoming border north of Alpine on Tuesday, February 20. This is the 3rd avalanche in SE Idaho since the beginning of the year. The East Idaho News has a preliminary report.


  <<  This is the most recent advisory.