Regional Conditions for Northern Gallatin

as of 5:00 am
May 22" | N/A
May 1 8" | N/A
Apr 30 1" | N/A
9980′     04/27 at 13:00
65.4℉
SW - 0mph
Gusts 3mph
8100′   09/24 at 16:00
35℉
0″ Depth
Bottom Line: Spring and summer weather can be highly variable in the mountains, and creates a mix of avalanche problems to watch out for. Snow conditions and stability can change drastically from day to day or hour to hour. Anticipate change and plan accordingly. Abundant snowfall over the winter and more spring snow to come will make avalanches possible well into summer. More snow and wind will create unstable dry slabs and loose snow avalanches. Above freezing temperatures, rain and intense spring sun will weaken the snowpack and create wet avalanches. See our advisory page for general spring travel advice.

Past 5 Days

Fri Apr 20

None
Mon Apr 23

None
Fri Apr 27

None
Mon Apr 30

None
Wed May 2

None

Photos- Northern Gallatin

  • Wet slab avalanche in the Centennial range. Multiple days without freezing created widespread wet slides last week (5/6-5/11). Photo: @waxeman

  • Wet slab avalanche in the Centennial range. Multiple days without freezing created widespread wet slides last week (5/6-5/11). Photo: @waxeman

  • Wet slide carnage observed off of Skyline Ridge near Cabin Creek May 11/12. Many days of above freezing temperatures created widespread wet slide activity over the previous week. Photo: B. Lukens

  • Wet slide carnage observed off of Skyline Ridge near Cabin Creek May 11/12. Many days of above freezing temperatures created widespread wet slide activity over the previous week. Photo: B. Lukens

  • Massive cornices create a few hazards as they warm and weaken under the spring heat. They become easier to trigger, can break naturally, and form dangerous, deep cracks along ridgelines. From e-mail: "The crack was up to 30' deep, and had pulled large pieces of vegetation from the ridgeline it used to be attached to." Photo: S. Reinsel

  • From e-mail: "Photo of a couple of recent wet slab avalanches, just north of Silver Gate (on Mineral Mtn.). On a south aspect, around 9100'. The one on looker's left ran on April 23rd I think, and the one on looker's right April 27 or 28th. That's all the slab avalanches I've observed with these warm temps. Not a ton of wet loose activity to be seen either. Snowpack is holding in there!" Photo: B. Fredlund

  • Natural wet loose avalanches that slid during multiple days of well above freezing temperatures. Wet loose slides like this can run long distances and carry a lot of force. Multiple days with high temperatures of 50-60 F and overnight lows in the mid-30s to 40 F created a wet snowpack and wet slab and wet loose avalanches slid naturally. Photo: GNFAC

  • This small wet slab avalanches slid during multiple days of well above freezing temperatures. Though small, it is large enough to bury a person and would carry a lot of force. Multiple days with high temperatures of 50-60 F and overnight lows in the mid-30s to 40 F created a wet snowpack, and wet slab and wet loose avalanches slid naturally. Photo: GNFAC

  • Natural wet slab avalanche that ran during multiple days of well above freezing temperatures (4/26-4/28). Multiple days with high temperatures of 50-60 F and overnight lows in the mid-30s to 40 F created a wet snowpack and wet slab and wet loose avalanches slid naturally. Photo: GNFAC

  • Wet avalanches ran naturally last week during above freezing temperatures and sunshine after the last storm. Slides like this will be possible when the snowpack softens in the afternoon and will become more likely if the snowpack doesn't freeze overnight. Wet slides can run long distance and carry a lot of force. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Recent snowfall followed by spring sunshine and above freezing temperatures created natural wet slab and wet loose activity. More slides like this are possible if temperatures do not freeze overnight, during heavy rain, or after the next snowfall. Photo: B. VandenBos

     

  • Cornices are massive and will break naturally with above freezing temperatures and hot, spring sun. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Cornices are massive through the advisory area and will break naturally with above freezing temperatures and hot, spring sun. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Cornices are a significant hazard this time of year. As temps warm above freezing, these overhanging masses of snow will become increasingly unstable. They can break farther back than you might expect and trigger large avalanches on the slopes below. They can fail naturally or with human triggers. 

  • This slide was triggered by the first skier of day off Saddle Peak. The skier was caught and carried 1,500 vertical feet. He was buried with his hand sticking out of snow. Unfortunately, he did not have a partner and was buried for over an hour. He did not survive. Photo: R. Gregoire   

  • This slide on Saddle Peak resulted in a fatality. It was triggered by a solo skier who was caught and buried. The slope was heavily wind loaded and the slide failed on a thin ice crust. Photo: R. Gregoire

  • Wet loose avalanches will be a growing concern as spring progresses. Sunshine, above freezing temps and rain can all produce dangerous wet snow avalanches. Watch for signs of instability such as roller balls, small point releases and wet snow above your boot top. Avoid being on or underneath steep slopes if signs on instability are observed. Photo: BBSP 

  • The crown ranged from 1-3' deep and was 75-100' wide. The avalanche was new, windblown snow on top of a thin ice crust. Aspect is east, slope angle is 37 degrees, and elevation is 9019'. Photo: GNFAC

  • Looking down the path with the burial location marked. Photo GNFAC

  • Looking down the path from the crown. The "X" marks the burial location. Photo: GNFAC

  • Looking uphill about half-way down the path. The crown can be seen at the skyline. Photo: GNFAC

  • The distance from the burial location to the crown line (seen at the top of path at the skyline) was 1500' vertical. The skier was buried with his hand sticking out of the snow. His head was about 1.5' from the surface.  Three rescuers got to him 75 minutes after he was caught. Photo: GNFAC

  • Large cornices loom over the slope where a skier triggered a fatal slide on Saturday (4/14) on Saddle Peak in the Bridger Range. Photo: P. Maleski

  • Both the crown and the victim's location are marked on the photo. The skier was carried 1500 vertical feet downslope and buried near the toe of the debris. Rescuers reached him 75 minutes after the slide occurred, but the avalanche was fatal. Photo: GNFAC

  • The avalanche was triggered by a solo skier, the first tracks of the day. The crown is marked, and the slide carried him down the path where he was fatally buried. Photo: GNFAC

  • A skier triggered the slide a few hundred feet from the top on a 37 degree rollover that was wind-loaded with the previous days 30" of new snow. The crown was 1-3 feet deep and 75-100 feet wide. Photo: GNFAC

  • The Bridger Bowl weather station is buried by the new snow. Photo: BBSP

  • May 3-4th, Give Big online fundraising campaign! This is our one-and-only financial appeal to our users. Check out our site at: https://www.givebiggv.org/organizations/friends-of-the-gallatin-national-forest-avalanche-center

     

  • Snow water equivalent of the snowpack at primary SNOTEL sites within the GNFAC advisroy area from October 1, 2017 through April 8, 2018.

  • These cornices at the head of Sunlight Basin in Taylor Fork are bigger than big. The snow lip is a solid 30 feet away from the true ridge crest and could easily fool a rider or skier into getting too close to the edge. We are finding similar cornices in all our ranges. As the temperatures warm these overhangs will start to lose strength. Photo: GNFAC

  • Photo: N. Truax

  • Photo: N. Truax

  • These Winnebago-sized cornices are in the Maid of the Mist cirque, but similar beasts are in every one of mountain ranges. Give these a very wide berth as a cornice fall would not be survivable. Photo: GNFAC

  • On the ski up Maid of the Mist in Hyalite we were able to get this small wind fetch to avalanche. It was a nice test slope to see if wind-loaded slopes would move. This was a "positive" result and we stuck to terrain without wind-loading. Photo: GNFAC

  • A skier found 2-6" thick wind slabs on the east face of Mt. Blackmore up Hyalite, and a cornice break (photo) that ran over 600 vertical feet down the north face. Photo: S. Casper

  • Debris from a cornice fall that pulled out a small wind slab on Mt. Bole in Hyalite (3/27). Photo: GNFAC

  • Wind-loading Monday afternoon continued into the evening and formed wind slabs at many elevations. This photo is on the Bridger ridge, south of the ski area. Photo: B. Johnsen

  • South of Cooke City, a recent slab avalanche up Republic Creek from Monday (3/26).  A wind loaded, north facing slope around 9,700'. Photo: B. Fredlund

Videos- Northern Gallatin

Weather Forecast Northern Gallatin

Extended Forecast for

14 Miles SE Gallatin Gateway MT

  • This
    Afternoon

    This Afternoon: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 40. West northwest wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.

    Chance
    T-storms

    High: 40 °F

  • Tonight

    Tonight: A chance of rain showers before 7pm, then a chance of rain and snow showers between 7pm and 8pm, then a chance of snow showers after 8pm. Some thunder is also possible.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 30. West wind 9 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 40%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.

    Chance
    Rain/Snow
    then Chance
    Snow Showers

    Low: 30 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: A chance of snow showers, possibly mixing with rain after 11am, then gradually ending.  Widespread frost between 9am and 10am.  Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 44. West wind 7 to 9 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 30%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance
    Rain/Snow
    then Sunny

    High: 44 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 32. West northwest wind 6 to 8 mph becoming south southwest in the evening.

    Mostly Clear

    Low: 32 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 54. Southwest wind 11 to 20 mph becoming west northwest in the afternoon.

    Mostly Sunny

    High: 54 °F

  • Wednesday
    Night

    Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 36.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 36 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: Partly sunny, with a high near 51.

    Partly Sunny

    High: 51 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: A slight chance of rain showers before 1am, then a slight chance of rain and snow showers between 1am and 4am, then a slight chance of snow showers after 4am.  Widespread frost, mainly after 3am.  Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 34.

    Slight Chance
    Showers then
    Slight Chance
    Rain/Snow

    Low: 34 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: A chance of rain and snow showers before 8am, then a chance of rain showers.  Areas of frost before 9am.  Otherwise, partly sunny, with a high near 45.

    Chance
    Rain/Snow
    then Chance
    Showers

    High: 45 °F

The Last Word

Have a safe and enjoyable spring and summer. See you when the flakes start to fly next Fall! -Doug, Eric, and Alex


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