Good Morning. This is Doug Chabot with early season avalanche and weather information for the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center on Monday, November 19th. This bulletin is sponsored by The Friends of the Avalanche Center and Highline Partners and will be updated on Friday unless conditions change.
The mountains have not gotten new snow over the weekend. Under partly cloudy skies temperatures are in the low 20s and winds are west at 15-30 mph. Sunny skies are forecasted through Wednesday with mountain temperatures in the 30s and light southwest winds. On Thanksgiving expect partly cloudy skies and cooler temperatures with an increasing chance of snowfall on Friday and Saturday.
Friday’s snowstorm dropped 5-7” in the northern ranges and 2-3” in the southern areas with westerly wind (photo, photo). Since then, the only avalanche activity reported has been new snow sluffing with ski cuts (incident). There have been no avalanches breaking on deeper layers. Throughout our forecast area we have a hodge-podge of surface texture: surface hoar (photo), small faceted (weak) grains and crusts on sunny aspects. Given the snow surface may change a few more times we won’t know the stability ramifications until it gets buried.
The deepest snow is in the northern mountains and Cooke City (2-4’) which is also where most of our field observations are from. Overall stability is good; however, an occasional snowpit test shows a weak layer of facets breaking clean in the snowpack (snowpit profile). Treat this as a reminder to dig, test and not make assumptions about what lies under your feet. We are still forming an initial impression on snow structure and stability, and the observations and pictures sent to us are extremely valuable.
Upcoming Avalanche Education and Events
Our education calendar is full of awareness lectures and field courses. Check it out: Events and Education Calendar.
November 26, MSU Snow and Avalanche Workshop, 5-9pm at MSU SUB Ballroom A
November 29, 30 and Dec 1, 2or 8, Intro to Avalanche w/ Field Day, more info here
Every Friday and Saturday, Rescue Training and Snowpack Update. Friday 6:30-7:30 p.m. location TBD. Saturday anytime between 10-2 @ Round Lake.
Practice with your rescue gear, and test your partner’s skills. Put fresh batteries in your beacon and check your shovel and probe for any damage, and replace them if needed.