Good morning. This is Doug Chabot with the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Forecast issued on Wednesday, April 3rd at 6:45 a.m. Today's forecast is sponsored by Cooke City Super 8/Bearclaw Bob’s and Morrison-Maierle. This forecast does not apply to operating ski areas.
This morning a trace to 1” of snow has fallen around Lionhead and Cooke City. Under mostly cloudy skies mountain temperatures are in the low 20s and winds are east to southeast at 10-15 mph with gusts of 25 in the Bridger Range. Today will remain cloudy and temperatures will rise into the upper 30s with winds shifting southwest at 10-20 mph. A trace to an inch of snow (drizzle in the low elevations) is expected in the next 24 hours.
The snowpack is locked up and avalanches are unlikely today. Even though temperatures will rise to above freezing, cloud cover will keep the surface frozen and supportable and ward off wet avalanche activity. Eric rode around Taylor Fork yesterday and found a frozen snowpack and safe avalanche conditions.
Ian was in the northern Bridger Range on Monday (video) and noted that higher elevations or shadier aspects are still holding dry, stable snow. In the last week we’ve visited Cooke City (video), Bacon Rind (video), Taylor Fork, Beehive (video), Hyalite (video) and the Bridger Range. Our observations are remarkably similar: the snowpack is stable and our future concern will be new snow avalanches whenever we get our next snow storm.
People are having fun pushing into steeper terrain given the good conditions, but remember, avalanche risk is never zero. A small wind-drifted avalanche, like the one a snowmobiler triggered in the Bridger Range last weekend (photo), would be ruinous in high consequence terrain.
For today, the avalanche danger is rated LOW.
The Hyalite road is closed to motorized travel until May 16th. Bike and foot traffic is allowed.