GNFAC Avalanche Forecast for Fri Apr 9, 2021

Not the Current Forecast

Good Morning. This is Ian Hoyer with the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Forecast on Friday, April 9th at 7:00 a.m. Today’s forecast is sponsored by Bridger Bowl. This forecast does not apply to operating ski areas.

Bridger Bowl is closed and backcountry conditions exist (video). There is no avalanche mitigation or ski patrol rescue. Please stay clear of work areas, snowmobiles, chair lifts and other equipment. 

Mountain Weather

There are 3-6” of new snow in the Madison Range, Gallatin Range, and near West Yellowstone. Only 1-2” fell in the Bridger Range and near Cooke City. Temperatures are in the teens F. Winds are 15-25 mph with gusts of 30-40 out of the west and northwest. Similar winds will continue today, with temperatures rising into the 30s F under mostly sunny skies. The next chance for precipitation is tomorrow afternoon.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion

Wind drifts of new snow can avalanche with the weight of a skier or rider today. These slides will mostly be small, but watch out for deeper drifts where avalanches could be large enough to bury someone. Pay close attention to the texture of the surface snow. If you find cohesive, stiff, windblown snow, check to see how deep the drift is and how well bonded that drift is to the old snow surface before getting onto steep slopes.

As the strong spring sun hits the new snow, it will rapidly lose cohesion and you will be able to trigger wet loose avalanches. These slides will be confined to the new snow, but may run long distances on hard crusts. Rollerballs and pinwheels are signs that wet loose avalanches are imminent. Wet loose avalanches will be the largest and most problematic on slopes where the new snow is deepest. Even small avalanches could push you off cliffs or into trees and slides may gain a surprising amount of volume as the new snow gets wet for the first time.

The avalanche danger today is MODERATE today in Gallatin Range, Madison Range, and Lionhead area.


With only a dusting of new snow in the Bridger Range and near Cooke City, large avalanches are unlikely.  The same concerns exist as in the rest of the advisory area, but less new snow means any avalanche you do trigger will be smaller. Consider the consequences of even a small windslab or wet loose avalanche if you’re planning to ride in very steep or extreme terrain. If you do find a deeper drift or more new snow than expected, a larger avalanche could break. Tone down your terrain choices accordingly. 

The snowpack is mostly stable and the avalanche danger is LOW.

If you get out, please send us your observations no matter how brief. You can submit them via our website, email (, phone (406-587-6984), or Instagram (#gnfacobs).


Upcoming Avalanche Education and Events

See our education calendar for an up-to-date list of all local classes.

The Last Word

We will end regular forecasts this Sunday and will begin issuing weather, snowpack and avalanche updates every Monday and Friday as well as updates to social media through April. Avalanches will still be possible if there is snow on the ground. Remain vigilant with safe travel practices and snowpack assessments for the duration of your riding season.

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