Trip Planning for Bridgers

as of 5:00 am
Jan 252″ | 10-30 W
Jan 24 0″ | 15-45 W
Jan 23 0″ | 25-47 W
8100′     01/26 at 3:00
17℉
0″New
8500′   01/26 at 3:00
15℉
W - 28mph
Gusts 46mph
Bottom Line: In the Lionhead area along with the Bridger and Northern Madison Ranges 2-3” of snow fell on a mostly stable snowpack. A weak layer of surface hoar is buried under 6” of light snow near West Yellowstone, but similar to areas without the weak layer, this is not enough to pose much of a hazard outside of technical or very steep terrain. Dig and test the upper snowpack and watch for signs of isolated instability such as cracking and expose only one person at a time to avalanche terrain.
Primary Problem: Wind-Drifted Snow

Past 5 Days

Fri Jan 21

Considerable
Sat Jan 22

Moderate
Sun Jan 23

Moderate
Mon Jan 24

Low
Tue Jan 25

Low

Relevant Avalanche Activity

Bridger Range
Playground
Human-triggered Avalanche, Playground
Incident details include images
Playground
SS-ASu-R2-D1.5-I
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 45.8426, -110.9290
Caught: 1 ; Buried: 0; Killed: 0

From Obs: "While skiing the playground, a northeast aspect in the Bridgers, my friends and I released a wind slab. The slab released on a rollover and was approximately 20 ft wide and 6-12" deep at the top. The slide carried my friend about 150 ft." 


More Avalanche Details
Northern Madison
Beehive Basin
Skier triggered cornice beehive basin
Incident details include images
Beehive Basin
SS-NCu-R3-D2-O
Elevation: 9,300
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.3379, -111.3990
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From email 1/9/21: "Skier triggered cornice failure avalanche. Broke at skis 10-12 feet from the lip. No one caught or injured."


More Avalanche Details
Bridger Range
BRIDGER RANGE
Small natural and skier triggered storm slabs in Bridgers
Incident details include images
BRIDGER RANGE
SS-N-R1-D1-I
Coordinates: 45.8512, -110.9480
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Skiers in the northern Bridger Range and on the west side reported several natural and skier triggered slides breaking on the interface between the new and old snow. These slides were shallow and small.


More Avalanche Details

Relevant Photos

Displaying 1 - 40
  • This is the location where the skier came to a stop after being caught and carried by a small avalanche in the Bridger Range.

    From Obs: "While skiing the playground, a northeast aspect off the Bridgers, my friends and I released a wind slab. The slab released on a rollover and was approximately 20 ft wide and 6-12" deep at the top. The slide carried my friend about 150 ft." Photo: Anonymous

  • The crown of a small avalanche that caught and carried a skier in the Bridger Range on Sunday. 

    From Obs: "While skiing the playground, a northeast aspect off the Bridgers, my friends and I released a wind slab. The slab released on a rollover and was approximately 20 ft wide and 6-12" deep at the top. The slide carried my friend about 150 ft." Photo: Anonymous

  • The track of a small avalanche that caught and carried a skier in the Bridger Range on Sunday. 

    From Obs: "While skiing the playground, a northeast aspect in the Bridgers, my friends and I released a wind slab. The slab released on a rollover and was approximately 20 ft wide and 6-12" deep at the top. The slide carried my friend about 150 ft." Photo: Anonymous

  • A snowmobile triggered wind slab on small slope in the northern Bridgers on 1/22/22. 

  • A group in the Wolverine Cirque noted several small wet loose avalanches that occurred during recent warm weather. 

  • A view of Sacajewea Peak from the Fairy Lake road. Evidence of winds are seen on the right shoulder of the peak. Photo: GNFAC

  • Slopes on Hardscabble Peak in the northern Bridger Range show bare slopes that got blown clean by wind. Photo: GNFAC

  • In the northern Bridger Range we dug a pit at 8700 feet on a north facing slope before skiing the chute into the basin. Our stability tests did not break and all evidence pointed to a LOW danger. Photo: GNFAC

  • Settlement rings around the base of trees near Cooke City, January 15, 2022. Photo: B. Fredlund

  • Natural avalanche near Fairy Lake. Observed 1/13/22, likely broke several days prior. Photo: N. Crews

  • Looking up at the Fat Maid from Maid of the Mist basin. Strong winds over the last week have scoured the alpine, exposing lots of rock. Photo: GNFAC

  • Strong wind over the last week created this surface texture in the Bridger Range. Photo: T. Allen

  • From email 1/9/22: "Skier triggered cornice failure avalanche. Broke at skis 10-12 feet from the lip. No one caught or injured."

  • From email 1/9/22: "Skier triggered cornice failure avalanche. Broke at skis 10-12 feet from the lip. No one caught or injured."

  • It was easy to crack the thin wind slabs that formed from strong wind the last 2 days. They were not propagating, but cracking indicated potential instability on wind drifts. Photo: GNFAC

  • Strong wind in the previous 2 days sculpted the snow surface into waves of sastrugi. Photo: GNFAC

  • Wind in the last 2 days gusted 45-70 mph and stripped some starting zones down to dirt in Beehive Basin. Photo: GNFAC

  • A small skier triggered storm slab on the west side of the Bridgers. 1/6/22

    Photo: P. Hinz

  • From email (1/6/22): "Skied the Throne today. New snow instabilities. Higher density snow falling on colder snow. Saw a hand full of naturals all running on the new snow old snow interface."

    Photo: E. Knoff

  • From email (1/6/22): "Skied the Throne today. New snow instabilities. Higher density snow falling on colder snow. Saw a hand full of naturals all running on the new snow old snow interface."

    Photo: E. Knoff

  • From obs: 01/01/22: "Saw a small slide come off the ridge. We dug a pit and the wind slab was 8 inches to a foot and a half. During our snow tests it consistently broke on the week layer around a foot deep." Photo: B. Paulson

  • From obs 1/1/22: "While skinning towards the ramp we witnessed what looked like a natural slide that started right around Pete’s Pinnacle which ran down along the boundary line about 1000 feet. Unknown trigger."

  • Strong ridgetop winds transported snow onto Saddle Peak creating unstable slabs on January 1st. Photo: GNFAC

  • Strong winds on 1/1/2022 formed fresh, soft drifts. These drifts broke and cracked easily, and slid on steep slopes. Photo: GNFAC

  • We saw this natural avalanche on the north summit of Saddle Peak on 1/1/2022. It is one of at least 4 natural avalanches that broke on wind-loaded slopes on Saddle Peak in the past 3-4 days. Recent snow and wind formed slabs over weak facets which makes large avalanches possible to trigger. Photo: BBSP

  • We saw this fresh natural avalanches near Saddle Peak on 1/1/2022. Recent snow and wind formed slabs over weak facets which makes large avalanches possible to trigger. Photo: GNFAC

  • A natural avalanche of wind-loaded snow released in the "Between the Peaks" area of Saddle Peak in the Bridger Range on Christmas Eve or early Christmas morning. Photo: D Wienstein

  • A natural avalanche of wind-loaded snow released in the "Between the Peaks" area of Saddle Peak in the Bridger Range on Christmas Eve or early Christmas morning. Photo: D Wienstein

  • We intentionally triggered this 6-8" deep wind slab on Saddle Peak on December 23, 2021, E aspect at 9,000'. It showed us that recently formed wind slabs were still reactive. This hard slab formed over low density new snow which made it unstable. While not large, these slides will easily push you down and can be harmful if they push you into hazardous obstacles or terrain traps. Photo: GNFAC

  • On December 23, 2021 we went out to Saddle Peak and dug three snowpits. We found a 2-3 foot deep, generally stable snowpack with a lack of unstable buried weak layers. Photo: GNFAC

  • Cornices that formed mid-slope, indicating recent heavy wind-loading in the Bridger Range. Strong southwest wind between 12/18 and 12/19/21 drifted recent snow into hard, pillowy drifts. We avoided these drifts on steep slopes to give them a day or two to stabilize. Photo: GNFAC

  • These pillowy, hard drifts formed from strong southwest wind overnight between 12/18 and 12/19/21 in the Bridger Range. We saw minimal signs of instability, lke whumphing or cracking in these drifts, but avoided these features on steep slopes until they have more time to gain stability. Photo: GNFAC

  • On 12/16/21 A skier in a group of three triggered and was caught in this avalanche next to The Apron at Bridger Bowl. The ski area is closed and backcountry conditions exist. Nobody was injured.

    From e-mail: "We had a group of three skiing up at the Bridger Apron today. We skied a more main slope in the field north of the slope with hidden couloir, snow was very stable and has been getting a lot of tracks. For a second run we skinned up the main slope under hidden and started our run in the trees slightly south of this slope. Not many tracks over there and not a good enough evaluation of the snowpack. We were planning on skiing a northeast facing chute through the trees that had very nice looking snow similar to what we had skiied earlier. I skiied in and had about 3 amazing turns, definitely partially due to the wind loading at this aspect. After three turns my feet were taking out from under me and I got caught in a slide keeping skis perpendicular to slope for 15-20’. This avalanche carried me rapidly and cleared the snow to the rocks below in which I was able to come to a hault and watch the rest of the sluff slide past me. After looking at the conditions after, this windy aspect seemed to have a very faceted layer about 8” down that acted as the crown. No injuries, a lost ski pole in the runout which extended down the slope maybe another 40’. The wind scoop on top and seeing these facets should have been a clear sign prior to skiing. Must be more diligent even in areas of high traffic. When dropping in to ski on first turn or so I remember hearing a possible whumpf."

  • On 12/16/21 A skier in a group of three triggered and was caught in this avalanche near The Apron at Bridger Bowl. The ski area is closed and backcountry conditions exist. Nobody was injured.

  • From IG 12/12/21: @montanamountainmedicine

  • From obs: 12/12/21: "Shooting cracks and whoomphing in wind loaded areas. An approximately 15x30ft wind slab cracked along the base of a rock band and settled at the base of P2 on high fidelity. Was triggered while traversing along the rock band to gain the second pitch, 1-2 inches of facets on the ground. Wind slab of 6-36in in the gullies." Photo: M. Hearley

  • In the Bridger Range on December 10, 2021 2-3" of low density new snow was drifted into small soft slabs that were easy to trigger. Photo: GNFAC

  • This pit was dug in Hyalite Canyon near Twin Falls. It showed 2 mm facets (sugar snow) underlying the snowpack. This layer did not break in stability tests, but anticipate these grains will get weaker with time. Photo: GNFAC

  • For the Bozeman Ice Fest we investigated the Silken Falls and Avalanche Gulch gulleys. They were wind-loaded and had weak snow mid-pack that was unreactive. Avalanches in these gulleys would be deadly, so be extra vigilant in your assessment before crossing. Photo: GNFAC

  • For the Bozeman Ice Fest we investigated the Silken Falls and Avalanche Gulch gulleys. They were wind-loaded and had weak snow mid-pack that was unreactive. Avalanches in these gulleys would be deadly, so be extra vigilant in your assessment before crossing. Photo: GNFAC

WebCams


Bridger Base Area

Ridge, Looking North

Alpine Apron

Snowpit Profiles- Bridgers

 

Select a snowpit on the map to view the profile image

Weather Forecast Bridgers

Extended Forecast for

10 Miles NNE Bozeman MT

  • Overnight

    Overnight: Partly cloudy, with a steady temperature around 22. West wind around 18 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 22 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 29. Breezy, with a west wind 18 to 22 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph.

    Mostly Sunny
    and Breezy
    then Sunny

    High: 29 °F

  • Wednesday
    Night

    Wednesday Night: A 20 percent chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 14. Wind chill values as low as zero. Blustery, with a west northwest wind 16 to 22 mph, with gusts as high as 32 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow and
    Blustery

    Low: 14 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: Partly sunny, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 27. West wind 13 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.

    Becoming
    Sunny

    High: 27 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: Clear, with a low around 14. Breezy, with a southwest wind 16 to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph.

    Clear and
    Breezy

    Low: 14 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 35. South southwest wind 16 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph.

    Mostly Sunny

    High: 35 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 18. South southwest wind around 18 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 18 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 35. South southwest wind 15 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.

    Mostly Sunny

    High: 35 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 18.

    Mostly Clear

    Low: 18 °F

The Last Word

The Beacon Park at Beall Park in Bozeman and the West Yellowstone Beacon Park are up and running! Stop by to check them out and practice with your rescue gear.


  <<  This is the most recent forecast.