Regional Conditions for Bridgers

as of 5:00 am
Today4″ | 15-30 WSW
Jan 20 7″ | 20-30 W
Jan 19 2″ | 20-30 W
8100′     1/21 at 6:00
21 ℉
4.2″New
8500′   at 600
20 ℉
W - 18 mph
Gusts 26mph
Bottom Line: 7-9” of heavy new snow (.7-1.3” SWE) will create the best skiing since 2018, and it will create dangerous avalanche conditions. A scary combination. Signs of instability like cracking, collapsing and natural avalanches will be clues that the snowpack is unstable. In the absence of these clues, I would still resist the temptation ride steeper slopes and let the snowpack adjust. Avoid travel on and underneath avalanche terrain today.

Past 5 Days

Wed Jan 16

Low
Thu Jan 17

Low
Fri Jan 18

Moderate
Sat Jan 19

Moderate
Sun Jan 20

High

Avalanche Activity- Bridgers

Bridger Range
Frazier Basin
Skier triggered in Frazier Basin
Incident details include images
Frazier Basin
SS-ASr-R2-D1.5-I
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 45.9227, -110.9750
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0
More Avalanche Details
Bridger Range
Saddle Peak
Skier/cornice triggered south summit of Saddle Peak
Saddle Peak
SS-NC-R1-D2
Coordinates: 45.7935, -110.9360
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Forecaster note: From road on drive down at 1400. Used binoculars to confirm. Saw skier/cornice triggered slide off south summit of Saddle Peak. looked like it ran down the south-central chute 1/3-1/2 way, but visibility was hard to confirm. May have gone farther. Didn't propagate wide. looked like within new snow. kind of a large volume loose snow slide. R1-D2.


More Avalanche Details
Bridger Range
Argentina Bowl
Natural avalanche in Argentina Bowl
Incident details include images
Argentina Bowl
SS-N-R2-D2-U
Elevation: 8,600
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.7874, -110.9360
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Forecaster note: From road on drive back from the Throne/northern Bridgers we saw a series of large, R2-D2 avalanche crowns (overlapping) on lookers left of center Argentina Bowl below cornices, near steep rocky cliffs in center. Used binoculars to confirm. Also noted what looked like skier/cornice triggered slide off south summit of Saddle Peak, and maybe a crown on center of Saddle NE face.


More Avalanche Details

Photos- Bridgers

Displaying 1 - 40 of 4.61168601843E+18
  • The Bridger Range got 8-10" of new snow overnight (1/19-1/20) on top of 4-6" of snow from Friday (1/18). Last night's snow was equal to 1-1.5" of snow water equivalent. We got stable and unstable results in stability tests, but this heavy new load alone is enough to indicate large avalanches can break within or below this heavy snow. Photo: GNFAC

  • This crown was part of a human triggered slide that caught and partially buried a skier near Fairy Lake in the northern Bridgers. The skier triggered the slide from low on the slope and was buried up to his chest. Fortunately, he was uninjured and able to dig himself out. Photo: GNFAC 

  • Skiers near the south boundary of Bridger Bowl observed this natural slide on Saddle Peak below the Football Field. An intense shot of precipitation yesterday created unstable conditions, mainly on steep wind loaded slopes. This slide only involved the new snow and did not break into deeper layers. Fortunately, nobody was involved with this slide. Photo: N. Corwin 

  • Conditions are firm and wind hammered in the northern Bridgers. Slide for life conditions are just as much of a hazard as avalanches. Although conditions are generally stable, all steep slopes should be assessed before dropping in. Photo: GNFAC 

  • Skiers on the west side of the Bridgers found poor structure and signs of instability on Sunday. From the email: "We found a soft 4 finger layer about a foot thick over 6 to 12 inches of large grained facets that wouldn’t let us isolate a column. As we skinned up, we experienced whoomphing and cracking in the snow." Photo: P. Hinz

  • This graph shows snow water equivalent (SWE) by date at the primary SNOTEL sites that we use in the GNFAC region. From October 1st, 2018 to January 12th, 2019. Steeper lines indicate bigger storms and flatter lines indicate periods of little to no snow. A large storm at the beginning of Novermber laid down a 1-3 foot base. Relatively dry and cold weather through November caused much of that snow to become weak. This weak snow was buried by a series of storms. Avalanches were seen during and following many of these storms. During dry weather between storms, more weak layers formed on the surface of the snowpack and were subsequently buried. (Graph created by GNFAC from NRCS provisional data).

  • Skiers found a variable snowpack near Frazier Basin in the northern Bridgers. This south-facing slope had a foot of facets near the ground, which was not present on a nearby northern aspect. Photo: Unknown

  • February 2, King and Queen of the Ridge at Bridger Bowl (fundraiser). Register with Bridger to hike in the event, and create a pledge page to raise funds with your Ridge laps.

  • Snowpit in the crown of an avalanche that occurred on Saturday (1/5) near Ross Peak. Likely triggered by a snowmobiler as they rode downhill on an adjacent slope. link below for more details. Photo: GNFAC

  • This avalanche was on a northeast slope of Ross Peak. The observation reported "very firm thick wind slabs with ground level facets" nearby. Photo: J. Johnson

  • This avalanche was on a northeast slope of Ross Peak. The observation reported "very firm thick wind slabs with ground level facets" nearby. Photo: J. Johnson

  • Riders observed this slide happen on Saturday (1/5) in the northern Bridger Range, near Battle Ridge/The Throne. 

  • Riders observed this slide happen on Saturday (1/5) in the northern Bridger Range, near Battle Ridge/The Throne. 

  • Multiple avalanches released on wind-loaded slopes in the Bridger Range south of Bridger Bowl. The largest propagated a few hundred feet wide on Bridger Peak. Smaller slabs released in the Pinnacles and in Argentina bowl. Photo: A. Schauer

  • "A 4-14" deep by 30ft wide slab released naturally? below dry martha, we think this morning (1/3/19). it ran approx 300ft over the bottom cliff and stopped near the south bowl traverse." Photo: BBSP

  • This pit was dug in the same general area as the natural avalanche shown in part (1) of this observation. The pit shows a faceted snowpack capped by the recent storm snow.  Photo: A. Pohl

  • Skiers in the northern Bridgers noticed this natural slab avalanche that released during the most recent storm cycle.  Photo: A. Pohl

  • Skiers near Blackmore found the new snow to be failing at the new/old snow interface. They were able to trigger this soft slab of new snow with a ski pole whack. Photo: G. Antonioli

  • Snow bikers in the northern Gallatin Range found unstable test results on the early December facet layer (12/30). "While snow biking... We dug a snow pit at 9100 ft elevation & discovered a weak layer that propagated at 28 on the ECT test about 18 inches down. The snow below that area was all loosely faceted." Photo: J. Polus

  • We rode into the 2nd Yellowmule of Buck Ridge and found 2 instabilities: new snow, and facets that formed in early December. The facets are buried 1.5' under the surface and broke with an ECTP24. Two weeks ago we dug in the same spot and got ECTP10. Things are slowly getting stronger, but this weekend's snowstorm may be enough to break it and avalanche. Photo: GNFAC

  • Skiers observed debris below the Banana Couloir on Ross Peak from an avalanche that failed during the most recent storm cycle. Photo: G. Antonioli

  • After receiving over a foot of snow in the past few days, skiers in the Bridgers were able to trigger a wind-loaded test slope near the Playground. With more snow in the forecast, storm slabs and wind slabs will remain sensitive over the next few days. Photo: G. Antonioli

  • Snow that fell in the Bridger Range on Thursday (12/27) was very lightweight and low density. This snow could easily sluff off steep slopes and wind will blow this snow into fresh wind slabs. Photo: GNFAC

  • Saddle Peak is backcountry terrain located south of Bridger Bowl ski area's boundary. Hazards are not mitigated by patrol and there are no patrol rescue services. You should have the necessary skills and knowledge about snowpack and safe travel before entering this terrain. Photo: GNFAC

  • On Saddle Peak, strong west wind (Friday) stripped the ridgetop of uncompacted snow that left elevated ski tracks and pole plants behind. Photo: GNFAC

  • This wind slab released as a result of an intentional ski cut. The initial slab that released was approximately 100 feet wide with a 6-12" crown. It triggered a larger slab that was 300 feet wide and ran close to 2000'. More information in the avalanche activity list. P: M. Cohen

  • This wind slab released as a result of an intentional ski cut. The initial slab that released was approximately 100 feet wide with a 6-12" crown. It triggered a larger slab that was 300 feet wide and ran close to 2000'. More information in the avalanche activity list. P: M. Cohen

  • This wind slab released as a result of an intentional ski cut. The initial slab that released was approximately 100 feet wide with a 6-12" crown. It triggered a larger slab that was 300 feet wide and ran close to 2000'. More information in the avalanche activity list. P: M. Cohen

  • Natural slide on Northern wall of the Hourglass in Northern Bridgers. No tracks in or out. Crown looked to be 8-10” deep and 25-30ft wide. Photo: N. Baird

  • This wind-loaded slope was triggered Sunday morning (12/16) by a snowmobiler. The debris was hard slabs of wind-drifted snow. The avalanche broke on a layer of small sized facets that formed during the frigid, clear weather 10 days ago. No one was caught. Photo: GNFAC

  • We found unstable stability test scores (ECTP 11) in this pit. And this drift collapsed with an audible "whumph" and cracks 30 feet wide. A buried layer of surface hoar and facets collapsed under a hard slab that formed from strong winds last night. Photo: GNFAC

  • Crack in a drift that collapsed 30 feet wide, accompanied by an audible "whumph", as we skinned over it. 12/15/18 West side of Bridger Range. Recent strong winds formed hard slabs over weak surface hoar and facets. Photo: GNFAC

  • This drift collapsed and cracked 30 feet wide, accompanied by an audible "whumph", as we skinned over it. 12/15/18 West side of Bridger Range. Recent strong winds formed hard slabs over weak surface hoar and facets. Photo: GNFAC

  • A skier north of Bridger Bowl triggered this small wind slab near the ridge. This is a good reminder that isolated instabilities still exist on wind loaded slopes. Photo: J. Zimmer 

  • Photo: @msubackcountryclub

  • A skier in the Northern Bridgers found variable conditions on Saturday, with wind scouring above treeline, isolated wind slabs below treeline, and widespread faceting with the recent cold and dry weather. "Skiing was highly variable, ranging from all loose facets to breakable wind slab overlying facets to hard slab/sastrugi." Photo: G. Antonioli

  • Wind loads were easy to trigger. This one was triggered on purpose up Maid of the Mist in Hyalite. Photo: A. Peterson

Videos- Bridgers

Weather Forecast Bridgers

Extended Forecast for

10 Miles NNE Bozeman MT

Winter Weather Advisory until January 21, 11:00am
Click here for hazard details and duration
...
  •  
    Winter Weather Advisory until January 21, 11:00am

    NOW until
    11:00am Mon

    Winter Weather Advisory

  • M.L.King
    Day

    M.L.King Day: Snow likely.  Patchy blowing snow. Mostly cloudy, with a temperature falling to around 16 by 5pm. Wind chill values as low as -2. Blustery, with a northwest wind 20 to 24 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 70%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

    Snow Likely
    and Patchy
    Blowing Snow

    High: 28 °F

  • Tonight

    Tonight: A slight chance of snow before 11pm, then a slight chance of snow after 3am.  Patchy blowing snow before 10pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 13. Wind chill values as low as -5. Blustery, with a north wind 14 to 22 mph becoming west after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 28 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 20%.

    Slight Chance
    Snow and
    Patchy
    Blowing Snow

    Low: 13 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: A 20 percent chance of snow after 11am.  Patchy blowing snow after 11am. Increasing clouds, with a high near 26. Windy, with a west wind 15 to 20 mph increasing to 25 to 30 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 39 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow and
    Patchy
    Blowing Snow

    High: 26 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: A 50 percent chance of snow, mainly after 11pm.  Patchy blowing snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 21. Windy, with a southwest wind 24 to 31 mph, with gusts as high as 45 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

    Chance Snow
    and Patchy
    Blowing Snow

    Low: 21 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: Snow.  Areas of blowing snow. High near 33. Windy, with a southwest wind 25 to 32 mph, with gusts as high as 46 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

    Snow and
    Areas Blowing
    Snow

    High: 33 °F

  • Wednesday
    Night

    Wednesday Night: Snow.  Areas of blowing snow before midnight. Low around 18. Blustery.  Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

    Snow and
    Areas Blowing
    Snow

    Low: 18 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: A 40 percent chance of snow, mainly before 11am.  Partly sunny, with a high near 28. Breezy.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow
    and Breezy

    High: 28 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: A chance of snow, mainly after 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 22. Breezy.

    Chance Snow
    and Breezy

    Low: 22 °F

The Last Word

The government shutdown and its effects on USFS avalanche centers is highlighted in this article in Powder Magazine.

 


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