Trip Planning for Cooke City Area

as of 5:00 am
Today2″ | 10-25 NW
Jan 31 0″ | 15-30 W
Jan 30 0″ | 15-19 NW
10,000′     02/01 at 07:00
-4.7℉
SW - 6mph
Gusts 14mph
9100′     02/01 at 07:00
3℉
69″ Depth
Bottom Line: Dangerous avalanche conditions exist in the mountains around Bozeman, Big Sky, West Yellowstone and Cooke City. Strong winds wreaked havoc on last week’s powder, forming thick drifts of hard, wind-blown snow on many slopes at all elevations and aspects. Weak layers in the upper three feet of the snowpack create conditions where avalanches can break widely across slopes. Build a wide margin for error today by avoiding steep terrain and the runout areas below avalanche paths.
Primary Problem: Persistent Weak Layer

Past 5 Days

Sat Jan 28

Considerable
Sun Jan 29

Considerable
Mon Jan 30

Considerable
Tue Jan 31

Considerable
Today

Considerable

Relevant Avalanche Activity

Cooke City
COOKE CITY
Collapsing NW of Cooke City
COOKE CITY
AS
Coordinates: 45.0202, -109.9380
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Skiers northwest of Cooke City reported several collapses while they were breaking trail. 


More Avalanche Details
Cooke City
COOKE CITY
Small skier triggered storm slab
COOKE CITY
SS-ASc-R1-D1-I
Coordinates: 45.0202, -109.9380
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Some photos of recent natural avalanche activity near Cooke City attached.  We observed about 10 slab avalanches today that ran during this cycle.

.... And I was able to intentionally trigger a small storm slab today (20' wide, 1' deep) by kicking a small cornice.
 

More Avalanche Details
Cooke City
COOKE CITY
Many Natural Avalanches North of Cooke City
Incident details include images
Incident details contain video
COOKE CITY
SS-N-R2-D2-I
Coordinates: 45.0202, -109.9380
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Riding north of Cooke City on 1/29 and 1/30, we observed many natural avalanches that occurred during last week's storm. Avalanches failed within the storm snow or on weak layers in the upper snowpack, on wind-loaded and non-wind-loaded slopes, and on all aspects. We observed avalanches on Crown Butte, Wolverine, Scotch Bonnet, Sheep Mountain, and near the wilderness boundary at Goose Lake.


More Avalanche Details

Relevant Photos

Displaying 1 - 40
  • A natural avalanche failed during last week's storm near the Goose Lake Wilderness Boundary. Photo: GNFAC

  • On 1/29/23 we saw a lot of recent natural avalanches which likely ran late on 1/27/23 or the morning of 1/28/23. Photo: GNFAC

  • On 1/29/23 we saw a lot of recent natural avalanches which likely ran late on 1/27/23 or the morning of 1/28/23. Photo: GNFAC

  • On 1/29/23 we saw a lot of recent natural avalanches which likely ran late on 1/27/23 or the morning of 1/28/23. Photo: GNFAC

  • On 1/29/23 we saw a lot of recent natural avalanches which likely ran late on 1/27/23 or the morning of 1/28/23. Photo: GNFAC

  • On 1/29/23 we saw a lot of recent natural avalanches which likely ran late on 1/27/23 or the morning of 1/28/23. Photo: GNFAC

  • Several avalanches in the Goose Lake area. Assuming they happened on Friday or Saturday. Photo: J. Mundt

  • Several avalanches in the Goose Lake area. Assuming they happened on Friday or Saturday. Photo: J. Mundt

  • Several avalanches in the Goose Lake area. Assuming they happened on Friday or Saturday. Photo: J. Mundt

  • Recent natural avalanches near Cooke City, observed 1/29/23. Photo: B. Fredlund

     

     

  • Recent natural avalanches near Cooke City, observed 1/29/23. Photo: B. Fredlund

     

     

  • Recent natural avalanches near Cooke City, observed 1/29/23. Photo: B. Fredlund

     

  • Multiple natural avalanches were seen on all aspects, all elevations near Woody Creek Cabin. Poor test scores (ECTP) in 4/6 pits, mostly beneath the snow that fell earlier this week, buried small grain facets and decomposing surface hoar. Photo: Z. Peterson

  • Photo of Castle/Submarine on woody ridge.  This all slid today.  Looked like all chutes along this face and south slid.  Also east facing Republic ridge several slides above rock band. Photo> D. Carroll

  • Recent natural avalanches observed 1/28/23, very large below Chimney Rock by Daisy Pass. Photo: A. Mulkey

  • Recent natural avalanches observed 1/28/23, north side of Crown Butte. Photo: A. Mulkey

  • Natural avy on SE aspect 8000 ft 35 to 40 degrees broke on new snow interface today. YNP next to silver falls. Also several slides in gully below falls. Photo: D. Carroll

  • A natural avalanche near round lake, Cooke City. Photo: S. Reagan

  • Surface hoar can often be seen as a grey stripe on the wall of your snowpit as was the case at Bacon Rind in the Southern Madison Range on 1/23. Photo: GNFAC

  • Observed this cornice fall triggered slide morning of 1/19/23. It was not there the previous morning which was sunny and clear. Photo: GNFAC

  • We dug five snowpits and performed extended column tests in each on 1/19/23 near Cooke City. Four snowpits were on northeast to north facing slopes between 9,200-10,000', and one pit was on a southwest facing slope at 9,200'. In one pit on a NE aspect at 9,200' we had an ECTP 15 on the surface hoar 35 cm below the surface. In all other pits we had ECTN14-19 at the depth of the surface hoar, and no obvious feathery crystals were visible. The layers where the ECTNs broke appeared to be decomposing, preserved dendrites or maybe decomposing surface hoar. Photo: GNFAC

  • Observed a point release that appeared to have stepped down. This occurred SE of the “rip curl” zone. We also noticed significant sun effect and a warming trend throughout the day. 1/17/23

  • East aspect, 10,300.  Estimated to be about 75' wide.  Likely occurred yesterday, Jan. 17th. Photo: B. Fredlund

  • Avalanches  previously reported on Monday on Miller (photo taken 1/18). GNFAC

  • Noted a couple of fresh slab avalanches out there today.  Both were on northerly aspects around 9300'.  Photo: B. Fredlund

     

  • Avalanche previously reported on Monday on Henderson (photo taken 1/17). GNFAC

  • A recent natural avalanche observed 1/16/23 (less than a day old) on Miller Ridge. SS-N-R1-D1.5-O and probably broke on the surface hoar layer. Photo: GNFAC

     

  • Photo from 1/16/23 of an avalanche on an east-northeast facing slope below Henderson ridge. It appeared to be snowbike triggered and 1-2+ days old. 150' wide and 250' vertical. HS-AMu-R2-D2-O. It appeared to have broke about 2' deep on that layer of surface hoar. Photo: GNFAC

  • Photo from 1/16/23 of a cornice triggered avalanche on Miller Ridge that broke to the ground, appears to be many days or weeks old. GNFAC.

  • Dug a pit on the east side of Henderson at the ridgeline above Henderson Bench. ENE, 10,075' elev. ECTP19 x3 on a layer of surface hoar buried 60cm (2 feet) deep. HS 260cm. There was an avalanche a few hundred feet north on an east-northeast facing slope below the ridge. It appeared to be snowbike triggered and 1-2+ days old. 150' wide and 250' vertical. HS-AMu-R2-D2-O. It appeared to have broke about 2' deep on that layer of surface hoar. There was also a more recent natural avalanche (less than a day old) on Miller Ridge, slightly smaller. SS-N-R1-D1.5-O and probably broke on the surface hoar layer. Photo: GNFAC

  • Snowboarder triggered this slide on a rollover on East Republic. Reportedly ran 80' wide, 1-1.5' deep. No one was caught.

  • Photo attached of a fresh natural avalanche, just south of Cooke City today.  It appears to have run last night or this morning.  (photographed at noon)

    It's on a NE aspect, about 8100', directly above the ice climb known as 'Silver Gate Center'.  I'd estimate the crown to be about 10" deep and 30' wide.

     

  • Small slide off the Henderson ridge by the radio hut. Looks to have broken in the last couple days. GNFAC photo. 1/10/2023

  • Slide on Chimney Rock. The one on Chimney Rock (triggered Sunday, Jan 8th) was not big, but more indicative of weak layers at the ground. Chimney was 2 slides side-by-side, mid-slope, that likely went at the same time. These likely broke on facets near the ground. The snowpack was thin there. GNFAC photo.

  • Skier unintentionally triggered and was caught in wind slab avalanche on the Y couloir in Sheep Creek Drainage. Skier was carried 10m before self arresting. The slide ran ~250m down and broke across the entire width of the couloir. There were no injuries and skied away. 

  • Recent low density snow was drifted into 10” soft slab from west wind, north of Cooke City. Skier triggered intentional on test slope. 

  • From obs: "A small snowboarder-triggered avalanche from 12/31 on a southeast-facing slope at 9,000 feet that broke on the 30cm layer and stepped down to the 40cm layer. The snowboarder was briefly caught in the sliding snow but maintained his footing as the snow washed past him." 

  • We looked at the avalanche that killed a snowmobiler yesterday (12/31/22) on Crown Butte near Cooke City. Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the victim, and those involved with the rescue and recovery. Photo: GNFAC

  • We looked at the avalanche that killed a snowmobiler yesterday (12/31/22) on Crown Butte near Cooke City. Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the victim, and those involved with the rescue and recovery. Photo: GNFAC

  • We looked at the avalanche that killed a snowmobiler yesterday (12/31/22) on Crown Butte near Cooke City. Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the victim, and those involved with the rescue and recovery. Photo: GNFAC

WebCams


Soda Butte Lodge, looking West

Soda Butte Lodge, looking East

Snowpit Profiles- Cooke City Area

 

Select a snowpit on the map to view the profile image

Weather Forecast Cooke City Area

Extended Forecast for

2 Miles NNE Cooke City MT

  • Today

    Today: Partly sunny, with a high near 20. Wind chill values as low as -20. West wind around 15 mph.

    Partly Sunny

    High: 20 °F

  • Tonight

    Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 7. Wind chill values as low as -5. West wind 11 to 14 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 7 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 26. Wind chill values as low as -10. West southwest wind 10 to 14 mph.

    Sunny

    High: 26 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 10. Wind chill values as low as -5. Southwest wind 11 to 13 mph.

    Mostly Clear

    Low: 10 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: Increasing clouds, with a high near 30. West southwest wind 14 to 19 mph increasing to 23 to 28 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 38 mph.

    Increasing
    Clouds

    High: 30 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 15. West southwest wind 21 to 25 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 15 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: Partly sunny, with a high near 25. West southwest wind 21 to 26 mph.

    Partly Sunny

    High: 25 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 15. Southwest wind 14 to 17 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 15 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: A 40 percent chance of snow after 11am.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 28. West southwest wind 13 to 17 mph.

    Chance Snow

    High: 28 °F

The Last Word

Check out the weather and avalanche log for a rundown of recent weather and avalanche conditions.

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