Regional Conditions for Lionhead Range

as of 5:00 am
Today0″ | N/A
Apr 11 0″ | NA
Apr 10 0″ | NA
8775′     1/29 at 3:00
24 ℉
N - 0 mph
Gusts 0 mph
7750′   04/12 at 8:00
19℉
56″ Depth
Bottom Line: The snowpack in the mountains around Bozeman, Big Sky, West Yellowstone and Cooke City is generally stable. If this week’s forecast holds, avalanches will remain unlikely outside of isolated drifts of fresh snow sitting on top of a thick crust forming with cooler temperatures. Manage these isolated instabilities by consistently following safe travel protocols, skiing or riding with a partner, and carrying a beacon, probe, and shovel. Assess steep terrain for features such as rocks, trees and cliffs that increase the consequences of small avalanches.
Primary Problem: Wind-Drifted Snow

Past 5 Days

Thu Apr 8

Low
Fri Apr 9

Moderate
Sat Apr 10

Low
Sun Apr 11

Low
Today

None

Avalanche Activity- Lionhead Range

Out of Advisory Area
Other place
Natural wind slabs in Absaroka
Incident details include images
Other place
SS-N-R1-D1
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 45.4959, -110.4490
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From obs 4/9/21: "we saw widespread natural wind slabs on N-NE eastern slopes in the Northern Absarokas (photo)...."


More Avalanche Details
Cooke City
Miller Ridge
Collapse in wet snow near Cooke
Incident details include images
Miller Ridge
Elevation: 9,000
Aspect: S
Coordinates: 45.0423, -109.9650
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Skiers had a collapse which made this crack on a south facing slope with a shallower, wet snowpack around 9,000' near Cooke City.


More Avalanche Details
Out of Advisory Area
Other place
Wet Slab in Main Boulder
Incident details include images
Other place
WS-N-R2-D2-O
Elevation: 8,200
Coordinates: 45.6553, -110.5580
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

A wet slab was reported on 4/4/21 around 8,200' elevation in the Main Boulder drainage south of Big Timber, outside of our advisory area. It happened that day or very recently during extended above freezing temperatures. 


More Avalanche Details

Photos- Lionhead Range

Displaying 1 - 40
  • From obs 4/9/21: "...we saw widespread natural wind slabs on N-NE eastern slopes in the Northern Absarokas (photo). Winds increased throughout the morning, and evidence of wind transport became more apparent at higher elevations. We found that on aspects unaffected by wind loading, the new snow layer was not cohesive and only saw minor sluffing." Photo: E. Schreier

  • Skiers had a collapse which made this crack on a south facing slope with a shallower, wet snowpack around 9,000' near Cooke City. Photo: J. Redfield

  • This wet slab was reported on 4/4/21 around 8,200' elevation in the Main Boulder drainage south of Big Timber, outside of our advisory area. It happened that day or very recently during extended above freezing temperatures. Photo: G. Smith

  • Extreme winds on 3/28/21 transported snow that fell over the past week into fresh wind slabs. Photo: BSSP

  • From obs 3/28/21: "Saw this slope which frequently slides had been triggered on our way out last night [lower left in photo]. Slid to the ground but I expect it was mostly new snow as there is a larger old crown visible further uphill... I did see two other small pocket slides yesterday also in new snow on bed surfaces of older slides... General snowpack is getting very deep now but a thick junk layer remains at the ground everywhere I dug sleds out." Photo: J. Gerardi

  • From obs: "Deep slab avalanche in Blackmore Basin that appeared to break on the depth hoar near the bottom of the snowpack. It was on a wind loaded NE facing slope at approx. 9,500 and looked to break on a slope in the 35-40 degree range. The crown was about 8'-10' deep and 200' wide. It broke to the ground and ripped out several small trees." Photo: JR Mooney

  • Ian and Dave stop to do a quick stability test as they hunt for a layer of weak snow 1-2 feet under the surface. Photo: GNFAC

  • From obs: "On our way up the summer trail route to Hyalite Peak our party of three remotely triggered a small avalanche from the skin track at around 9,600ft on a east facing aspect. The storm slab went about 4 inches deep and 150-200ft across a small roll over feature. We were about 150ft away when we triggered the slide." Photo: C. Kussmaul

  • The snowpack in the Centennials is remarkably similar to the Lionhead area outside West Yellowstone: 6 feet of snow at 9,200 feet. The stability will get worse with snow this weekend (19-21 March) because the surface snow is week and the new snow will not bond to it (near-surface facets). Photo: GNFAC

  • Cornices along Lionhead Ridge. 3/16/2021

    Photo: GNFAC

  • Seen from near Ennis on 3/4/21. On Finger Mountain in the southern Madison Range. Photo: D. Frohman

  • We saw these recent wet loose avalanches on 3/6/21. SW aspect, 9,100'. They likely ran during above freezing temperatures between 3/3 and 3/5. Photo: GNFAC

  • From obs: "Small D1 avalanche on south-eastern aspect around 7800ft. Looks like solar released on older layer a day or two ago."

    Photo: M. Mailly

  • From obs: "While touring above the canyon this morning, I noticed a very recent wet slide (would guess this incident occurred yesterday afternoon, March 4th). This was a skier triggered slide on a E aspect at an elevation of 7200. This slide was roughly 50 feet wide and ran about 50 feet, I estimated this crown to be 2-3 feet deep, slid all the way to the ground. This occurred below a steep roller."

    Photo: T. Saulnier

  • Wet loose avalanches released in the warm sunshine on Tuesday, March 2nd. We expect many more in the coming days. Photo: S. Jonas

  • Sled Skiing in Third Yellow mule... after an air onto the slope the impact from landing resulted in a fracture and failure to / near the ground... in addition, a remote trigger occurred on adjacent slope... 200-300 ft to the skiers right. No body was caught in either slide. Skier that initiated failure was moving at high speed and was beyond slide path before majority of snow movement began. Photo: W. Miller

  • Sled Skiing in Third Yellow mule... after an air onto the slope the impact from landing resulted in a fracture and failure to / near the ground... in addition, a remote trigger occurred on adjacent slope... 200-300 ft to the skiers right. No body was caught in either slide. Skier that initiated failure was moving at high speed and was beyond slide path before majority of snow movement began. Photo: W. Miller

  • Sled Skiing in Third Yellow mule... after an air onto the slope the impact from landing resulted in a fracture and failure to / near the ground... in addition, a remote trigger occurred on adjacent slope... 200-300 ft to the skiers right. No body was caught in either slide. Photo: W. Miller

  • This avalanche was triggered on Sunday, 2/28, when a skier released another slide 2-300 feet away. It broke at the same time. No one was caught. This was in the Third Yellow Mule on Buck Ridge.  Photo: W. Miller

  • Riders triggered this slide on 2/28/21 near Red Canyon/Cabin Creek, north of West Yellowstone. Nobody caught or injured, but close call.

  • Riders triggered this slide on 2/28/21 near Red Canyon/Cabin Creek, north of West Yellowstone. Nobody caught or injured, but close call.

  • Riders triggered this slide on 2/28/21 near Red Canyon/Cabin Creek, north of West Yellowstone. Nobody caught or injured, but close call.

  • Riders triggered this slide on 2/28/21 near Red Canyon/Cabin Creek, north of West Yellowstone. Nobody caught or injured, but close call.

  • There was 6' of snow off the ridge in the Bridger Range on an east facing slope. The top 2 feet were recent wind drifting that broke clean in our stability test which indicated unstable conditions (ECTP18). We expect similar conditions and instability with wind-loaded slops throughout our forecast area. Photo: GNFAC

  • In the last 24 hours (2/28) 12" of low density powder and 40-50 mph west wind made it easy to trigger wind-drifted snow. Alex kicked these drifts which cracked and moved. We expect similar conditions and instability with wind-loaded slops throughout our forecast area. Photo: GNFAC

  • This natural avalanche occurred on a slope that was wind drifted with cross-slope winds. It was a NE facing slope at 9,000 feet and likely ran over the weekend (2/20). Photo: GNFAC

  • This natural avalanche was likely triggered by a falling cornince in the last day or two. The slope is in the Wilderness and was seen from the boundary. Wind drifted snow is a concern in this area. Photo: GNFAC

  • On 2/13/21 riders reported they triggered this avalanche, and remotely triggered two other slides. Nobody was injured. One partially buried.

  • On 2/13/21 riders reported they triggered this avalanche, and remotely triggered two other slides. Nobody was injured. One partially buried.

  • Snowmobile triggered slide on Lionhead Ridge in Upper Watkins drainage on 2/11/2021.

  • Natural avalanche on Lionhead Ridge in upper Watkins Creek. Likely broke on Sunday 2/7.

    Photo: GNFAC (2/10/2021)

  • Sledders triggered this slide on 2/6/21 in West Targhee Creek near Lionhead. No one was caught.

  • A snowmobiler triggered this avalanche on Monday (2/1/2021) at Lionhead. No one was caught. Photo: Anonymous

  • A snowmobiler triggered this avalanche on Monday (2/1/2021) at Lionhead. No one was caught. Photo: Anonymous

  • This small avalanche was below the corner of Lionhead peak. It was one of the smaller slides during the avalanche cycle that occurred 1/29 and 1/30. Photo: GNFAC

  • The avalanche broke in the new snow, but stepped down into deeper layers (sugary facets) mid-path. This can occur when there are multiple weak layers in the snowpack. Photo: GNFAC

  • Every path along the shoulder of Targhee Peak (Lionhead area) avalanched naturally during the storm 1/29 and 1/30. Photo: GNFAC

  • This steep north facing slope avalanched about 3 weeks ago on depth hoar when a snowmobiler triggered it. It got reloaded with new snow and wind drifts and avalanched a second time! Photo: GNFAC

  • This natural avalanche occured on a NE facing slope at 8600". It was 2' deep, 500' wide and 250' vertical. The avalanche broke on a thin layer of facets during the storm. SS-N-R3-D2-O. Photo: GNFAC

  • On the north end of Lionhead Ridge is Airplane Bowl. The crown line extends across the entire bowl on the right with a separate avalanche on the left. Photo: GNFAC

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Weather Forecast Lionhead Range

Extended Forecast for

10 Miles WNW West Yellowstone MT

  • Today

    Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 25. Wind chill values as low as zero. Northeast wind 10 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

    Mostly Sunny

    High: 25 °F

  • Tonight

    Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 11. Wind chill values as low as -5. Northeast wind 13 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 11 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 27. Wind chill values as low as -5. Northeast wind 14 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.

    Mostly Sunny

    High: 27 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 13. Wind chill values as low as -5. Northeast wind around 17 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 13 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: Snow likely.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 29. Northeast wind 15 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Snow Likely

    High: 29 °F

  • Wednesday
    Night

    Wednesday Night: A 50 percent chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 18. Northeast wind 14 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 18 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: A 50 percent chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 30. North northeast wind 10 to 14 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    High: 30 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: A chance of snow, mainly before midnight.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 19. North northeast wind 10 to 13 mph.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 19 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: A chance of snow, mainly after noon.  Partly sunny, with a high near 33.

    Chance Snow

    High: 33 °F

The Last Word

Snow will be around the mountains for a month or two and avalanches will continue. When warm temperatures return, wet snow hazards will increase. If there are big spring snowstorms, dangerous conditions may develop for new snow avalanches and wind slabs. With either extended warming or a big storm, there is still a lingering possibility of deep avalanches breaking on weak, sugary snow near the ground. See this article for some general spring travel advice.


  <<  This is the most recent forecast.