Regional Conditions for Northern Gallatin

as of 5:00 am
Today1″ | 10-25 W
Jan 28 0″ | 15-35 W
Jan 27 4″ | 5-15 W
9980′     01/29 at 07:00
12.1℉
W - 10mph
Gusts 17mph
8100′   01/29 at 7:00
23℉
57″ Depth
Bottom Line: In the last three days, up to 10” of thick, heavy snow fell across our advisory area. The added weight of the new snow on a weak snowpack warrants extra caution if you are considering entering avalanche terrain today. Avalanches within the new snow are the most likely problem. These will be most concerning in high consequence terrain where a small avalanche could be dangerous. Less likely, but more frightening are large avalanches that could break on weak snow deep in the snowpack and fail over a wide area. Manage the avalanche problems by assessing the snowpack, making conservative terrain choices, exposing only one person at a time to avalanche hazard, and giving cornices a wide berth.

Past 5 Days

Sat Jan 25

Moderate
Sun Jan 26

Moderate
Mon Jan 27

Moderate
Tue Jan 28

Moderate
Today

Moderate

Avalanche Activity- Northern Gallatin

Northern Gallatin
Alex Lowe Peak
Natural on Alex Lowe peak
Incident details include images
Alex Lowe Peak
N-R2-D2-O
Elevation: 9,900
Aspect: N
Coordinates: 45.4272, -111.0140
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

A skier saw this slide from the top of Mt. Blackmore on 1/25/2020.


More Avalanche Details
Northern Gallatin
Wheeler Mountain
Skier triggered small slide Mount Wheeler
Wheeler Mountain
SS-AS-R1-D1.5-O
Coordinates: 45.5097, -111.0820
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From obs: "Skied into to a pillow of snow. I think it started as just sluff but then broke off an avalanche. It was not wide but the crown is estimated at 2 feet. It was not moving fast and I just dug into the bed surface and slowly moved out of it. I was the second skier. The first skiers track did not go as deep as mine. failed on weak facets at the base of a steep roll over."


More Avalanche Details
Northern Gallatin
Flanders Creek
Skiers triggered 2 large slides Flanders Mtn.
Incident details include images
Incident details contain video
Flanders Creek
HS-ASu-R3-D2-O
Elevation: 9,800
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 45.4351, -110.9440
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From Obs: "... Our party of two was ascending southwest on a rib with the intention of reaching the ridgeline. At 9800', the upper member of our party triggered a D2.5 with an approximately 100' crown immediately to our south. Crown height appeared 2-3' and the slide traveled approximately a distance of 2,000' and 500 vertical feet down mountain. Within a few seconds, we remote triggered to the north a D3 with an approximately 200' crown. Crown height appeared up to 7' at highest point and slide traveled approximately 300 vertical feet down mountain. The remote triggered slide started approximately 15-20 feet to the north of the location of the lower member of our party, who was approximately 30 vertical feet below the upper member of our party. After the slide the upper member of our party noticed a shooting crack at his elevation. Two skiers and one dog were ascending below us. They observed the avalanche and later mentioned that they were approximately 150 feet in distance from the toe of the remote triggered slide, which completely covered their skintrack. Nobody caught or buried."

From group that was below: "Finished a snow pit at 45.434589, -110.940957. Results were ECT-X, Aspect: 110 deg, Angle: 27 degrees, Depth: 90 cm, Weak layer was above melt/freeze at 60 cm, fist hardness above 62 - 67 cm. Then fairly cohesive newer snow 70 - 90 cm. Weak layer did not budge, even when levered with the shovel.

Knowing there was one party of two ahead of us, we continued to 45.434716, -110.94124 when they triggered slide above. It ran through one of the avalanche paths behind us, that we had crossed. We whooped to see if someone was the trigger and if they were ok, they yelled back all was ok. Our mistake was assuming the party ahead was taking, what we consider to be, the standard route up Flanders, not the subtle ridge that we figured was loaded by the month of west/sw winds We were wrong and were traveling below them but still were traveling in the older trees and not in slide paths, yet another example of why you follow protocol. Anyways I took a bunch of pics. Pin on map is about where they triggered it."


More Avalanche Details

Photos- Northern Gallatin

Displaying 1 - 40
  • The 10' deep avalanche in 2nd Yellowmule is almost completely filled in now. In its place are massive cornices overhanging the slope. Give these beasts a lot of extra room as they can break back far from the edge. Photo: GNFAC

  • Ian Hoyer stands in a snowpit in Beehive Basin. Avalanches are getting harder to trigger, but in more shallow areas we are still finding a poor snowpack structure. The stability test scores are climbing higher, but still propagating and we did not ski the adjacent slope. Photo: GNFAC

  • February 1, King and Queen of the Ridge at Bridger Bowl (fundraiser). This is the Friends of the Avalanche Center’s second biggest fundraiser of the year. Come on out and help us raise money by hiking and skiing laps on the ridge. Prizes, camaraderie and a good time is guaranteed. Register with Bridger to hike in the event, and create a pledge page to raise funds with your Ridge laps.

  • "A photo of a few natural avalanches on the NE face of the unnamed peak at the back of the basin. They appear to be cornice triggered, shallow crown depths no more than 1-2 feet deep. I also observed a natural avalanche on the E face of Mt. Bole that appeared cornice triggered, but couldn't get a good picture. The crown depth varied but probably 2-3 feet deep at most." Photo: M. Lavery

  • Seen from the summit of Mt. Blackmore in Hyalite on Saturday 1/25. Photo: S. Peterson

  • We skied at Mt. Ellis on 1/24/20 and had 3-10' cracks break around our skis. The snowpack is very sugary, unsupportive and weak. Photo: GNFAC

  • The snowpack on Mt. Ellis on January 24, 2020 is shallow and weak. It is not yet unstable, but would only need 6-12" to be very dangerous. Photo: GNFAC

  • From email:

    "I wanted to make you aware of a snowmobile triggered slide in Lionhead today. Fortunately, I was not injured, was able to stay completely on top, climbed through the majority of the snow wash after seeing it begin to break, and relatively slowly slid down with the last of the moving snow while still on the machine. When I came to a stop, I stood up and was completely free of the snow. Our group is trained in avalanche safety, practiced beacon use prior to leaving town in the morning, were wearing avy gear, and were very fortunate that this ended up the way it did. 

    A clear reminder that this can happen to any of us and to be careful out there."

    Photo: Anonymous 

  • A skier was skinning uphill, breaking trail and triggered this avalanche on 1/19/20. They reported, " released a small pocket near texas meadow. Maybe 50 ft wide, 2 ft crown and ran 150 ft....I was not caught and nobody was buried or injured. I was skinning up at about 1130...I got to where it was steeper and as I reached thinner snow near rocks I felt a whump. I took one more step and the pocket released."

  • Avalanche triggered by skiers on Flander's peak in Hyalite on 1/18/20. Nobody caught or buried, but they were surprised and it covered another groups skin track. Photo: J. Riedel

  • Avalanche triggered by skiers on Flander's peak in Hyalite on 1/18/20. Nobody caught or buried, but they were surprised and it covered another groups skin track. Photo: J. Riedel

  • The crown of this snowmobiler triggered avalanche tapered to a thin slab. These thin areas of the slope are prime zones to trigger a slide from. Photo: GNFAC

  • Photo: C. Kussmaul

  • From obs: "There is a small east facing basin that’s between Divide Peak and Maid of the Mist Basin. While walking along the ridge that connects the two, my partner intentionally broke off a large piece of a cornice, which then triggered two substantially sized avalanches in the basin below. The first avalanche was directly beneath the collapsed cornice with a crown 6-12 inches deep and about 30 ft across. The second avalanche was triggered by the 1st avalanche and had a crown of similar depth but was substantially larger. It was hard to see as the crown travelled uphill and around a corner. The ascpet was E and SE, at the elevation of 9,600ft. The pictures I got are poor, but should give you an idea of the size." Photo: C. Kussmaul

  • "... while touring in the Northern Bridgers, my partner and I noticed a very large avalanche that occurred on a North face in "October Bowl" just to the south of Hardscrabble Pk. We didn't witness it and are unsure of a trigger, but we came in contact with all parties believed to be out there and assume it occurred naturally early this morning from heavy wind-loading. The crown seemed to be 2-3' deep but stepped down to the ground about 200' below the crown. The slide was about 400' in width and ran about 1,000' and we assumed classifications of R3.5 and D3. Debris pile was expansive and deep, and prompted us to stick to Southern aspects."  Photo: McKinley Talty

  • These natural avalanches likely occurred on Saturday, January 11. New snow and wind loaded slopes and we saw other slides as we rode around. Photo: GNFAC

  • This natural avalanche in 3rd Yellowmule on Buck Ridge likely occurred on Saturday, January 11. It was a wind loaded and very steep slope. It broke on facets near the ground and was big enough to bury a person (D2). The size was 2-3' deep, 200' wide and 75' vertical. Photo: GNFAC

  • This natural avalanche in 3rd Yellowmule on Buck Ridge likely occurred on Saturday, January 11. It was a wind loaded and very steep slope. It broke on facets near the ground and was big enough to bury a person (D2). The size was 2-3' deep, 200' wide and 75' vertical. Photo: GNFAC

  • We visited the avalanche that was triggered by a snowmobiler and partially buried 2 people on January 4th. The crown was 10 feet at the deepest part. Photo: GNFAC

  • "We did notice a few recent natural avalanches on wind loaded north aspects in aprons below large cliffs and underneath large cornices (D0.5 - D1, max depth 1m, max width 30m) but these seemed to mostly be small soft storm slabs. - One recent crown near the top of the Mummy (30cm deep) looked to have run naturally on an old crust layer (photo)" - Photo: Zachary Miller

  • "Beauty of a day up in Hyalite so long as you didn't mind the wind. The SW/W winds were cranking and clearly transporting snow all day at ridgetop...We did notice a few recent natural avalanches on wind loaded north aspects in aprons below large cliffs and underneath large cornices (D0.5 - D1, max depth 1m, max width 30m) but these seemed to mostly be small soft storm slabs." -  Photo: Zachary Miller

  • This slide was triggered by Bridger Bowl ski patrol during control work on Saturday (1/4/2020). It shows deeply buried persistent weak layers from early October and November were pushed to a breaking point by the recent snow and wind. A person can trigger avalanches like this on heavily wind loaded slopes in the backcountry. Additionally, shallower large avalanches can be triggered on any steep slope. Photo: BBSP

  • A party of three skiers remote triggered avalanche with at least 6' crown off N face of Mt Porphry along rockband near summit on 12/29/19. They triggered it after tyhey had found "Three pits dug on NE face ascending Mt Porphry indicating increasing stability and no clean propagation. Approx 150-210 cm deep snowpack." Photo: G. Alsentzer

  • This small wind slab was remotely triggered while skinning into the Maid of the Mist basin. Throughout the day they continued to encounter other small, reactive wind slabs and strong winds. Small avalanches are a warning sign that larger ones are possible. Photo: Sam Wilson

  • Although there was 3' of snow at 8,200' on the Throne, the snowpack was very thin for most of the way in. Photo: GNFAC

  • Riders near Fairy Lake reported this slide on Saturday 12/21. Photo: @turbo_dieshall

  • From IG message: "5' thick wind slab just behind little bear remote triggered riding along the ridge." @skidooin_it

  • From Instagram: "Couple of small natural wind slabs around 10,200’ NE in Hyalite. Not sure exactly how recent. Played it conservative and chose to stay off a similar slope." B. Gill

  • From an email, "... our party observed several small to medium-sized releases that occured on a heavily-loaded east aspect overnight. None stepped down in the snowpack, but they certainly could have taken a person for a ride. Overalll, stability seemed to be good, with the exception of isolated wind-loaded areas." Photo S. Reinsel

  • From e-mail:" While on a tour in Hyalite yesterday [12/15],... On some steeper pitches near rocks bands, we observed top layer slough that moved naturally. We also observed a small crown from a day or two ago that broke between two buried rocks and only ran about 50 feet down slope." Photo: Tommy S

  • The Bridger Bowl Ski Patrol triggered this slide on a heavily wind-loaded east facing slope at the ridgeline. They wrote, "With a shovel push the vertical cornice/pillow broke 15''-36'' deep on a steep and rounded bulge just south of Lee's Leap running on the crust. The debris terminated well below Pat's Chute." Its code is HS-AC-R2-D2-O-TR. Photo: BBSP
  • This large avalanche was triggered intentionally by the Bridger Bowl Ski Patrol at the ridgeline above little Slushman's Ravine. They were cutting a cornice and it broke 7 feet back from the edge, 4 feet deep and 150 feet wide. It was a hard slab avalanche and ran 1150 feet. It was east facing and broke on a crust formed in the early season. It's code is HS-AC-R2-D3-O-TL. Photo: BBSP

  • We put up the Taylor Fork weather station today (12/03) and it is churning out hourly data. Check it out here: https://www.mtavalanche.com/weather/stations/taylor-fork

  • We partnered with the Gallatin Valley Snowmobile Association to put in two new beacon checkers at the Taylor Fork and Buck Ridge trailheads. They are working great!

    Thanks GVSA! Photo: GNFAC

  • We recognize that backcountry skiing can be daunting to approach. That’s why Ben Goertzen and the Friends of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center have teamed up to help breakdown some of the most prominent barriers of entry to backcountry skiing through this campaign. One lucky winner will be given a complete backcountry skiing kit, a spot in an avalanche awareness course, and featured in a three part video series that ends with an excursion into the backcountry with professional skier and filmmaker, Ben Goertzen . These videos will be used by the Friends of GNFAC to help other aspiring backcountry skiers gain awareness, knowledge and start to breakdown their barriers to entry.

    Click Here for More Details on How to Enter

    Watch the Backcountry Barriers Launch Video: https://vimeo.com/376473804

  • This avalanche of wind-drifted snow was triggered with a ski cut on a southeast aspect at 9,800'. Photo: T. Chingas

  • This slide was triggered up Hyalite from 100' away. It was a wind loaded slope at 9,000', northeast aspect. Photo: T. Chingas

  • From an observation:

    When approaching the base of Mt. Blackmore this morning at roughly 8:45am we observed strong swirling winds at higher elevations (summit of Blackmore and the Elephant/Blackmore Saddle). The winds we observed were primarily loading snow onto E and SE facing aspects. Furthermore, we witnessed four naturally triggered avalanches over a twenty minute span. All slides appeared to be D1/D2 on E and SE aspects and, seemingly, restricted to the newly loaded snow. Photo: SAM

  • From an observation:

    When approaching the base of Mt. Blackmore this morning at roughly 8:45 am we observed strong swirling winds at higher elevations (summit of Blackmore and the Elephant/Blackmore Saddle). The winds we observed were primarily loading snow onto E and SE facing aspects. Furthermore, we witnessed four naturally triggered avalanches over a twenty minute span. All slides appeared to be D1/D2 on E and SE aspects and, seemingly, restricted to the newly loaded snow. Photo: SAM

  • This natural avalanche released on Saddle Peak. wind loading from west winds created sensitive wind slabs this morning. Photo: S. Jonas

WebCams


Bozeman Pass, Looking SE

Weather Forecast Northern Gallatin

Extended Forecast for

14 Miles SE Gallatin Gateway MT

  • Today

    Today: A 20 percent chance of snow before noon.  Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 28. West wind around 9 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow then
    Mostly Sunny

    High: 28 °F

  • Tonight

    Tonight: Snow, mainly after midnight. The snow could be heavy at times.  Low around 20. West southwest wind 11 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

    Chance Snow
    then Heavy
    Snow

    Low: 20 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: A 40 percent chance of snow before noon.  Cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 26. West northwest wind around 16 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

    Chance Snow
    then Mostly
    Sunny

    High: 26 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 18. South southwest wind 11 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 18 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: A 40 percent chance of snow.  Patchy blowing snow before 9am, then patchy blowing snow after noon. Cloudy, with a high near 31. Breezy, with a southwest wind 18 to 24 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow
    and Patchy
    Blowing Snow

    High: 31 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: Patchy blowing snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 27. Breezy, with a southwest wind 22 to 24 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph.

    Patchy
    Blowing Snow
    and Breezy

    Low: 27 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 38. Windy, with a south southwest wind 23 to 31 mph, with gusts as high as 41 mph.

    Mostly Sunny
    and Windy

    High: 38 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: A slight chance of snow after midnight.  Partly cloudy, with a low around 26. Windy, with a south wind around 31 mph, with gusts as high as 43 mph.

    Windy. Partly
    Cloudy then
    Slight Chance
    Snow

    Low: 26 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: Snow likely, mainly after noon.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 27. Breezy.

    Snow Likely
    and Breezy

    High: 27 °F

The Last Word

See our mid-season snowpack summary for a review of the deep slab avalanche problem and general (conservative) travel advice.