Regional Conditions for Northern Gallatin

as of 5:00 am
Today1″ | 30-50 SW
Jan 20 4″ | 15-25 SW
Jan 19 1″ | 25-35 W
9980′     01/21 at 07:00
11.5℉
NW - 10mph
Gusts 25mph
8100′   01/21 at 6:00
24℉
52″ Depth
Bottom Line: 10-14” of snow since Thursday will be drifted into slabs that are easy to trigger. On non-wind loaded slopes, slabs and loose avalanches of new snow are possible. Avalanches can break larger on weak layers buried 1.5-2’ deep. Carefully assess the snowpack and consequences of being caught in a slide before riding steep slopes.
Primary Problem: Wind-Drifted Snow

Past 5 Days

Thu Jan 17

Low
Fri Jan 18

Moderate
Sat Jan 19

Moderate
Sun Jan 20

Moderate
Today

Considerable

Avalanche Activity- Northern Gallatin

Northern Gallatin
Hyalite - main fork
Wet loose and cornice falls Hyalite
Incident details include images
Hyalite - main fork
WL-N-R1-D1
Coordinates: 45.4076, -110.9730
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From e-mail "Inverted per temps and solar aspects were cooked with wet loose activity particularly on rockier features...  More recent activity noted due to cornice fall with the increasing temperatures."


More Avalanche Details
Northern Gallatin
Portal Creek
Cracking/collapsing and human triggered slide, Portal Creek
Incident details include images
Portal Creek
SS-AM-R1-D1-O
Coordinates: 45.2599, -111.1380
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Riders up Portal Creek in the northern Gallatin Range experienced cracking and collapsing and possibly triggered a small avalanche. They were riding at night. Photo: N. Donovan


More Avalanche Details
Northern Gallatin
Mt Ellis
Multiple Collapses on Mt. Ellis
Mt Ellis
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From email "We found really unstable snow, slopes settling on the faceted ground layer and shooting cracks propagating across the smallish open snowfields between tree clumps. It was really scary. We turned around about 100' below the ridge and cautiously skied out the way we'd skinned up.... 300' below the ridge... On one open slightly steeper section my two partners heard whoomping (after I crossed the slope)."


More Avalanche Details

Photos- Northern Gallatin

Displaying 1 - 40 of 4.61168601843E+18
  • Photo: G. Antonioli

  • Above freezing temperatures at higher elevations created wet snow avalanches on slopes facing the sun. Photo: G. Antonioli

  • From e-mail: "We dug our pit upon crossing into the northern aspect of Twin Falls Basin. We had observed a few, small avalanches across the basin on Mount Bole and decided to dig a pit before skiing the northern aspect. We observed an ECTP 17 and decided to cross back over the ridge and ski out the rather sun crusted south facing aspect. Very faceted snow and large wind slabs were observed during the entire tour." Photo: M. Beck

  • 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 observed collapsing on Weber Mountain near Lick Creek in Hyalite. They dug a pit and found poor structure with a thin, faceted snowpack and got poor stability test results, with ECTP6 failing on a thick layer of facets. Photo: M. Talty

  • 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.

  • Snowmobilers up Portal Creek in the northern Gallatin Range experienced cracking/collapsing and triggered this small avalanche. The slide broke 1' foot deep and nearly 100' wide. Fortunately, nobody was caught. Avalanche activity is the best indicator the snowpack is unstable. Photo: A. Donovan 

  • From email: "Sastrugi on a S facing slope on Divide Peak after a wind event. All previous ski tracks were blown in and a breakable windcrust 2-5cm thick formed on the surface, with large drifts in the basin." Photo: B. McLandress

  • "Toured up goose Creek today, upper Meadows have about 100cm of snow. There is a thick layer of large grain facets unerneath the most recent snow. An extended column gave results of ECT NP 11." Photo: T. Schlotfeldt

  • Photo: S. Starr

  • From e-mail: "Witnessed this road cut collapse in hyalite today , by the Palisades parking lot. Easily a foot of dense snow on 12-18" of sugar. Audible collapse as my dog climbed the embankment." C. Bieniek

  • From e-mail: "At Hyalite Lake we looked to our right at a slope (east facing?) and there was an avalanche that probably released 2 to 4 days ago. Probably 1 to 1.5 ft crown. Didn’t run far.... dug up above the lake. ECTN 22 about 40 cm down. Wind slab and new snow on small facets." Photo: K. Birkeland

  • This older crown was observed on January 2 or 3 below the SW aspect of Elephant Mtn. in Hyalite. Photo: J. Castle

  • Skiers in Hyalite saw recent slab avalanches that failed below the most recent snow. They observed recent activity on "East, South and Northerly aspects in the Divide and Hyalite basins". Photo: C. Kussmaul

  • Skiers in Hyalite saw recent slab avalanches that failed below the most recent snow. They observed recent activity on "East, South and Northerly aspects in the Divide and Hyalite basins". Photo: C. Kussmaul

  • Splitboarders on a dawn patrol got cracking and collapsing as they ascended Mt. Ellis. They stuck to the lower slopes. The snow stability worsened from their trip the day before. Wind-loading occurred down low which made conditions ripe for cracks and whumphs. Photo: W. Ritter

  • Snowboarders in Hyalite observed collapsing and cracking of the new snow near Maid of the Mist. They also found unstable test results (ECTP7). Photo: C. Grote

  • 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 "witnessed a very reactive new snow layer in all wind loaded areas." (12/30). Photo: J. Polus

  • 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

  • This pit was dug near Maid of the Mist in Hyalite. It produced unstable test results on a thin weak layer 10" down from the surface. ECTP22 @22cm. SE slope at 9700'. HS 110cm. Photo: M. Zia

  • 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

  • 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

  • A skier in Hyalite observed several day-old wind slab avalanche near the top of Flanders, and noted "small rolls above the glade and up to ridgeline were still cracking under the weight of a skier." Another reminder that recently wind-loaded pockets are reactive throughout the advisory area. Photo: G. Antonioli

  • Skiers in Hyalite observed several wind slabs release in addition to this slab collapsing under the weight of a skier. Photo: G. Antonioli

  • This avalanche originated from the ridgetop and ran down the east face of Mt Blackmore. Winds were loading slopes quickly. This avalanche occurred in the morning right after we arrived in the bowl. Photo: G. Antonioli

  • This avalanche released while we were skinning up the ridge. New snow and strong winds created instability under the cornice. Photo: G. Antonioli

  • Climbers in Hyalite triggered a small wind slab while hiking. From the email: "No consequences his time, but it is a great reminder of how quickly conditions can change when you're hiking. In the wrong terrain, a slide like this could be really bad." Well said. Photo: P. Dobson

  • Isolated wind slabs in Hyalite cracking under the weight of a skier. Photo: V. Ortiz

  • Photo: @msubackcountryclub

  • Photo: S. Hennessey

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

  • Wind slabs were easily triggered. Although small in size, they indicate that larger slopes would have larger avalanches. Photo: A. Peterson

  • From some skiers: "We encountered veey localized loading that easily fractured and propagated uphill on a south aspect." Photo: S. Reinsel

  • From some skiers: "We encountered veey localized loading that easily fractured and propagated uphill on a south aspect." Photo: S. Reinsel

  • This picture is from Divide Basin in Hyalite Canyon. A skier writes, "Lots of blowing snow with multiple natural avalanches occurring during the morning." Photo: S. Wilson

  • 15-30 mph westerly winds were blowing snow up Hyalite and among the other ranges. Photo: S. Wilson

  • Hyalite got 8-10" of low density snow and there were widespread natural dry loose avalanches on Saturday. Photo: G. Antonioli

  • From e-mail: "triggered a small wet slide in the Going Home chute coming back into Beehive, and we observed another natural wet slide on a similar aspect that had occurred since we toured past in the morning. Wind was light or calm all day and wind effect was minimal even at ridgelines." Photo: C. Kussmaul

Videos- Northern Gallatin

Weather Forecast Northern Gallatin

Extended Forecast for

14 Miles SE Gallatin Gateway 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. The snow could be heavy at times.  Patchy blowing snow. Temperature falling to around 15 by 5pm. Wind chill values as low as -3. Blustery, with a north northwest wind 18 to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches possible.

    Heavy Snow
    and Patchy
    Blowing Snow

    High: 23 °F

  • Tonight

    Tonight: Snow likely, mainly before 1am.  Patchy blowing snow before 11pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 9. Wind chill values as low as -5. Northwest wind 11 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

    Snow Likely
    and Patchy
    Blowing Snow
    then Chance
    Snow

    Low: 9 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: A 20 percent chance of snow after 11am.  Patchy blowing snow after 2pm. Increasing clouds, with a high near 21. Wind chill values as low as -5. Breezy, with a southwest wind 10 to 15 mph increasing to 17 to 22 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 31 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow and
    Patchy
    Blowing Snow

    High: 21 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: Snow likely, mainly after 11pm.  Patchy blowing snow before 8pm, then patchy blowing snow after 11pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 16. Wind chill values as low as zero. West southwest wind 16 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.

    Snow Likely
    and Patchy
    Blowing Snow

    Low: 16 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: Snow.  Areas of blowing snow. High near 24. Breezy, with a southwest wind 22 to 29 mph, with gusts as high as 41 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.

    Snow and
    Areas Blowing
    Snow

    High: 24 °F

  • Wednesday
    Night

    Wednesday Night: Snow.  Patchy blowing snow before midnight. Low around 15. Blustery.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

    Snow and
    Patchy
    Blowing Snow
    then Snow
    Likely

    Low: 15 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: A 40 percent chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 23. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    High: 23 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: A chance of snow, mainly after 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 17.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 17 °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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