Regional Conditions for Northern Gallatin

as of 5:00 am
Today1″ | N/A
Mar 28 0″ | NA
Mar 27 0″ | NA
9980′     03/22 at 13:00
41.0℉
S - 0mph
Gusts 8mph
8100′   03/29 at 4:00
16℉
87″ Depth
Bottom Line: Avalanches can break today on weak layers buried 1-2 ft deep underneath this week’s snow. These weak layers have been found across southwest Montana and we’ve seen a quite a few avalanches breaking on them. Use an Extended Column Test to look for and test the weak layer before getting onto a steep slope. The more deeply these weak layers are buried, the more problematic they will be, which means that wind-loaded slopes remain more worrisome than other slopes.

Past 5 Days

Tue Mar 24

Moderate
Wed Mar 25

Moderate
Thu Mar 26

Considerable
Fri Mar 27

Considerable
Sat Mar 28

Moderate

Avalanche Activity- Northern Gallatin

Northern Gallatin
Hyalite - main fork
Skier triggered slide in Twin Falls Basin
Incident details include images
Hyalite - main fork
SS-ASu-R2-D2
Elevation: 9,000
Aspect: N
Coordinates: 45.4174, -110.9890
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From obs: Small D2 avalanche triggered while assessing the slope on a due-north facing aspect on a roughly 35-40 deg. slope at ~9000 ft. near Arden Lake in the Twin Falls drainage off the Main Fork of Hyalite. ....  Had about a 2 ft deep, 30 ft-long crown. The bed surface was not clearly a sun-crust and was of low quality and remained relatively soft to ski on after the slide. There were crystals above that may be classified as facets, maybe 1mm dia. It seemed to have gone on a compacted layer that the 18" of fresh had weighted."


More Avalanche Details
Northern Gallatin
Divide Peak
Natural and skier triggered slides in Hyalite
Incident details include images
Divide Peak
SS
Coordinates: 45.4029, -110.9760
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From obs: "Later in the day we ran across what we assume to be a remotely triggered avalanche from another party in the area. There were two sets of tracks on the adjacent slope with cracks visible on the slope. The avalanche occurred on a 40* east aspect at 9250' and failed on the MFcr/FC dn 35cm. .... Skiing out the trail with better light than in the morning, we saw a number of similar avalanches confined to east aspects on steep 40*+ rolls and presumably failing on the persistent grains above the crust."


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Bridger Range
Bridger Bowl
Natural avalanches in the new snow, Bridger Range
Incident details include images
Bridger Bowl
SS-N-R1-D1-I
Coordinates: 45.8156, -110.9230
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

1. Saw some really cool small avalanches today at Bridger. There was an obvious cycle last night on a density change, it wasn't sliding on the crust. The instability had decreased by 10 am and we couldn't get anything to move. Really cool to see such thin soft slabs propagating up to 50 ft. Good piles of debris under steep chutes.

2. Soft slabs were reactive on rocky south easterly aspects where sun crusts had formed.


More Avalanche Details

Photos- Northern Gallatin

Displaying 1 - 40
  • Main Fork of Hyalite 3/27.

    From obs: "This slide popped on a N aspect at 9000', ranging from 18-30 inches deep... it slid on a crust." Photo: N. Iltis

  • From obs: "Later in the day we ran across what we assume to be a remotely triggered avalanche from another party in the area. There were two sets of tracks on the adjacent slope with cracks visible on the slope. The avalanche occurred on a 40* east aspect at 9250' and failed on the MFcr/FC dn 35cm. We looked at the crown profile, and the structure was very similar to what we found on souths. 35cm of F->4F PP/DF overlaying MFcr/FC. We did an ECT on the crown and it failed on isolation. Skiing out the trail with better light than in the morning, we saw a number of similar avalanches confined to east aspects on steep 40*+ rolls and presumably failing on the persistent grains above the crust." Photo: E. Coba

  • In the Bridger Range, avalanches released naturally on a density change in the new snow sometime Tuesday night (3/24). Photo: E. Knoff

  • In the Bridger Range, avalanches released naturally on a density change in the new snow sometime Tuesday night (3/24). Photo: E. Knoff

  • Snowfall throughout the afternoon fluctuated between S1 - S5 (during brief squalls). The winds started out moderate and from the west but calmed by the last lap ~5 pm. The new snow (from last night/this morning) was fairly well bonded to the sun/melt-freeze crust below, but the storm came in subtly upside down. Today’s snowfall (accumulating ~3” while skiing between 1-530) was light. Right along the ridgeline, we triggered 4 predictable small storm slabs 4~6” deep on the upside-down storm snow from last night/this morning, but surprisingly not on the old crust. They were each 5-10m wide x 5m long and only ran ~5m vertically. Photo: Z Miller

  • This is a photo of a small roof avalanche near Island Park. Warming temperatures cause water to percolate through the snow which lubricates the sliding surface. Roof avalanches have injured and killed people in the past, just one more thing to worry about. Photo: M.E. 

  • Dave Zinn digs a hand pit along the ridge to assess how the new snow is sticking to the ice crust. Photo: GNFAC

  • Obs: "School bus size cornices over Easterly portions of Lionhead Ridge. It is hard to tell from the photo, but the largest cornices were about 20-25' tall. We dug a few pits on East Facing slopes between 9,000-9,500 ft with the worst result being an ECTN-21 however these Cornices are primed and ready to fall with the abundant sunshine and warming weather." Photo: JR

  • From e-mail: "Natural wet slides... caused us to back off our plan of heading that way and ski a north, shady aspect instead. On a southern aspect. 9000ft. 1:30pm. We dug a hasty pit and observed a weak layer about 1m down. The facets were beginning to round." Photo: K. Master

  • From IG post with #gnfacobs: "I triggered a small windslab, mid slope on the north face of Wilson. It was a a pretty stubborn slab that broke above me. Cross loaded from lookers right. 6-8” deep." Photo: B Gill

  • From IG post with #gnfacobs: "I triggered a small windslab, mid slope on the north face of Wilson. It was a a pretty stubborn slab that broke above me. Cross loaded from lookers right. 6-8” deep." Photo: B Gill

  • From south of Big Sky yesterday 3/17 about 9:00, just north of Buck Ridge at 8500'. Large surface hoar on northerly aspects. Photo: Spence

  • We dug near the top of Bacon Rind and found 155cm of snow. Our primary concern is with the upper snowpack. As it warms and wets we can expect an increase of avalanche activity on the ice crusts. Facets are still dry and soft at the bottom of the pack and I got this layer to break with an ECTP29. Photo: GNFAC

  • From the Blackmore/Elephant saddle, I observed what looked to be a less than a day old cornice break which triggered a loose wet slide in front of it. The cornice debris was large, about the size of a VW beetle. I also observed some surface hoar on the north side of the saddle. Photo: B. Gordon

  • Spencer Jonas, GNFAC intern, in a snowpit in Beehive Basin. We found over 6 feet of snow and just dug our the top 4 feet to assess the stability. The new snow is bonding well and there were no signs of instability. Photo: GNFAC

  • Cornices have grown rapidly in the last few days. These will be susceptible to breaking and could trigger pillows of wind slabs under them. Photo: Bridger Bowl Ski Patrol

  • Strong wind stripped snow off many slopes above treeline. Photo: GNFAC

  • This naturally triggered avalanche likely happened Tuesday morning. Strong wind loaded slopes and made huge cornices. Photo: GNFAC

  • The winds blew the new new into wind slabs that avalanched naturally yesterday. This photo was taken at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday (3/10) by Evan Schock.

  • Dry loose avalanches on Blackmore. The snow stayed surprisingly cold and dry throughout the day. Photo: R Rustigian

  • A falling cornice triggered a large slide in the wet snow on an east facing slope up Hyalite. It was north of Mt. Blackmore and west of History Rock. Photo: R. Parsons

  • A falling cornice triggered a large slide in the wet snow on an east facing slope up Hyalite. It was north of Mt. Blackmore and west of History Rock. Photo: R. Parsons

  • A google earth view of the cornice triggered location, 

    45.4626N, -111,0219W
    8766'

    Photo: R. Parsons

  • From obs.: "photo of “Avalanche Peak” just south of Lava Lake driving north on HWY 191, all likely from yesterday (3/6)." Photo: S. Jonas

  • Point releases across highway from Bacon Rind. 3/6/2020.

    Photo: GNFAC

  • Point releases across the highway from Bacon Rind. 3/6/2020

    Photo: GNFAC

  • Wet slide in Buffalo Horn Creek. 3/6/2020.

    Photo: A. Norlander

  • "Saw this avalanche that broke on a NW facing slope around 9300’. Looks to have failed on the facets at the ground ... the crown was 4-5’."

    Photo: M. Murray

  • "Saw this avalanche that broke on a NW facing slope around 9300’. Looks to have failed on the facets at the ground ... the crown was 4-5’."

    Photo: M. Murray

  • Overview of an avalanche triggered on 2/27/2020 at 8:30 p.m. by a groomer between Storm Castle and Swan Creeks in the northern Gallatin Range. The driver was ok, but the machine did a full barrel roll and was very badly damaged. Photo: GNFAC

  • Crown of an avalanche triggered on 2/27/2020 at 8:30 p.m. by a groomer between Storm Castle and Swan Creeks in the northern Gallatin Range. The driver was ok, but the machine did a full barrel roll and was very badly damaged. It broke 2-3' deep on weak sugary snow near the ground. It was on a West aspect at 7,500' elev., 100' wide, 600' long. Photo: GNFAC

  • An avalanche triggered on 2/27/2020 at 8:30 p.m. by a groomer between Storm Castle and Swan Creeks in the northern Gallatin Range. The driver was ok, but the machine did a full barrel roll and was very badly damaged. The debris piled 8' deep on the road, which creates a terrain trap. Photo: GNFAC

  • Debris and groomer in an avalanche triggered on 2/27/2020 at 8:30 p.m. by a groomer between Storm Castle and Swan Creeks in the northern Gallatin Range. The driver was ok, but the machine did a full barrel roll and was very badly damaged. Photo: GNFAC

  • An avalanche was triggered on 2/27/2020 at 8:30 p.m. by a groomer between Storm Castle and Swan Creeks in the northern Gallatin Range. The driver was ok, but the machine did a full barrel roll and was very badly damaged. Photo: GNFAC

  • Looking up the path of an avalanche triggered on 2/27/2020 at 8:30 p.m. by a groomer between Storm Castle and Swan Creeks in the northern Gallatin Range. The driver was ok, but the machine did a full barrel roll and was very badly damaged. Photo: GNFAC

  • Looking down the path of an avalanche triggered on 2/27/2020 at 8:30 p.m. by a groomer between Storm Castle and Swan Creeks in the northern Gallatin Range. The driver was ok, but the machine did a full barrel roll and was very badly damaged. Photo: GNFAC

  • From obs form: "While approaching Black Mountain from Pine Creek Lake.... We skied South aspect and as it warmed we triggered D1 R1 slabs that ran slow and short." Photo: T. Hoefler

  • From email: "Photo attached of a natural avalanche from yesterday, just south of Cooke City.  It's on an E, NE aspect, with a crown around 9,300'.  Looks like it occurred yesterday am, as a result of a cornice fall." B. Fredlund

  • Looking up into the gully from the debris of the cornice triggered avalanche. Photo: M. Sebren

  • Looking north at the crown of the cornice triggered slide in the Hourglass, north of Bridger Bowl. Photo: M. Sebren

Videos- Northern Gallatin

WebCams


Bozeman Pass, Looking SE

Weather Forecast Northern Gallatin

Extended Forecast for

14 Miles SE Gallatin Gateway MT

  • Today

    Today: A slight chance of snow between noon and 4pm.  Mostly sunny, with a high near 33. South southwest wind 11 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 20%.

    Sunny then
    Slight Chance
    Snow

    High: 33 °F

  • Tonight

    Tonight: A 20 percent chance of snow after 3am.  Partly cloudy, with a low around 23. South southwest wind 14 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph.

    Partly Cloudy
    then Slight
    Chance Snow

    Low: 23 °F

  • Monday

    Monday: A 40 percent chance of snow, mainly after noon.  Partly sunny, with a high near 34. Southwest wind 11 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    High: 34 °F

  • Monday
    Night

    Monday Night: Snow, mainly after midnight.  Patchy blowing snow after midnight. Low around 18. Breezy, with a south southwest wind 20 to 24 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

    Chance Snow
    and Breezy
    then Snow and
    Patchy
    Blowing Snow

    Low: 18 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: Snow.  High near 26. West wind around 17 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.

    Snow

    High: 26 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: A 40 percent chance of snow, mainly before midnight.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 14. Southwest wind 9 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.  New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 14 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: Snow likely, mainly after noon.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 22. Southwest wind around 10 mph becoming north northwest in the afternoon.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

    Chance Snow
    then Snow
    Likely

    High: 22 °F

  • Wednesday
    Night

    Wednesday Night: A chance of snow, mainly before midnight.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 9. North northwest wind around 9 mph.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 9 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: A chance of snow, mainly after noon.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 23.

    Chance Snow

    High: 23 °F

The Last Word

This article in Powder Magazine about backcountry skiing during the COVID-19 pandemic is worth a read.

The Gallatin County Health Department and the Montana Department of Health and Human Services websites have up-to-date information on all things Coronavirus related.