Regional Conditions for Northern Madison

as of 5:00 am
Today0″ | 15-30 W
Nov 11 2″ | 10-20 W
Nov 10 0″ | 15-40 WSW
9400′     11/12 at 13:00
35 ℉
W - 14 mph, Gusts 30
-6999 " New
8880′   11/12 at 13:00
39℉
15″ Depth
Bottom Line: While the weather has been all over the place the last couple days, it hasn’t changed the big picture for the snowpack. Small avalanches breaking near the surface are the only concern. Stay alert for signs of instability such as recent avalanches or cracking/collapsing drifts. If the snow surface gets sticky and wet, be wary of small avalanches that could push you into rocks or off a cliff.

Past 5 Days

Mon Oct 28

None
Fri Nov 1

None
Mon Nov 4

None
Fri Nov 8

None
Today

None

Avalanche Activity- Northern Madison

Bridger Range
Bridger Bowl
Wet loose at Bridger
Incident details include images
Bridger Bowl
WL-N-R1-D1
Coordinates: 45.8156, -110.9230
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Several small wet loose avalanches were observed at Bridger Bowl on 11/5. 


More Avalanche Details
Northern Gallatin
Divide Peak
Cornice triggered slab in Hyalite
Incident details include images
Divide Peak
SS-NC-R2-D1.5-I
Elevation: 9,500
Aspect: SE
Coordinates: 45.4029, -110.9760
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0
More Avalanche Details
Northern Madison
Beehive Basin
Skier triggered small wind slabs in Beehive
Incident details include images
Beehive Basin
SS-ASc-R1-D1.5-S
Elevation: 9,500
Coordinates: 45.3407, -111.3910
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From e-mail: "Skied in the the beehive area today. Triggered some small wind slabs that were sliding on a crust. 

E aspect 9,100': Triggered from a stomping a small cornice, which landed on a steep slope below and popped a small wind slab.

NE aspect 10,000': Triggered while skiing through a choke point. This one was thin but ran down slope quite a ways because the terrain was steeper. It was easy to avoid by skiing off to the right, since the gully was just cross loaded a bit on the left.

SE aspect 9,800': The third was just some propagating cracks. The slope angle wasn't quite steep enough to slide here.

These instabilities appeared to be confined to areas of dense wind drifted snow on top of a crust layer and did not appear to be wide spread."


More Avalanche Details

Photos- Northern Madison

Displaying 1 - 40
  • "Lots of cracking up there this morning on fresh, mid elevation wind slabs"

    Photo: B. Nobel

  • "While skinning up to the top of Powder Park lift at Bridger, we had roughly 15' cracks propagate on an E/SE aspect. A snowpit showed roughly 8" of wind slab above a few inches of facets, on top of last week's rain crust." November 11, 2019.

    Photo: G. Lawrence

  • From obs.: "A widespread rain crust left the whole [Beehive] basin glazed like a Krispy Kreme donut to ~1000'. The consistently breakable crust thinned with elevation yet ensured lack-luster skiing conditions throughout the entire basin. Light winds [and] increasing cloud cover... worked together to keep solar input at bay and minimized the break-down or softening of the surface crust. Noted 2 small (D.5 - R1) old natural WL avalanches on due south aspects at ~10,100' probably triggered from cliff bands during the warm up last week...." Photo: Zachary Miller

  • On November 8th, skiers found weak facets and surface hoar had formed during prior cold and dry weather. Keep an eye out for these weak layers if they get buried. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • On November 8th, skiers found weak facets and surface hoar had formed during prior cold and dry weather. Keep an eye out for these weak layers if they get buried. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Wet loose avalanches at Bridger Bowl (observed on 11/5).

    Photo: G. Antonioli

  • Wet loose avalanches at Bridger Bowl (observed on 11/5).

    Photo: G. Antonioli

  • In the upper basin and dropping into the South Fork of Spanish Creek. Cold temps had done a great job rearranging the snowpack for the worse, older snow was moderately faceted, lots of sub-angular to angular grains to be found. On upper elevation shaded slopes, where more snow from earlier in the year was preserved, the snow near the ground has been metamorphosed to depth hoar, with cupped, striated grains >5mm. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • On 11/2, skiers found fresh drifts that easily cracked, and avalanched on steeper slopes. Photo: T. Chingas

  • NE aspect 10,000'. Triggered while skiing through a choke point. This one was thin but ran down slope quite a ways because the terrain was steeper. Photo: T. Chingas

  • E aspect, 9,100'. Triggered from a stomping a small cornice, which landed on a steep slope below and popped a small wind slab. Photo: T. Chingas

  • From obs. email:

    Easy shovel sheer result (middle facet layer)
    Ct 11 (middle facet layer)
    Ect 13 with propagation (middle facet layer)
    295 degrees northwest facing
    8,600 feet
    70cm snow depth

    Photo: E. Howard

  • A skier reported on 11/1, "Activity I observed was restricted to the new snow. A fair bit of loose snow....  Skiers on the E bowl of Blackmore triggered some D1 dry sluffage, running on a crust beneath the new snow." Photo: B. VandenBos

  • A skier reported on 11/1, "Activity I observed was restricted to the new snow. A fair bit of loose snow....  Skiers on the E bowl of Blackmore triggered some D1 dry sluffage, running on a crust beneath the new snow." Photo: B. VandenBos

  • A skier reported on 11/1, "I watched a small (D1) wind slab build and fail as the wind picked up near the Blackmore/Elephant saddle (happened just before 2pm). Slab couldn't have been much thicker than 15cm, broke 30-40m wide. These slabs were building rapidly,..." Photo: B. VandenBos

  • From an email, "...here’s a pic from a north facing slope below Thunder Road, about midway up PK. We saw a few more shooting cracks in the flats below the top of PK, and the surface wind slab where this photo was taken was ~10 cm."

    Photo: J. Boulange

  • We found sensitive wind slabs near ridgelines on Mt. Blackmore and evidence of recent cross-loading. Photo: GNFAC

  • A skier in Hyalite wrote, "Natural activity that I observed was failing at new/old interface and (generally) occurred in predictable, wind loaded locations near ridge lines. The one exception is the avalanche with the freshest debris; looks like it failed right at the end of the storm in a somewhat sheltered, mid-slope location." Photo: B. VandenBos

  • A skier in Hyalite wrote, "Natural activity that I observed was failing at new/old interface and (generally) occurred in predictable, wind loaded locations near ridge lines. The one exception is the avalanche with the freshest debris; looks like it failed right at the end of the storm in a somewhat sheltered, mid-slope location." Photo: B. VandenBos
     
  • Gusty north wind and moderate snowfall created unstable drifts of snow at Bridger on Monday (10/28). Some slid naturally and some were easily triggered by skiers. Photo: P. Hinz

  • From email: "There was 10cm of facets near the ground which led to a stable layer roughly 30cm thick. Propagation at 40cm and 50cm at 17 and 26 swings from the elbow. 22 degree slope. 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Overall snowpack was 80cm."

    Photo: R. Emery

  • Small storm slabs triggered at Bridger on 10/26. From email: "slab formation appeared isolated to leeward sides of midslope terrain features and rollovers as well as at ridgetops". 

    Photo: G. Antonioli

  • Large avalanche observed on 10/25 near Imp Peak in the Taylor Fork. 

    Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Snow available for transport in the Bridgers is isolated to upper elevations, as mid/lower the snowpack was wet and warm. Skiers recent activity on Saddle isolated to fresh cornice fall and loose snow sluffing. Photo: G. Antonioli

  • The snow still available for transport is isolated to upper elevations, as mid/lower the snowpack was wet and warm. Skiers noted recent activity on Saddle isolated to fresh cornice fall and loose snow sluffing. Photo: G. Antonioli

  • The snow still available for transport is isolated to upper elevations, as mid/lower the snowpack was wet and warm. Skiers noted recent activity on Saddle isolated to fresh cornice fall and loose snow sluffing. Photo: G. Antonioli

  • A local near Fairy Lake gets a taste of fresh October snow and wind. "You know it's somewhat windy when the goats start closing their eyes and their beards get blown sideways." Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Strong westerly wind scoured snow off high ridgelines and slopes in the northern Bridger Range on Friday (10/11). Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Dry loose snow avalanches were observed on 10/10 as the recent snow settled. From e-mail "...saw some small, solar-initiated, dry loose snow slides in steep, rocky terrain (heads up ice climbers). With a firm surface beneath the new snow, these little guys were picking up steam quickly." Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Avalanche debris on the saddle near Hyalite Peak. This is indicative of the type of heavily wind loaded terrain near ridgelines where avalanches are most likely this time of year. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Broken off cornice on the saddle between Blackmore and Elephant on 10/5. "Snow was anywhere from inches deep with grass and rocks to hip deep. It was mostly knee deep though. Down in the flats below the bowl there was easily 8-10" fresh and another 2" on my way down..." Photo: @benjacobsenphoto

  • Ice Climbers on the Sphinx sent this photo from October 3, and noted,

    "No snow hazard of much concern on the approach. However, a quick hasty pit in an isolated wind pocket revealed a CT1 on this layer.  ice axe is to the ground." Photo: S. Magro

  • Wind transport of snow on Gallatin Peak, October 2, 2019. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • MSU SAW is October 9th from 5-9pm in SUB Ballroom A. www.montana.edu/outdoorrecreation/SAW.html for more info.

  • The mountains got their first coat of snow at the end of September, though it isn't quite enough to protect you from hitting rocks. Where the snow is drifted provides the best coverage, but is also the most likely place to trigger a small slide. A small slide would be painful if it pushes you into the many exposed rocks. Photo: G. Antonioli

  • The mountains got their first coat of snow at the end of September. It isn't quite enough to protect you from hitting rocks. Photo: G. Antonioli

  • We hiked in to put up the Flanders weather station on 9/25 and found a spotty distribution of 4-6" of snow above 8,000'. Photo: GNFAC

  • Last weekend (9/23) there was about 14 inches of snow at 9,000'. Sun and warm temperatures created wet snow avalanches on slopes that face the sun. These small slides can be hazardous if they push you into the wrong terrain. Photo: Z. Drobnik

  • Last weekend (9/23) there was about 14 inches of snow at 9,000'. Sun and warm temperatures created wet snow avalanches on slopes that face the sun. These small slides can be hazardous if they push you into the wrong terrain. Photo: Z. Drobnik

  • Last weekend (9/23) there was about 14 inches of snow at 9,000'. Sun and warm temperatures created wet snow avalanches on slopes that face the sun. These small slides can be hazardous if they push you into the wrong terrain. Photo: Z. Drobnik

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Weather Forecast Northern Madison

Extended Forecast for

5 Miles NNW Big Sky MT

  • This
    Afternoon

    This Afternoon: Cloudy, with a high near 31. Windy, with a south wind around 39 mph.

    Cloudy and
    Windy

    High: 31 °F

  • Tonight

    Tonight: Snow likely, mainly between 11pm and 4am.  Patchy blowing snow after 8pm. Mostly cloudy, with a steady temperature around 27. Windy, with a southwest wind 27 to 32 mph decreasing to 20 to 25 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 36 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

    Snow Likely
    and Patchy
    Blowing Snow

    Low: 27 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: A 20 percent chance of snow before 11am.  Mostly sunny, with a high near 29. West wind 14 to 20 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow then
    Mostly Sunny

    High: 29 °F

  • Wednesday
    Night

    Wednesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 19. West wind 14 to 17 mph becoming south in the evening.

    Mostly Clear

    Low: 19 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 32. South wind 15 to 20 mph.

    Mostly Sunny

    High: 32 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 25.

    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 25 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: Partly sunny, with a high near 35. Breezy.

    Partly Sunny
    then Partly
    Sunny and
    Breezy

    High: 35 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: A chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 23.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 23 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: A slight chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 26.

    Slight Chance
    Snow

    High: 26 °F

The Last Word

Our education calendar is full of awareness lectures and field courses. Check it out and plan to attend one or two: Events and Education Calendar.


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