Regional Conditions for Northern Madison

as of 5:00 am
Today7″ | 20-40 SW
Jan 20 2″ | 15-35 SW
Jan 19 1″ | 20-35 SW
9400′     1/21 at 6:00
20 ℉
NW - 8 mph, Gusts 21
6 " New
8880′   01/21 at 5:00
26℉
39″ Depth
Bottom Line: Avalanches are possible to trigger where wind has drifted recent day’s (6-7” since Thursday) snow into fresh slabs. Avalanches can break larger on weak layers buried 1.5-2’ deep. On non-wind loaded slopes, dry loose and slab avalanches of new snow are possible.
Primary Problem: Wind-Drifted Snow

Past 5 Days

Wed Jan 16

Low
Thu Jan 17

Low
Fri Jan 18

Moderate
Sat Jan 19

Moderate
Sun Jan 20

Moderate

Avalanche Activity- Northern Madison

Northern Madison
Collapse near Big Sky
Incident details contain video
AS
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0
More Avalanche Details
Northern Madison
McAtee Basin
Snowmobiler triggered avalanche in McAtee
Incident details include images
Incident details contain video
McAtee Basin
HS-AMu-R3-D1.5-O
Elevation: 9,280
Aspect: SE
Coordinates: 45.1838, -111.4420
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0
More Avalanche Details
Northern Madison
Beehive Basin
Skier Triggered Avalanche in Beehive
Beehive Basin
SS-ASc-D1
Coordinates: 45.3397, -111.3950
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From email: "We did set off one small slide on a steep slope skiing back into Beehive from the Middle Ridge. It was approximately 1 foot deep, 20 feet across and ran ~50 feet. It was very predictable and my partner got it to run after stomping on the slope."


More Avalanche Details

Photos- Northern Madison

Displaying 1 - 40 of 4.61168601843E+18
  • A snowmobiler triggered this small avalanche on Friday (1/11) between the 3rd Yellow Mule and McAtee Basin on Buck Ridge. The slope has a terrain trap at the bottom where snow can pile deep and makes small slides more dangerous. The relatively shallow snowpack is weaker and shows that a poor snowpack structure exists on some slopes in the northern mountains of our advisory area, and makes avalanches possible to trigger. Photo: GNFAC

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • We found this fresh skier triggered avalanche in Middle Basin today 1/5/19. East aspect. 9,400’ elev. It broke 1-2’ deep on weak, sugary facets. We had stable results in our stability tests (so did another group nearby), but this slide and recent reports of collapsing in the area indicate an untrustworthy and unstable, poor snowpack structure.

  • We found this fresh skier triggered avalanche in Middle Basin today 1/5/19. East aspect. 9,400’ elev. It broke 1-2’ deep on weak, sugary facets. We had stable results in our stability tests (so did another group nearby), but this slide and recent reports of collapsing in the area indicate an untrustworthy and unstable, poor snowpack structure. 

  • We found this fresh skier triggered avalanche in Middle Basin today 1/5/19. East aspect. 9,400’ elev. It broke 1-2’ deep on weak, sugary facets. We had stable results in our stability tests (so did another group nearby), but this slide and recent reports of collapsing in the area indicate an untrustworthy and unstable, poor snowpack structure. Photo: GNFAC

  • We found this fresh skier triggered avalanche in Middle Basin today 1/5/19. East aspect. 9,400’ elev. It broke 1-2’ deep on weak, sugary facets. We had stable results in our stability tests (so did another group nearby), but this slide and recent reports of collapsing in the area indicate an untrustworthy and unstable, poor snowpack structure. Photo: GNFAC

  • We found this fresh skier triggered avalanche in Middle Basin today 1/5/19. East aspect. 9,400’ elev. It broke 1-2’ deep on weak, sugary facets. We had stable results in our stability tests (so did another group nearby), but this slide and recent reports of collapsing in the area indicate an untrustworthy and unstable, poor snowpack structure. Photo: GNFAC

  • From e-mail: "...in bhive today, as I rolled into a W facing gully  at around 9800ft I got a good whumph, I noticed a 25ft wide crack probably about 8 inches deep, it did not run just fractured.  I checked it out seemed like it broke on an older slab sitting on that facet layer from early December." Photo: T. Grande

  • Skiers on Wilson Peak observed "widespread whoomfing and could visibly see the slopes drop/collapse on the climb through the trees". They dug a pit and found facets buried 40 cm deep and unstable test results at ECTP23. Photo: J. Die

  • A snowmobiler triggered this slide in the 3rd Yellowmule of Buck Ridge on Monday (12/31). It was an east facing slope. Photo: K. Crisman

  • Skiers observed many natural avalanches in Beehive Basin yesterday (12/31). "My partner counted 12+ including this one... All avalanche activity was on E or NE slopes which had been hammered by the winds." Photo: M. Cohen

  • From the Yellowstone Club Ski Patrol, " ...we noted 2 natural avalanches along one of our roads. They both are at about 7000ft and had a relatively shallow snowpack. The crowns were roughly 2ft in depth and ran on facets near the ground. One slide looks like it released during the yesterday’s storm and the other appears to have gone either overnight or this morning." Photo: YCSP

  • From the Yellowstone Club Ski Patrol, " ...we noted 2 natural avalanches along one of our roads. They both are at about 7000ft and had a relatively shallow snowpack. The crowns were roughly 2ft in depth and ran on facets near the ground. One slide looks like it released during the yesterday’s storm and the other appears to have gone either overnight or this morning." Photo: YCSP

  • From an email, " Patrollers also spotted a natural avalanche outside of the ski area boundary in the Eglise Bowl. The photo was taken from a distance but the aspect is NE and the elevation is around 8500ft. " Photo: YCSP

  • 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

  • From e-mail on 12/23: "About an 8 inch slab triggered by snowmobilers. South facing slope in the 3rd yellowmule at buck ridge." Photo: Crisman

  • This wind-loaded pocket was triggered in the 2nd Yellowmule of Buck Ridge on 12/22. Photo: M. Alvarez

  • Ski patrol triggered this avalanche at the Yellowstone Club on Sunday (12/16). "R3/D2 (8400’, ENE facing, 36deg start zone) that was about 120’ wide and ran vertically 200’. The crown was 1.5-2’, went to ground, and was a mostly faceted snowpack with a bit of wind effected snow in the top few inches. The slide was released from a 4lb air blast." Photo: YCSP

  • Ski patrol triggered this avalanche at the Yellowstone Club on Sunday (12/16). "R3/D2 (8400’, ENE facing, 36deg start zone) that was about 120’ wide and ran vertically 200’. The crown was 1.5-2’, went to ground, and was a mostly faceted snowpack with a bit of wind effected snow in the top few inches. The slide was released from a 4lb air blast." Photo: YCSP

  • A snowmobiler triggered this avalanche on Saturday (12/15) near Buck Ridge. It is on a wind loaded slope and likely broke on buried facets that formed in early December.

  • 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

  • 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

  • Our snowpit showed instability in the small, sugary facets that are underneath a hard slab of wind blown snow. An avalanche was triggered around the corner from this snowpit around the same time we were digging! Photo: GNFAC

  • These natural slides are on a heavily wind loaded slopes, and were observed on Saturday (12/15). Debris ran into the trees at the bottom of the bowl. Photo: @dinsmoredigital

  • These natural slides are on a heavily wind loaded slopes, and were observed on Saturday (12/15). Debris ran into the trees at the bottom of the bowl. Photo: @dinsmoredigital

  • 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

  • Big Sky Ski Patrol saw two natural wind slab avalanches during control this morning that had released after being loaded by strong winds last night. From BSSP: "We observed the evidence of 2 small naturals this am in the upper cirque where the strong winds had managed to deposit some snow very low below cliff bands. We did not see this loading pattern anywhere else on the hill." Photo: BSSP

  • Photo: @msubackcountryclub

  • 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

  • Skiers triggered these loose snow avalanches on Sunday (12/2) on a west-southwest aspect in Beehive Basin. Photo: T. Allen

  • 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

  • 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

  • Skiers in Beehive on Sunday (12/2) reported lots of previous natural point releases. Photo: H. Copolillo

  • We observed this wind slab and debris on Sunday (12/2). It likely formed from the new snow and wind on Saturday morning. Photo: GNFAC

Videos- Northern Madison

Weather Forecast Northern Madison

Extended Forecast for

5 Miles NNW Big Sky 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.  Widespread blowing snow, mainly after noon. Temperature falling to around 11 by 4pm. Wind chill values as low as -12. Windy, with a north wind 22 to 31 mph, with gusts as high as 38 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.

    Snow and
    Blowing Snow

    High: 19 °F

  • Tonight

    Tonight: Snow likely, mainly before 11pm.  Widespread blowing snow, mainly before 9pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 5. Wind chill values as low as -14. Blustery, with a north wind 24 to 29 mph becoming west 18 to 23 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 36 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

    Snow Likely
    and Blowing
    Snow

    Low: 5 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: Patchy blowing snow after noon. Increasing clouds, with a high near 16. Wind chill values as low as -14. Breezy, with a southwest wind 14 to 19 mph increasing to 20 to 25 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 34 mph.

    Mostly Sunny
    then Patchy
    Blowing Snow
    and Breezy

    High: 16 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: Snow likely, mainly after 11pm.  Patchy blowing snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 12. Wind chill values as low as -7. Breezy, with a southwest wind 21 to 24 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

    Snow Likely
    and Patchy
    Blowing Snow

    Low: 12 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: Snow.  Widespread blowing snow, mainly before 5pm. High near 20. Windy, with a south southwest wind 25 to 31 mph, with gusts as high as 43 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.

    Snow and
    Blowing Snow

    High: 20 °F

  • Wednesday
    Night

    Wednesday Night: Snow, mainly before 11pm.  Areas of blowing snow before 3am. Low around 12. Breezy.  Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

    Snow and
    Areas Blowing
    Snow

    Low: 12 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: A 30 percent chance of snow, mainly before 11am.  Partly sunny, with a high near 20. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    High: 20 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: A chance of snow, mainly after 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 14.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 14 °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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