Regional Conditions for Southern Gallatin

as of 5:00 am
Oct 191″ |
Oct 18 0″ |
Oct 17 0″ | 25-45 SW
9460′     04/02 at 13:00
40.6℉
E - 2mph
Gusts 14mph
9000′   10/20 at 4:00
21℉
12″ Depth
Bottom Line: The expected snow and wind through the weekend will increase the chances of triggering an avalanche. Slopes that were dirt prior to the storm will not become dangerous with the new snow, but slopes above 8000’ harboring older snow will have the potential to slide. Slopes with dense, wind-loaded snow are inviting to ski and easy to ascend on skins or foot, however, freshly formed drifts will also be the most susceptible to avalanche.
Primary Problem: Wind-Drifted Snow

Past 5 Days

Thu May 2

None
Thu Sep 26

None
Thu Oct 3

None
Thu Oct 10

None
Thu Oct 17

None

Avalanche Activity- Southern Gallatin

Northern Madison
Sphinx Mountain
Whumph on The Sphinx
Incident details include images
Sphinx Mountain
AF-O
Elevation: 9,000
Aspect: N
Coordinates: 45.1582, -111.4770
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From e-mail on Saturday 10/5, climbers on the Sphinx found these conditions: "We found a lot of snow on the Sphinx today following heavy precip since Sam’s report two days ago [see photo]. 3-5 cm in the parking lot, 20 cm at the Sphinx-Helmet col. Moderate SW winds had created drifts almost a meter deep in places on the traverse to the ice routes on the north face. I backed off after a whumph on a particularly exposed section of the traverse. We tried different ledge systems above and below the normal approach route but found similar snow conditions throughout."

Photo: From 10/3 prior to 8-10" new snow, "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."


More Avalanche Details
Bridger Range
Fairy Lake
Small wind slab near Fairy Lake
Incident details include images
Fairy Lake
SS-AS-R1-D1-S
Elevation: 9,000
Coordinates: 45.9043, -110.9580
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From e-mail: "The only places one could ski were wind pockets blown into the limestone fin features that in places were well over a foot. These spots were also where the snow was weirdest/posed any sort of avalanche hazard as you pretty much had to find a wind slab in order to ski anything! One group reported triggering a slab in one of these spots, but vis was too poor to see."


More Avalanche Details

Photos- Southern Gallatin

Displaying 1 - 12
  • 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

  • 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

  • We put up the Lionhead weather station on Tuesday, October 8th. There was 4-6" of snow above 8,000'. Photo: GNFAC

  • 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.

  • 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

Videos- Southern Gallatin

Snowpit Profiles- Southern Gallatin

Weather Stations- Southern Gallatin

WebCams


Electric Peak

Roosevelt Arch

Weather Forecast Southern Gallatin

Extended Forecast for

17 Miles SE Big Sky MT

Winter Weather Advisory until October 20, 12:00pm
Click here for hazard details and duration
Winter Weather Advisory
  •  
    Winter Weather Advisory until October 20, 12:00pm

    NOW until
    12:00pm Sun

    Winter Weather Advisory

  • Overnight

    Overnight: Snow showers likely.  Cloudy, with a low around 24. West wind around 10 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. Total nighttime snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

    Snow Showers
    Likely

    Low: 24 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: Scattered snow showers.  Cloudy, with a high near 32. West northwest wind around 10 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.

    Scattered
    Snow Showers

    High: 32 °F

  • Sunday
    Night

    Sunday Night: Snow showers likely, mainly after 9pm.  Cloudy, with a low around 24. Southwest wind 7 to 9 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

    Snow Showers
    Likely

    Low: 24 °F

  • Monday

    Monday: Snow showers likely, mainly before 9am.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 33. West wind 6 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Snow Showers
    Likely

    High: 33 °F

  • Monday
    Night

    Monday Night: Scattered snow showers.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 29. Southwest wind 9 to 11 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

    Scattered
    Snow Showers

    Low: 29 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: Snow showers likely before 2pm, then rain and snow showers likely.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 40. Breezy, with a southwest wind 10 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 60%.

    Snow Showers
    Likely then
    Rain/Snow
    Likely and
    Breezy

    High: 40 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: Snow showers likely, mainly before midnight.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 26. Breezy, with a west wind 8 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 32 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 60%.

    Snow Showers
    Likely and
    Breezy

    Low: 26 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: A 50 percent chance of snow showers.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 29.

    Chance Snow
    Showers

    High: 29 °F

The Last Word

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