Trip Planning for Southern Gallatin

as of 5:00 am
Feb 240″ | 15-31 SW
Feb 23 0″ | 20-35 NW
Feb 22 0″ | 10-20 W
9460′     02/25 at 00:00
SE - 16mph
Gusts 30 mph
9000′     02/25 at 01:00
55″ Depth
Primary Problem: Persistent Weak Layer
Bottom Line: Today people can easily trigger large avalanches, potentially from flatter terrain below steep slopes. Moderate to strong wind yesterday and today drifted snow into thicker slabs, keeping the snowpack especially unstable on wind-loaded slopes. Weak layers of facets and surface hoar buried 2-4 feet deep make up the foundation of the snowpack, and are as weak as we’ve seen. The best plan is to avoid riding on or beneath slopes steeper than 30 degrees.

Past 5 Days

Tue Feb 20

Wed Feb 21

Thu Feb 22

Fri Feb 23

Sat Feb 24


Relevant Avalanche Activity

Lionhead Range
Hebgen Lake
Large whumps, Hebgen Lake
Incident details include images
Incident details contain video
Hebgen Lake
Elevation: 8,200
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 44.8381, -111.3430
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

 A small whumpf in the skin track was followed by a massive one a few minutes later. I can count on one hand the number of times I got whumpfs in a skin track...rare indeed. The second one was so big it had us both deeply concerned. We peeled off the skin track after deciding to not cross a gully and soon found debris from a sizeable avalanche that released a couple days ago about 500' above us. We dug in the flank and had 100cm of snow, 60 cm new from last week. The snowfall during the Avalanche Warning, doubled the depth and more than doubled the snow water equivalent of the snowpack. It was a large load and avalanches are breaking underneath the new snow.

Karl was using his 100 cm long Norwegian Battle Saw (pic)...a bit overkill.

More Avalanche Details
Southern Gallatin
Cabin Creek
Shooting Cracks Cabin Creek
Incident details include images
Cabin Creek
Coordinates: 44.8893, -111.2060
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From Obs: "As we were coming out, I spotted this cracking above the creek. A sled has passed nearby on the right side ( you can see the track). The snow cracked and was starting to rub in the left (barely)."


More Avalanche Details
Southern Gallatin
Specimen Creek
Whumpfing and Cracking, Specimen Creek
Specimen Creek
Coordinates: 45.0265, -111.0480
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From obs: "Whumphing, collapsing and shooting cracks on all aspects, at all elevations. The longest shooting crack went over 100' long, shot right out in front of me on a 24deg E aspect slope. Propagating collapses out to 40 feet or so, very thin overall snowpack."

More Avalanche Details

Relevant Photos

Displaying 1 - 15
  • Riders saw a large crack in the snow near the Cabin Creek Cabin in the S. Madison Range. This is a red flag for unstable conditions. Anonymous


  • Do you like to hike? Do you like to ski? Then the King & Queen of the Ridge is for you. Hike, ski and raise money for the Friends of the Avalanche Center in their 2nd biggest fundraiser of the year. Join the effort to promote and support avalanche safety and awareness! Fundraising prizes for top 5 individuals who raise over $500. No racing is necessary to compete for the fundraising prizes. Info to fundraise is HERE or donate here. Race participants for the [insert dates] event must register separately with Bridger Bowl here.

  • Photo and observation from 01/20

    From obs: "Large roller balls were observed in avalanche terrain on a SE aspect at 8,300'. Alongside this observation, rather wet, sticky snow was observed throughout the tour, causing multiple glopping incidents on our skins." Photo: E. Webb


  • Skiers on 01/20 saw a natural avalanche that happened the day before on 01/19. Photo: E. Webb

  • From observations on 01/20:

    Shooting cracks above a cornice that created a small avalanche. Photo: D. Halama

  • From observation on 01/20:

    While approaching a cornice skiers collapsed the slope and triggered a small cornice. Photo: E. Webb

  • A small avalanche was seen in Black Bear Canyon on 01/14. This was a recent avalanche that happened today or yesterday 01/13. 

  • Cracking at Fawn Pass this was accompanied by multiple collapses during the tour. Photo: S. Reinsel

  • Large surface near Little Bear. Photo: JR Mooney

  • From IG on 12/10: "2 slides we triggered remotely in tepee yesterday"

  • From obs: "Dug into the hillside right before going up the creek. Snow pack was 75 cm deep consisting of three layers. Bottom 35cm is obviously faceted, grain size is around 2mm. Very thin ice crust at around 35cm. Upper 35 cm of snow is brand new snow from this current storm, precipitation particles, low density, with minor wind effect. Performed a quick Compression Test and the ice crust layer failed on the second tap." Photo: S. Gralla

  • From IG: “Pine creek today, some small wind slabs and a full depth wet slide off black mountain”

  • From IG: “Pine creek today (10/21), some small wind slabs and a full depth wet slide off black mountain”

  • From obs. "Was out alpine climbing today and observed the north face of Blackmore had slid already."

  • Get your tickets and online bid for items HERE!

Videos- Southern Gallatin


Electric Peak

Roosevelt Arch

Snowpit Profiles- Southern Gallatin


Select a snowpit on the map to view the profile image

Weather Stations- Southern Gallatin

Weather Forecast Southern Gallatin

Extended Forecast for

17 Miles SE Big Sky MT

Winter Storm Watch February 26, 05:00am until February 27, 05:00amClick here for hazard details and duration Winter Storm Watch
  • Overnight

    Overnight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 26. South wind around 10 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 26 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: A 30 percent chance of snow, mainly after 3pm.  Partly sunny, with a high near 35. Breezy, with a south southwest wind 10 to 15 mph increasing to 17 to 22 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 34 mph.

    Partly Sunny
    then Chance

    High: 35 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday Night: A 50 percent chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 28. Windy, with a south southwest wind 23 to 30 mph, with gusts as high as 48 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow
    and Windy

    Low: 28 °F

  • Monday

    Monday: Snow. The snow could be heavy at times.  Patchy blowing snow before 4pm. High near 32. Windy, with a south southwest wind 23 to 28 mph decreasing to 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 44 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.

    Heavy Snow
    and Patchy
    Blowing Snow

    High: 32 °F

  • Monday

    Monday Night: Snow, mainly before 4am.  Low around 6. North northwest wind 6 to 9 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.


    Low: 6 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: Snow likely, mainly after 11am.  Partly sunny, with a high near 16. Blustery, with a west northwest wind 6 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 70%.

    Snow Likely
    and Blustery

    High: 16 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around -1. South southwest wind 9 to 13 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: -1 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 22. Breezy.

    Partly Sunny
    and Breezy

    High: 22 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday Night: A 20 percent chance of snow after 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 17. Breezy.

    Slight Chance
    Snow and

    Low: 17 °F

The Last Word

On Thursday Ian rode in the Independence Mine area (up the Main Boulder, outside our advisory area) to check out the snowpack conditions before the Sweet Grass County Recreation Association Poker Ride tomorrow. Watch our video for a snowpack update. Avoiding riding on and staying out from under slopes steeper than 30 degrees would be a wise choice if you’re headed up to join in the fun this weekend.

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