Regional Conditions for Southern Gallatin

as of 5:00 am
Today0″ | 15-25 SW
Mar 2 0″ | 15-30 S
Mar 1 0″ | 15-25 S
9460′     03/03 at 14:00
28.9℉
S - 12mph
Gusts 20mph
9000′   03/03 at 13:00
40℉
74″ Depth
Bottom Line: The biggest avalanche concern remains weak, sugary snow at the ground. It is still there, still weak and still capable of avalanching. Even without recent avalanches or other signs of instability be aware that facets at the ground have a long history of fooling us. Slopes avalanche when we do not expect it. That's why we carry rescue gear, travel one at a time and watch one another; sometimes our assessment is wrong and we need a safety net. Additionally, above freezing temperatures will dampen the snow surface. On slopes getting the full power of the sun I expect wet snow to loosen and slide on steep slopes.
Primary Problem: Persistent Weak Layer

Past 5 Days

Sat Feb 27

Moderate
Sun Feb 28

Considerable
Mon Mar 1

Considerable
Tue Mar 2

Moderate
Today

Moderate

Avalanche Activity- Southern Gallatin

Northern Madison
Buck Ridge
Third Yellow Mule / Skier triggered slide + sympathetic
Incident details include images
Incident details contain video
Buck Ridge
SS-ASu-R2-D1.5-O
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 45.1912, -111.4430
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

https://www.instagram.com/p/CL4xIk5n8PZ/

Sled Skiing in Third Yellow mule... after an air onto the slope the impact from landing resulted in a fracture and failure to / near the ground... in addition, a remote trigger occurred on adjacent slope... 200-300 ft to the skiers right. No body was caught in either slide. Skier that initiated failure was moving at high speed and was beyond slide path before majority of snow movement began. 2 pits where dug prior to riding terrain. One on adjacent slope, we went through to ECT 30 and continued to hammer on the column through 40 wacks of double fist, full force before failure occurred 30 cm above ground. Second pit was dug on slope where slide was initiated... same results, very hard to get failure to occur. Snowpack depth varied from 125 - 180 cm in the area... our pits were dug in depths of around 125 cm and 170 cm respectively.


More Avalanche Details
Southern Madison
Cabin Creek
Snowbike triggered avalanche, Red Canyon near W. yellowstone
Incident details include images
Incident details contain video
Cabin Creek
HS-AMu-R4-D2-O
Coordinates: 44.8949, -111.2280
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Riders triggered this slide on 2/28/21 near Red Canyon/Cabin Creek, north of West Yellowstone. Nobody caught or injured, but close call.


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Southern Gallatin
Specimen Creek
Specimen Creek
Incident details include images
Specimen Creek
SS-N-R2-D1-O
Elevation: 8,200
Aspect: SE
Coordinates: 45.0265, -111.0480
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From obs: "Observed 2 natural avalanches, both on the basal persistent layer I would guess. one maybe a week old, partially filled in (SS-N-D1R2-O), and one that ran in the last 24 hrs (SS-N-D1.5R2-O) on a SE aspect, 35 deg at 8200 ft. I thought it was interesting given the lack of new snow and seeming lack of strong winds in this area. 2/5 ECTs had propagation, we had two large collapses."


More Avalanche Details

Photos- Southern Gallatin

Displaying 1 - 40
  • Wet loose avalanches released in the warm sunshine on Tuesday, March 2nd. We expect many more in the coming days. Photo: S. Jonas

  • Sled Skiing in Third Yellow mule... after an air onto the slope the impact from landing resulted in a fracture and failure to / near the ground... in addition, a remote trigger occurred on adjacent slope... 200-300 ft to the skiers right. No body was caught in either slide. Skier that initiated failure was moving at high speed and was beyond slide path before majority of snow movement began. Photo: W. Miller

  • Sled Skiing in Third Yellow mule... after an air onto the slope the impact from landing resulted in a fracture and failure to / near the ground... in addition, a remote trigger occurred on adjacent slope... 200-300 ft to the skiers right. No body was caught in either slide. Skier that initiated failure was moving at high speed and was beyond slide path before majority of snow movement began. Photo: W. Miller

  • Sled Skiing in Third Yellow mule... after an air onto the slope the impact from landing resulted in a fracture and failure to / near the ground... in addition, a remote trigger occurred on adjacent slope... 200-300 ft to the skiers right. No body was caught in either slide. Photo: W. Miller

  • This avalanche was triggered on Sunday, 2/28, when a skier released another slide 2-300 feet away. It broke at the same time. No one was caught. This was in the Third Yellow Mule on Buck Ridge.  Photo: W. Miller

  • From obs (2/28/21): "I’ve attached a photo of a small, D1.5, slide I saw on a thin S facing slope at 9000’. It was definitely more than a few days old. HS in the areas you would want to ski is 130-180cm, with a distinct drop felt with a probe at the bottom of the pack. Other areas are very scoured up there." S. Jonas

  • Riders triggered this slide on 2/28/21 near Red Canyon/Cabin Creek, north of West Yellowstone. Nobody caught or injured, but close call.

  • Riders triggered this slide on 2/28/21 near Red Canyon/Cabin Creek, north of West Yellowstone. Nobody caught or injured, but close call.

  • Riders triggered this slide on 2/28/21 near Red Canyon/Cabin Creek, north of West Yellowstone. Nobody caught or injured, but close call.

  • There was 6' of snow off the ridge in the Bridger Range on an east facing slope. The top 2 feet were recent wind drifting that broke clean in our stability test which indicated unstable conditions (ECTP18). We expect similar conditions and instability with wind-loaded slops throughout our forecast area. Photo: GNFAC

  • In the last 24 hours (2/28) 12" of low density powder and 40-50 mph west wind made it easy to trigger wind-drifted snow. Alex kicked these drifts which cracked and moved. We expect similar conditions and instability with wind-loaded slops throughout our forecast area. Photo: GNFAC

  • From obs: "Observed 2 natural avalanches, both on the basal persistent layer I would guess. one maybe a week old, partially filled in (SS-N-D1R2-O), and one that ran in the last 24 hrs (SS-N-D1.5R2-O) on a SE aspect, 35 deg at 8200 ft. I thought it was interesting given the lack of new snow and seeming lack of strong winds in this area." Photo: S. Hennessey 

  • From obs: “Triggered a large slide with a snowmobile. Went all the way to the ground. Crown seemed to range anywhere from maybe 3 ft to 10 ft. Large slabs of snow broke free and slid for about 100 yards.”

  • On 2/13/21 riders reported they triggered this avalanche, and remotely triggered two other slides. Nobody was injured. One partially buried.

  • On 2/13/21 riders reported they triggered this avalanche, and remotely triggered two other slides. Nobody was injured. One partially buried.

  • Sledders triggered this slide on 2/6/21 in West Targhee Creek near Lionhead. No one was caught.

  • From Obs: "Big whumf a cracking on south east slope 8000 feet elevation. sub 25 degrees angle. Super loud and scary when it fractured. Broke to the ground. Small crown up higher on same slope." Photo: A. Kaugman

  • From Obs: "Skied up near Big Horn Peak today, around 100cm HS, a bit unsupportable and thin down low. Got lots of whumphs, probably 20+. Saw an avalanche on the west face of Meldrum, looked to be a few days old, but probably R2D2." Photo: S Jonas

  • A snowmobiler triggered this avalanche on Monday (2/1/2021) at Lionhead. No one was caught. Photo: Anonymous

  • A snowmobiler triggered this avalanche on Monday (2/1/2021) at Lionhead. No one was caught. Photo: Anonymous

  • This small avalanche was below the corner of Lionhead peak. It was one of the smaller slides during the avalanche cycle that occurred 1/29 and 1/30. Photo: GNFAC

  • The avalanche broke in the new snow, but stepped down into deeper layers (sugary facets) mid-path. This can occur when there are multiple weak layers in the snowpack. Photo: GNFAC

  • Every path along the shoulder of Targhee Peak (Lionhead area) avalanched naturally during the storm 1/29 and 1/30. Photo: GNFAC

  • This steep north facing slope avalanched about 3 weeks ago on depth hoar when a snowmobiler triggered it. It got reloaded with new snow and wind drifts and avalanched a second time! Photo: GNFAC

  • This natural avalanche occured on a NE facing slope at 8600". It was 2' deep, 500' wide and 250' vertical. The avalanche broke on a thin layer of facets during the storm. SS-N-R3-D2-O. Photo: GNFAC

  • On the north end of Lionhead Ridge is Airplane Bowl. The crown line extends across the entire bowl on the right with a separate avalanche on the left. Photo: GNFAC

  • Take a close look at the picture and you'll see crowns from the far left to the far right of the photograph. Photo: GNFAC

  • Many avalanches broke under the new snow and also deeper on facets. These natural slides occurred on 1/29 and 1/30. Photo: GNFAC

  • Skiers remotely triggered this slide, from low angle terrain, below and far to the side on 1/30/21. It is on Ernie Miller ridge near Bacon Rind on E aspect around 9,000' elev. Click below for more info.

  • Skiers remotely triggered this slide, from low angle terrain, below and far to the side on 1/30/21. It is on Ernie Miller ridge near Bacon Rind on E aspect around 9,000' elev. Click below for more info.

  • Skiers reported widespread collapsing and cracking of the snowpack, breaking on weak sugary snow near the ground, and said, "snow was falling off trees hundreds of feet away with some collapses." Photo: E. Knoff

  • This avalanche was triggered on 1/30/21 by skiers from low angle terrain adjacent to the slope, and a long ways away. Photo: G. Stevens

  • From obs: "While skiing a loaded east aspect in the Southern Gallatin, my partner got a large collapse as he started to break trail back to our skin track, cracks shot 20ish feet uphill." Photo: A. Palombo

  • From obs: "The NE facing slopes of Dudley Creek are struggling to hold the new snow. I easily triggered the 6-8" of new and windblown snow but it is also stepping down to the facets buried deeper." Photo: S. Budac

  • Stepping out of my skis I sunk to the ground. The snowpack is weak and unsupportable. Large grains of sugary facets (depth hoar) make up the bottom third of the snowpack. Photo: GNFAC

  • Snowfall and strong wind triggered this avalanche on 1/13/2021. Photo: B. Fredlund

  • Cracking, collapsing, wumphs in the Southern Gallatin. ECTP 22. West facing, 8200’ non windloaded, 80cm of snow. Broke 50cm deep on depth hoar. Barely a cohesive slab on top but still enough to cause unstable conditions.

  • We looked at the avalanche in Hyalite that was triggered on Saturday 1/9/21. The slope angle was 33-35 degrees. It broke 2-3’ deep on weak facets below a hard slab, 1000’ wide and the debris was 5-9’ deep. East aspect, 9,800’ elevation. Photo: GNFAC

  • Skiers triggered this avalanche on Flanders Mountain on 1/9/21. It was triggered out of the photo to the right on a seperate slope around the corner. It propagated over 1000' wide, and 2-4' deep. Photo: GNFAC

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Weather Forecast Southern Gallatin

Extended Forecast for

17 Miles SE Big Sky MT

  • This
    Afternoon

    This Afternoon: Sunny, with a high near 45. South wind around 11 mph.

    Sunny

    High: 45 °F

  • Tonight

    Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 12. South southwest wind 6 to 9 mph.

    Mostly Clear

    Low: 12 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 42. West southwest wind around 6 mph.

    Sunny

    High: 42 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 14. South southwest wind around 8 mph.

    Mostly Clear

    Low: 14 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 40. South wind 8 to 10 mph.

    Mostly Sunny

    High: 40 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 20. South wind around 10 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 20 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 42. Breezy, with a south southwest wind 11 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.

    Mostly Sunny
    and Breezy

    High: 42 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: A 20 percent chance of snow showers.  Partly cloudy, with a low around 20.

    Slight Chance
    Snow Showers

    Low: 20 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 34.

    Mostly Sunny

    High: 34 °F

The Last Word

The video recording of Dave’s recent talk on “Rethinking Avalanche Terrain from a Strategic Perspective” is now available. It’s worth your time to watch it. There is a little something for everyone. 


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