Regional Conditions for Southern Gallatin

as of 5:00 am
Jan 275″ | 5-15 NW
Jan 26 0″ | 5-20 SSE
Jan 25 2″ | 10-20 W
9460′     01/28 at 00:00
10.6℉
SW - 10mph
Gusts 14mph
9000′   01/28 at 0:00
14℉
Depth
Bottom Line: Fresh drifts of snow are possible to trigger and will grow today with moderate wind and 3-5” of new snow. Be cautious of wind loaded slopes near ridgelines, identifiable by round pillows of snow or overhanging cornices. A less likely, but much larger avalanche is possible to trigger breaking at least 2-4 feet deep on persistent weak layers near the base of the snowpack. It is more difficult than it was a week ago to trigger one of these, but the consequences are large and call for conservative decision making.

Past 5 Days

Thu Jan 23

Moderate
Fri Jan 24

Moderate
Sat Jan 25

Moderate
Sun Jan 26

Moderate
Mon Jan 27

Moderate

Avalanche Activity- Southern Gallatin

Northern Madison
McAtee Basin
Snowmobile Triggered Avalanche McAtee Basin
Incident details include images
McAtee Basin
HS-AMu-R2-D2-O
Coordinates: 45.1771, -111.4350
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From Instagram: "I watched a snowmobiler set this avalanche off today. Very scary in MT right now."


More Avalanche Details
Lionhead Range
Lionhead Ridge
Snowmobile Triggered Avalanche Lionhead
Incident details include images
Lionhead Ridge
HS-AM-R2-D2-G
Elevation: 8,800
Aspect: N
Coordinates: 44.7336, -111.3290
Caught: 1 ; Buried: 0

From email: "I wanted to make you aware of a snowmobile triggered slide in Lionhead today. Fortunately, I was not injured, was able to stay completely on top, climbed through the majority of the snow wash after seeing it begin to break, and relatively slowly slid down with the last of the moving snow while still on the machine. When I came to a stop I stood up and was completely free of the snow. Our group is trained in avalanche safety, practiced beacon use prior to leaving town in the morning, were wearing avy gear, and were very fortunate that this ended the way it did.  

A clear reminder that this can happen to any of us and to be careful out there."


More Avalanche Details
Centennial Range
Reas Peak
Snowmobile triggered near Reas Peak
Incident details include images
Reas Peak
HS-AMu-R4-D2.5-O
Coordinates: 44.5477, -111.4860
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Snowmobiler triggered avalanche near Reas Peak on Sunday, 1/19/20. he was able to ride through it uphill.


More Avalanche Details

Photos- Southern Gallatin

Displaying 1 - 40
  • February 1, King and Queen of the Ridge at Bridger Bowl (fundraiser). This is the Friends of the Avalanche Center’s second biggest fundraiser of the year. Come on out and help us raise money by hiking and skiing laps on the ridge. Prizes, camaraderie and a good time is guaranteed. Register with Bridger to hike in the event, and create a pledge page to raise funds with your Ridge laps.

  • Small snowmobiler triggered avalanche in McAtee Basin. From Instagram: "I watched a snowmobiler set this avalanche off today" T. Chamberlain

  • Small snowmobiler triggered avalanche in McAtee Basin. From Instagram: "I watched a snowmobiler set this avalanche off today" T. Chamberlain

  • From email:

    "I wanted to make you aware of a snowmobile triggered slide in Lionhead today. Fortunately, I was not injured, was able to stay completely on top, climbed through the majority of the snow wash after seeing it begin to break, and relatively slowly slid down with the last of the moving snow while still on the machine. When I came to a stop, I stood up and was completely free of the snow. Our group is trained in avalanche safety, practiced beacon use prior to leaving town in the morning, were wearing avy gear, and were very fortunate that this ended up the way it did. 

    A clear reminder that this can happen to any of us and to be careful out there."

    Photo: Anonymous 

  • Snowmobiler triggered avalanche near Reas Peak on Sunday, 1/19/20. He was able to ride through it uphill. Photo: R. Gravatt

  • Snowmobiler triggered avalanche near Reas Peak on Sunday, 1/19/20. He was able to ride through it uphill. Photo: R. Gravatt

  • From obs: "I was on the west side of Pioneer Mtn digging a pit for YC Ski Patrol. I heard a few groups of snowmobiles cruising around the foothills of cedar. I turned and saw two snowmobilers cresting the ridge above the slide pictured as the debris was settling down. The sledders enjoyed the view for a few minutes before turning back the way they came and stumbled upon the slide they had unknowingly triggered. They skirted around the side of the crown and stopped for a few minutes. Based on the height of the rider off his sled, I would estimate the crown to be roughly 10’ at its max height. NE aspect below Cedar" Photo: J. Marcinko

  • With only 3" of new snow overnight, a cornice triggered a large avalanche at Lionhead early this morning. It broke 3 to 4 feet deep and propagated on a buried weak layer. This is the only stability test we need today, human triggered avalanches possible and the management strategy is to avoid steep slopes or be clear about your risk tolerance if you are poking into avalanche terrain. Photo: GNFAC

  • The crown of this snowmobiler triggered avalanche tapered to a thin slab. These thin areas of the slope are prime zones to trigger a slide from. Photo: GNFAC

  • The snowpack in Lionhead is a respectable 6' deep. The facets near the ground are gaining strength and we were unable to get them to break in our tests. Stability is improving! Photo: GNFAC

  • We visited the avalanche that was triggered by a snowmobiler and partially buried 2 people on January 4th. The crown was 10 feet at the deepest part. Photo: GNFAC

  • We visited the avalanche that was triggered by a snowmobiler and partially buried 2 people on January 4th. The crown was 10 feet at the deepest part. Photo: GNFAC

  • Snowmobilers triggered this slide in the 3rd Yellow Mule off Buck Ridge on Saturday (1/4/20).

  •  @carter.olson

  • From one of the riders that was caught, "The 3 persons involved were traveling across the slope about 20-30 yards up from the tree line parallel to the ridge line in the slide area when it broke, not high marking and not traveling uphill. One rider did increase his elevation while traveling across the slope but was never more than 1/4 of the way up when the slide was triggered."

  • A natural avalanche crown was seen on Yellow Mountain near Big Sky on Saturday morning (1/4/20). Photo: A. Schauer

  • A party of three skiers remote triggered avalanche with at least 6' crown off N face of Mt Porphry along rockband near summit on 12/29/19. They triggered it after tyhey had found "Three pits dug on NE face ascending Mt Porphry indicating increasing stability and no clean propagation. Approx 150-210 cm deep snowpack." Photo: G. Alsentzer

  • Avalanche in 2nd Yellowmule. Likely broke during storm on 12/24. Less than a foot deep but ~150 ft wide. Photo: GNFAC

  • We dug this snowpit in Denny Creek at the base of Lionhead Ridge near West Yellowstone on 12/22. An poor snowpack structure makes large avalanches possible to trigger. Photo: GNFAC

  • We toured up to about 7700 feet on a NE facing aspect in the N Madison, upon entering the bottom of the meadow we had several large collapses and then one very large collapse that propagated 100+ feet uphill while on lower angle terrain below the steeper terrain Of the meadow above. We dug a pit, we got an ECTP 10. The pit was 75 cm deep, we found basal facets with an ice crust on top and About 40cm of denser 3-4 finger snow above the ice crust. Photo: A. Palombo

  • Riders saw these recent slides on 12/15 near Carrot Basin. Photo: A. Wheeler

  • Riders saw these recent slides on 12/15 near Carrot Basin. Photo: A. Wheeler

  • Riders saw these recent slides on 12/15 near Carrot Basin. Photo: A. Wheeler

  • On Friday (12/13) there were natural avalanche crowns in Carrot Basin of Taylor Fork. These were a few days old, but show the potential to trigger slides on a buried persistent weak layer. Photo: GNFAC

  • On Friday (12/13) there were natural avalanche crowns in Carrot Basin of Taylor Fork. These were a few days old, but show the potential to trigger slides on a buried persistent weak layer. Photo: GNFAC

  • On Friday (12/13) we rode into Taylor Fork and found a weak foundation of the snowpack, Recent snow has created unstable conditions. Our stability tests showed unstable results on two weak layers. Photo: GNFAC

  • Skiers at Targhee Pass near West Yellowstone reported: "We got a few good collapses while skinning up through east-facing low angle meadows, and got some serious cracking and collapsing while stomping on fresh wind pillows just below ridgeline on a northeast-facing slope at about 8200'. We dug down at one of the cracks and found a 35cm thick F+ slab that had failed on a layer of 4-6mm depth hoar. Cracks propagated close to 100'..." Photo: A. Schauer

  • Riders reported multiple natural slab avalanches on N facing slopes. Photo: R. Rustigian

  • Riders reported multiple natural slab avalanches on N facing slopes. Note widespread crowns along slope in background. Photo: R. Rustigian

  • A snowmobiler triggered an avalanche (yellow pin) north of Crown Butte (the gray mountain at the top of the image). This zone is typically approached from Lulu Pass. His sled was partially buried, but the rider was not. Lots of new snow in the last 24 hours created a CONSIDERABLE avalanche danger.

  • This natural avalanche on the northeast side of Crown Butte near Daisy Pass (Cooke City) almost caught people below. Approximately 2 feet of snow has fallen with wind and the avalanche danger is rated CONSIDERABLE. Photo: B. Whittle

  • Photo taken 12/6 near Two Top, south of West Yellowstone.

    From email: "South facing stuff was thinner than I expected and north and west facing was a lot better than I expected. South facing stuff was 59cm deep and we had multiple ECT-P 14’s between the facets at the bottom and the newer snow."

    Photo: B. Radecky

  • We sledded into Buck Ridge (12/4/2019) for the first time this season. The riding was supportable and soft, but we sank to the ground when we stepped off our sleds. This poor snowpack structure makes avalanches possible to trigger, and will create bad avalanche conditions when more snow loads on top. Enjoy the powder in low angle terrain. Photo: GNFAC

  • This is a close-up of the angular Depth Hoar grains found near the ground in the mountains south of Big Sky to West Yellowstone. These are weak and cannot support a lot of snow weight. Avalanches will break near the ground on these. Photo: GNFAC

  • At the bottom of the snowpack is a thick layer of weak and sugary, faceted snow called Depth Hoar. These large grains do not bond well and form an unstable foundation of the snowpack. Avalanches will break at this layer. Photo: GNFAC

  • We put up the Taylor Fork weather station today (12/03) and it is churning out hourly data. Check it out here: https://www.mtavalanche.com/weather/stations/taylor-fork

  • We partnered with the Gallatin Valley Snowmobile Association to put in two new beacon checkers at the Taylor Fork and Buck Ridge trailheads. They are working great!

    Thanks GVSA! Photo: GNFAC

  • We recognize that backcountry skiing can be daunting to approach. That’s why Ben Goertzen and the Friends of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center have teamed up to help breakdown some of the most prominent barriers of entry to backcountry skiing through this campaign. One lucky winner will be given a complete backcountry skiing kit, a spot in an avalanche awareness course, and featured in a three part video series that ends with an excursion into the backcountry with professional skier and filmmaker, Ben Goertzen . These videos will be used by the Friends of GNFAC to help other aspiring backcountry skiers gain awareness, knowledge and start to breakdown their barriers to entry.

    Click Here for More Details on How to Enter

    Watch the Backcountry Barriers Launch Video: https://vimeo.com/376473804

  • These small crowns indicate that new snow may not bond well to the old snow surface. Photo: B. Fredlund

WebCams


Electric Peak

Roosevelt Arch

Weather Forecast Southern Gallatin

Extended Forecast for

17 Miles SE Big Sky MT

  • Overnight

    Overnight: A 10 percent chance of snow after 5am.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 15. South wind 6 to 8 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow

    Low: 15 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: Snow likely, mainly after noon.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 29. South southwest wind around 8 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

    Snow Likely

    High: 29 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: Snow likely.  Patchy fog between 8pm and 9pm.  Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 17. South southwest wind around 6 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.

    Snow Likely
    and Patchy
    Fog

    Low: 17 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: A 20 percent chance of snow before 11am.  Partly sunny, with a high near 30. Calm wind becoming west around 5 mph in the afternoon.

    Slight Chance
    Snow then
    Mostly Sunny

    High: 30 °F

  • Wednesday
    Night

    Wednesday Night: A 50 percent chance of snow, mainly after 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 17. South southwest wind around 6 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 17 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: A 40 percent chance of snow before 11am.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 30. South southwest wind around 7 mph.

    Chance Snow
    then Partly
    Sunny

    High: 30 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 18. South southwest wind 6 to 8 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 18 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: A 50 percent chance of snow, mainly after 11am.  Cloudy, with a high near 30.

    Chance Snow

    High: 30 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: A 40 percent chance of snow.  Cloudy, with a low around 24.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 24 °F

The Last Word

See our mid-season snowpack summary for a review of the deep slab avalanche problem and general (conservative) travel advice.