Regional Conditions for Southern Madison

as of 5:00 am
Today4″ | N/A
Mar 30 2″ | N/A
Mar 29 1″ | N/A
9460′     03/27 at 14:00
60.0℉
NW - 0mph
Gusts 1mph
9000′   03/31 at 15:00
28℉
Depth
Bottom Line: The mountains have 5-8” of heavy new snow with more snow expected today. Fresh wind slabs and avalanches in the new snow are easy to trigger. Avalanches can break deeper on weak layers 1-2 feet down. Danger will increase through the day. Make conservative decisions and travel cautiously. Assume the new snow is unstable and plan your route accordingly, to avoid avalanche terrain.

Past 5 Days

Fri Mar 27

Considerable
Sat Mar 28

Moderate
Sun Mar 29

Moderate
Mon Mar 30

Moderate
Today

Considerable

Avalanche Activity- Southern Madison

Northern Madison
Buck Ridge
Snowmobile triggered on Buck Ridge
Incident details include images
Buck Ridge
SS-AMu-R2-D2-I
Elevation: 9,300
Aspect: N
Coordinates: 44.1744, -111.3820
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From obs (3/29/20): "This 44* slope failed 12” under the surface of the snow on a hard crust as we descended to help another stuck rider in a tree. Another layer exists 2” below the failed layer which persisted to follow me down the hill rupturing as fault lines as I continued rapidly down the hill after extracting the stuck rider. While the remaining slope only fractured without chasing me down the hill... "Photo: TJ Krob

On 3/30 forecasters saw two other different slides that broke a foot deep on surface hoar (photo).


More Avalanche Details
Southern Madison
Quake Lake
Natural windslabs near Quake Lake
Quake Lake
SS
Coordinates: 44.8524, -111.3920
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Natural avalanches near Quake Lake, observed on 3/26/2020.

From email: "I observed several small natural slides originating on recently-loaded, corniced ridgelines. These all ran substantial distances, but did not pick up much snow or step down from the new snow."


More Avalanche Details
Northern Gallatin
Mt Blackmore
Human Triggered Soft Slab Avalanches - Mt Blackmore
Incident details include images
Mt Blackmore
SS-ASc-R1-D1-S
Elevation: 10,000
Aspect: N
Coordinates: 45.4444, -111.0040
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Snowfall throughout the afternoon fluctuated between S1 - S5 (during brief squalls). The winds started out moderate and from the west but calmed by the last lap ~5 pm. The new snow (from last night/this morning) was fairly well bonded to the sun/melt-freeze crust below, but the storm came in subtly upside down. Today’s snowfall (accumulating ~3” while skiing between 1-530) was light. Right along the ridgeline, we triggered 4 predictable small storm slabs 4~6” deep on the upside-down storm snow from last night/this morning, but surprisingly not on the old crust. They were each 5-10m wide x 5m long and only ran ~5m vertically. 


More Avalanche Details

Photos- Southern Madison

Displaying 1 - 40
  • This surface hoar crystal is almost 1.5 cm (each square is 2mm) and was the weak layer in a few avalanches on Buck Ridge (3/29/20). Photo: GNFAC

  • We saw this natural avalanche from afar. It was NE aspect and likely failed on a layer of surface hoar 1-1.5' deep. The Madison Valley is in the background. Photo: GNFAC

  • From obs (3/29/20): "This 44* slope failed 12” under the surface of the snow on a hard crust as we descended to help another stuck rider in a tree. Another layer exists 2” below the failed layer which persisted to follow me down the hill rupturing as fault lines as I continued rapidly down the hill after extracting the stuck rider. While the remaining slope only fractured without chasing me down the hill... "Photo: TJ Krob

  • Sunday (3/29/20) skiers near Fairy Lake saw this cornice collapse that ran for quite a ways in October bowl. Photo: T. Gittins

  • From obs. (3/29/20): "Significant wind started building mid morning, forming even bigger cornices and wind loading many slopes. Noticed this slide on an East/Northeast aspect at the back of the bowl above Maid of the Mist creek, possibly triggered by cornice fall but unknown. Happened between 9:45am and 11:30am today, as at 9:30am it was not there, and when we returned to the spot around 11:30am the slide was visible." Photo: CP

  • Today we rode into the Taylor Fork and Lionhead areas to remove our weather stations for the season. Photo: GNFAC

  • Snowfall throughout the afternoon fluctuated between S1 - S5 (during brief squalls). The winds started out moderate and from the west but calmed by the last lap ~5 pm. The new snow (from last night/this morning) was fairly well bonded to the sun/melt-freeze crust below, but the storm came in subtly upside down. Today’s snowfall (accumulating ~3” while skiing between 1-530) was light. Right along the ridgeline, we triggered 4 predictable small storm slabs 4~6” deep on the upside-down storm snow from last night/this morning, but surprisingly not on the old crust. They were each 5-10m wide x 5m long and only ran ~5m vertically. Photo: Z Miller

  • This is a photo of a small roof avalanche near Island Park. Warming temperatures cause water to percolate through the snow which lubricates the sliding surface. Roof avalanches have injured and killed people in the past, just one more thing to worry about. Photo: M.E. 

  • Dave Zinn digs a hand pit along the ridge to assess how the new snow is sticking to the ice crust. Photo: GNFAC

  • Obs: "School bus size cornices over Easterly portions of Lionhead Ridge. It is hard to tell from the photo, but the largest cornices were about 20-25' tall. We dug a few pits on East Facing slopes between 9,000-9,500 ft with the worst result being an ECTN-21 however these Cornices are primed and ready to fall with the abundant sunshine and warming weather." Photo: JR

  • From e-mail: "Natural wet slides... caused us to back off our plan of heading that way and ski a north, shady aspect instead. On a southern aspect. 9000ft. 1:30pm. We dug a hasty pit and observed a weak layer about 1m down. The facets were beginning to round." Photo: K. Master

  • From IG post with #gnfacobs: "I triggered a small windslab, mid slope on the north face of Wilson. It was a a pretty stubborn slab that broke above me. Cross loaded from lookers right. 6-8” deep." Photo: B Gill

  • From IG post with #gnfacobs: "I triggered a small windslab, mid slope on the north face of Wilson. It was a a pretty stubborn slab that broke above me. Cross loaded from lookers right. 6-8” deep." Photo: B Gill

  • From south of Big Sky yesterday 3/17 about 9:00, just north of Buck Ridge at 8500'. Large surface hoar on northerly aspects. Photo: Spence

  • We dug near the top of Bacon Rind and found 155cm of snow. Our primary concern is with the upper snowpack. As it warms and wets we can expect an increase of avalanche activity on the ice crusts. Facets are still dry and soft at the bottom of the pack and I got this layer to break with an ECTP29. Photo: GNFAC

  • From e-mail: "...some wet loose avy activity observed today just west of Cooke City (south aspect, around 8200').  Overall though, minimal wet avalanche activity observed with this significant warm up..." Photo: B. Fredlund

  • From obs: "On Thursday my group skied a few lines off the Lee side of skyline. Generally, all stability observations but one were good except for 1. We were skinning cross slope along the top of the apron toward the bottom of a couloir on the north aspect of White Peak to recon the couloir for possible ascent and skiing. As we approached the opening of the couloir, a large collapse occurred on a firm wind slab and a crack shot out across the bottom of the couloir an unknown distance. (We deemed it unwise to further investigate given the slope angle was nearly 40 degrees. It was quite puzzling the slope did not slide upon collapse and we were not about to further poke that bear.)

    Photo: Z. Ferry

  • Point releases across highway from Bacon Rind. 3/6/2020.

    Photo: GNFAC

  • Point releases across the highway from Bacon Rind. 3/6/2020

    Photo: GNFAC

  • Wet slide in Buffalo Horn Creek. 3/6/2020.

    Photo: A. Norlander

  • From an email, "It did look like the east face of Ramshorn Peak slid pretty recently. The blowing snow and clouds weren't conducive to good pictures but you can see the crown line below and to the right of the summit. Looked like a cornice fall triggered it." Photo: B. Richards

  • Overview of an avalanche triggered on 2/27/2020 at 8:30 p.m. by a groomer between Storm Castle and Swan Creeks in the northern Gallatin Range. The driver was ok, but the machine did a full barrel roll and was very badly damaged. Photo: GNFAC

  • An avalanche triggered on 2/27/2020 at 8:30 p.m. by a groomer between Storm Castle and Swan Creeks in the northern Gallatin Range. The driver was ok, but the machine did a full barrel roll and was very badly damaged. The debris piled 8' deep on the road, which creates a terrain trap. Photo: GNFAC

  • An avalanche was triggered on 2/27/2020 at 8:30 p.m. by a groomer between Storm Castle and Swan Creeks in the northern Gallatin Range. The driver was ok, but the machine did a full barrel roll and was very badly damaged. Photo: GNFAC

  • Looking up the path of an avalanche triggered on 2/27/2020 at 8:30 p.m. by a groomer between Storm Castle and Swan Creeks in the northern Gallatin Range. The driver was ok, but the machine did a full barrel roll and was very badly damaged. Photo: GNFAC

  • Looking down the path of an avalanche triggered on 2/27/2020 at 8:30 p.m. by a groomer between Storm Castle and Swan Creeks in the northern Gallatin Range. The driver was ok, but the machine did a full barrel roll and was very badly damaged. Photo: GNFAC

  • From obs form: "While approaching Black Mountain from Pine Creek Lake.... We skied South aspect and as it warmed we triggered D1 R1 slabs that ran slow and short." Photo: T. Hoefler

  • From email: "Photo attached of a natural avalanche from yesterday, just south of Cooke City.  It's on an E, NE aspect, with a crown around 9,300'.  Looks like it occurred yesterday am, as a result of a cornice fall." B. Fredlund

  • Skiers saw this 2-4' deep natural crown on Sunday 2/23/20. Photo: from IG @skishot

  • "Avalanche debris we encountered while skinning up the access road. It piled roughly 15-20 feet onto the road." Photo: T. Papritz

  • "Very large and destructive deep slab just north of emigrant peak on a east-facing aspect. The debris likely ran over 1000 vertical feet and stopped towards the bottom right of the image. We think the smaller slide on the far right was triggered as a secondary slide as a result." Photo: T. Papritz

  • "Very large and destructive deep slab just north of emigrant peak on a east-facing aspect. The debris likely ran over 1000 vertical feet and stopped towards the bottom right of the image. We think the smaller slide on the far right was triggered as a secondary slide as a result." Photo: T. Papritz

  • From IG #gnfacobs post: "An avalanche from early Tuesday (02/18) morning caused by a natural cornice fall. Note the step down partway down the path. ENE @ 9700. Ran 1300’." Photo: A. Whitmore

  • "I had been riding trees most of the day down low and moved up to about mile marker 10 later in the day. Did a side hill through open trees and stopped on top of this slope. Watched it all propagate and slide below me." Photo: anonymous

  • Debris pile from the slide in Taylor’s Fork, crown of about 5-6’ and about 100' wide. Human triggered. Photo: Matt Seifert

  • Slide in Taylor’s Fork, crown of about 5-6’ and about 100' wide. Human triggered. Photo: Matt Seifert

  • Surface Hoar in Taylor Fork on 2/13/2020.

  • "...were up in Tepee today, we saw a couple small slides the one below look to be caused from a snowmobiler and we saw one other one high on the Whites peak ridge that looked to be a natural slide or maybe caused from a piece of cornise that broke off.  The rest of the ridge along White Peak also looked to be loaded up." Photo: J. Norlander

  • On 2/9/20 we saw deep avalanche crowns throughout the Bridger Range. These broke at various times throughout the recent storm that deposited 4 feet of snow with over 4" of SWE in the last week. This photo shows crowns from avalanches that broke across the entire drainage of Truman Gulch. Photo: GNFAC

  • On 2/9/20 we saw deep avalanche crowns throughout the Bridger Range. These broke at various times throughout the recent storm that deposited 4 feet of snow with over 4" of SWE in the last week. This photo shows debris from avalanches that broke across the entire drainage of Truman Gulch. Photo: GNFAC

Videos- Southern Madison

WebCams


Raynolds Pass, Looking N

Weather Forecast Southern Madison

Extended Forecast for

20 Miles S Big Sky MT

Winter Weather Advisory until April 1, 12:00pm
Click here for hazard details and duration
Winter Weather Advisory
  •  
    Winter Weather Advisory until April 1, 12:00pm

    NOW until
    12:00pm Wed

    Winter Weather Advisory

  • This
    Afternoon

    This Afternoon: Snow.  Areas of blowing snow. Steady temperature around 25. Breezy, with a southwest wind around 23 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.

    Snow and
    Areas Blowing
    Snow

    High: 25 °F

  • Tonight

    Tonight: Snow, mainly before 1am.  Areas of blowing snow before 9pm. Low around 10. Breezy, with a west southwest wind 18 to 23 mph decreasing to 10 to 15 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 31 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

    Snow and
    Areas Blowing
    Snow then
    Snow Likely

    Low: 10 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: Snow, mainly after 10am.  High near 20. West wind 5 to 11 mph becoming north in the morning.  Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

    Snow

    High: 20 °F

  • Wednesday
    Night

    Wednesday Night: Snow.  Low around 4. Wind chill values as low as -10. North northeast wind around 10 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

    Snow

    Low: 4 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: Snow likely, mainly before noon.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 20. North wind around 11 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Snow Likely

    High: 20 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 5. North northwest wind 9 to 13 mph becoming southwest after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 18 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 5 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: A 50 percent chance of snow after noon.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 23. South wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Mostly Cloudy
    then Chance
    Snow

    High: 23 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: A slight chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 12. South southwest wind 14 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow

    Low: 12 °F

The Last Word

A recent avalanche in Colorado left a rider with life-threatening injuries, required extensive resources and put rescuers at high risk. Read this article from Outside Magazine about the event, and please adjust your travel habits to respect and conserve our community’s resources.