Regional Conditions for Southern Madison

as of 5:00 am
Today6″ |
Dec 12 1″ | N/A
Dec 11 3″ | N/A
9000′   12/13 at 19:00
12℉
30″ Depth
Bottom Line: Moderate to strong winds out of the west-southwest in combination with fresh snow has created the perfect recipe for wind slab development. Recently wind loaded slopes will be reactive to human triggers today. Watch for signs of instability such as shooting cracks and avoid all steeps slopes that have rounded pillows of wind drifted snow.
Primary Problem: Wind Drifted Snow

Past 5 Days

Sun Dec 9

Low
Mon Dec 10

Low
Tue Dec 11

Moderate
Wed Dec 12

Moderate
Today

Considerable

Avalanche Activity- Southern Madison

Southern Madison
Imp Peak
Skier triggered wind slab, Southern Madison Range
Incident details include images
Imp Peak
SS-ASu-R1-D1-I
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Skiers descending Imp Peak in the southern Madison Range triggered this small wind slab. This is bull's eye information that larger slides are possible on wind loaded slopes. 


More Avalanche Details

Photos- Southern Madison

Displaying 1 - 40 of 4.61168601843E+18
  • This small wind slab was triggered by skiers descending from Imp Peak in the southern Madison Range. Although small, this slide is bull's eye information that larger slides are possible on wind loaded slopes. Photo: S. Knowles 

  • Cracking of fresh drifts was a sign that avalanches were likely on steep, wind loaded slopes on Saddle Peak. Photo: GNFAC

  • Snow water equivalent at SNOTEL stations in the GNFAC advisory areas for the 18-19 season to date. Weak layers formed on the surface of the snowpack during the dry weather (flat section of lines), then they were buried by the recent 10-14" of snow (steep increase at end of graph). Image: GNFAC

  • Climbers triggered this very small wind slab on the way to a climb up Flanders in Hyalite (11/11). A tiny slide to a skier can be bad news for a climber since losing one's balance or getting pushed off a cliff can be deadly. From an email (edited):

    Hyalite Snow Conditions:...we dug two hasty pits on east facing slopes in Flanders....
    8200'- isolated opening in trees in an area on rocks, shallower snow (~50cm). CT12 at the ground, again just tapping on the back of other hand, so not super legit, but did raise eyebrows.  
    8450'- Opening below cliff bands on exposed traverse. Deeper snow (~80-90cm). No concerns other than storm snow and snow coming off of cliff bands. Classic Hyalite shifty winds. We released a small (10-15cm) storm slab on traverse into the climb .  
    Weather: It was snowing and blowing all day.

    Photo: S. Magro

  • From an email:

    "By and large right side up snowpack. Some small facets below the 11/1 ice crust at the ground, but well bonded snowpack overall. Pit observations consistent with hand pits dug throughout the day touring north out of Bridger Bowl." Photo: M. Zia

  • From an email: "ECTP 5 at the top of a chute on the south face of the Texas Meadows knob. Propagated on a layer 15cm from the top of the snowpack." Photo: J. Zimmerer

  • From Instagram:

    "Careful out there this year! While we are lucky enough to have a mostly stable snowpack here in Southwest Montana, we did just find this little wind slab well below the ridge line in Middle Basin. Slowboarder was fine" @chartierk

  • A skier found 80 cm of stable snow on an east facing slope at 9200' in Beehive Basin. Winds created these newborn cornices along the ridge. Photo: T. Allen

  • From e-mail: "Was descending off of Zach Attack tonight and set off a small slab in the gully on the decent. This was about 100 meters below the start of pitch 1. Constant whipping winds and lots of new deposited snow likely caused the slab to form. Climber caused. Didn’t carry me as it was small. Would be wary of the mummy cooler gullies abover scepter as well."

  • From e-mail: "Was descending off of Zach Attack tonight and set off a small lab in the gully on the decent. This was about 100 meters below the start of pitch 1. Constant whipping winds and lots of new deposited snow likely caused the slab to form. Climber caused. Didn’t carry me as it was small. Would be wary of the mummy cooler gullies abover scepter as well."

  • From a tour up Miller Creek: "Good stability and structure found overall.  No collapsing nor cracking experienced, minor wind effect, and only some minor point release avalanche activity noted on the east aspect of Crown Butte." Photo: B. Fredlund

  • From Zack Keskinen:
     
    Noted multiple small crowns (15-20cms) on NE steep rocky terrain. Pit seemed reasonably consistent with a couple hand pits across the day in the "above treeline" zone.
  • From Zack Keskinen:
     
    Mt Blackmore 11/07
    HN24 - 20cm
    S1 - 8/8 - W (Light)
     
    Noted multiple small crowns (15-20cms) on NE steep rocky terrain.Pit seemed reasonably consistent with a couple hand pits across the day in the "above treeline" zone.
  •  From Zack Keskinen:
     
    Mt Blackmore 11/07
    HN24 - 20cm
    S1 - 8/8 - W (Light)
     
    Noted multiple small crowns (15-20cms) on NE steep rocky terrain.Pit seemed reasonably consistent with a couple hand pits across the day in the "above treeline" zone.
  • Natural wind slab that broke after 3-4 feet of new snow over 6 days. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Natural avalanche activity was widespread in Hyalite on Tuesday 11/6. Obs from e-mail: "The newest snow (about 18", I'd guess past 48hrs) is touchy soft slab. The top 8 inches also exhibit a storm slab-like quality.  There appears to be a very slight density change between the two.  Top 8" fracture and propagate cracks readily on gentle terrain, whereas in steeper terrain, the deeper slab (again, about 18" down) was propagating as I was skinning up the headwall in the steep creek drainages and steeper features nearby. Lots of natural activity on steeper terrain, but vis was limited. Photo: G. Antonioli

  • Natural avalanche activity was widespread in Hyalite on Tuesday 11/6. Obs from e-mail: "The newest snow (about 18", I'd guess past 48hrs) is touchy soft slab. The top 8 inches also exhibit a storm slab-like quality.  There appears to be a very slight density change between the two.  Top 8" fracture and propagate cracks readily on gentle terrain, whereas in steeper terrain, the deeper slab (again, about 18" down) was propagating as I was skinning up the headwall in the steep creek drainages and steeper features nearby. Lots of natural activity on steeper terrain, but vis was limited. Photo: G. Antonioli

  • From the MSU Backcountry Club Instagram page:

    Warning! This is a current, fresh, crown in the northern Bridgers! Every aspect had a visible crown and avi debris! This crown was 56cm at it deepest and over 8 meters long. ECTP21@53 and CT24@54 on the overlying slab. Photo: @msubackcountryclub More Details.

  • This avalanche was observed on the morning of Friday 11/2. It broke from a natural trigger in the Big Couloir at Big Sky Resort. New snow fell and was drifted into slabs overlying older, hard layers of snow from October. The resort is not open and no people were in the area of the avalanche at that time. Photo: Big Sky Resort More details

     

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  • Wet slab avalanche in the Centennial range. Multiple days without freezing created widespread wet slides last week (5/6-5/11). Photo: @waxeman

  • Wet slab avalanche in the Centennial range. Multiple days without freezing created widespread wet slides last week (5/6-5/11). Photo: @waxeman

  • Wet slide carnage observed off of Skyline Ridge near Cabin Creek May 11/12. Many days of above freezing temperatures created widespread wet slide activity over the previous week. Photo: B. Lukens

  • Wet slide carnage observed off of Skyline Ridge near Cabin Creek May 11/12. Many days of above freezing temperatures created widespread wet slide activity over the previous week. Photo: B. Lukens

  • Massive cornices create a few hazards as they warm and weaken under the spring heat. They become easier to trigger, can break naturally, and form dangerous, deep cracks along ridgelines. From e-mail: "The crack was up to 30' deep, and had pulled large pieces of vegetation from the ridgeline it used to be attached to." Photo: S. Reinsel

  • Many days with above freezing temperatures created widespread wet slide activity in southwest Montana the week of May 7-11. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Extended above freezing temperatures created widespread wet slide activity in southwest Montana the week of May 7-11. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Extended above freezing temperatures created widespread wet slide activity in southwest Montana the week of May 7-11. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Extended above freezing temperatures created widespread wet slide activity in southwest Montana the week of May 7-11. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Extended above freezing temperatures created widespread wet slide activity in southwest Montana the week of May 7-11. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • From e-mail: "Photo of a couple of recent wet slab avalanches, just north of Silver Gate (on Mineral Mtn.). On a south aspect, around 9100'. The one on looker's left ran on April 23rd I think, and the one on looker's right April 27 or 28th. That's all the slab avalanches I've observed with these warm temps. Not a ton of wet loose activity to be seen either. Snowpack is holding in there!" Photo: B. Fredlund

  • Natural wet loose avalanches that slid during multiple days of well above freezing temperatures. Wet loose slides like this can run long distances and carry a lot of force. Multiple days with high temperatures of 50-60 F and overnight lows in the mid-30s to 40 F created a wet snowpack and wet slab and wet loose avalanches slid naturally. Photo: GNFAC

  • This small wet slab avalanches slid during multiple days of well above freezing temperatures. Though small, it is large enough to bury a person and would carry a lot of force. Multiple days with high temperatures of 50-60 F and overnight lows in the mid-30s to 40 F created a wet snowpack, and wet slab and wet loose avalanches slid naturally. Photo: GNFAC

  • Natural wet slab avalanche that ran during multiple days of well above freezing temperatures (4/26-4/28). Multiple days with high temperatures of 50-60 F and overnight lows in the mid-30s to 40 F created a wet snowpack and wet slab and wet loose avalanches slid naturally. Photo: GNFAC

  • Wet avalanches ran naturally last week during above freezing temperatures and sunshine after the last storm. Slides like this will be possible when the snowpack softens in the afternoon and will become more likely if the snowpack doesn't freeze overnight. Wet slides can run long distance and carry a lot of force. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Recent snowfall followed by spring sunshine and above freezing temperatures created natural wet slab and wet loose activity. More slides like this are possible if temperatures do not freeze overnight, during heavy rain, or after the next snowfall. Photo: B. VandenBos

     

  • Cornices are massive and will break naturally with above freezing temperatures and hot, spring sun. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Cornices are massive through the advisory area and will break naturally with above freezing temperatures and hot, spring sun. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Cornices are a significant hazard this time of year. As temps warm above freezing, these overhanging masses of snow will become increasingly unstable. They can break farther back than you might expect and trigger large avalanches on the slopes below. They can fail naturally or with human triggers. 

  • This slide was triggered by the first skier of day off Saddle Peak. The skier was caught and carried 1,500 vertical feet. He was buried with his hand sticking out of snow. Unfortunately, he did not have a partner and was buried for over an hour. He did not survive. Photo: R. Gregoire   

Videos- Southern Madison

Weather Forecast Southern Madison

Extended Forecast for

20 Miles S Big Sky MT

  • Tonight

    Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a temperature rising to around 15 by 1am. Wind chill values as low as -5. South southwest wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 11 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 27. Wind chill values as low as zero. Breezy, with a south wind 14 to 22 mph, with gusts as high as 36 mph.

    Mostly Sunny
    then Mostly
    Sunny and
    Breezy

    High: 27 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: A 40 percent chance of snow, mainly after 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a temperature rising to around 25 by 2am. Breezy, with a south wind 18 to 22 mph, with gusts as high as 38 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow
    and Breezy

    Low: 21 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: A 20 percent chance of snow before 11am.  Partly sunny, with a high near 25. South southwest wind 17 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow then
    Partly Sunny

    High: 25 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 18. South wind 13 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 18 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 31.

    Mostly Sunny

    High: 31 °F

  • Sunday
    Night

    Sunday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 21.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 21 °F

  • Monday

    Monday: A slight chance of snow after 11am.  Mostly sunny, with a high near 30.

    Slight Chance
    Snow

    High: 30 °F

  • Monday
    Night

    Monday Night: A slight chance of snow before 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 18.

    Slight Chance
    Snow then
    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 18 °F

The Last Word

Check out our new “Avalanches and Snowpits” menu item where we list all the reported avalanche activity.


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