Regional Conditions for Southern Madison

as of 5:00 am
Today1″ | 15-25 W
Feb 26 0″ | 10-20 SW
Feb 25 1″ | 15-30 NW
9460′     02/27 at 16:00
24.0℉
W - 17mph
Gusts 36mph
9000′   02/27 at 16:00
29℉
66″ Depth
Bottom Line: The snowpack is generally safe. A few rogue wind slabs might be triggered, but these would be small. Sugary facets at the ground remain an afterthought since it would take a large load or getting extremely unlucky to trigger a slide. This zone has not gotten much snow lately and its good stability reflects that lack of loading. In general, triggering avalanches is unlikely.

Past 5 Days

Sun Feb 23

Low
Mon Feb 24

Moderate
Tue Feb 25

Low
Wed Feb 26

Low
Today

Low

Avalanche Activity- Southern Madison

Southern Gallatin
Specimen Creek
Small natural wet loose and wind slab in S. Gallatins
Specimen Creek
WL-N-R1-D1
Elevation: 8,500
Aspect: S
Coordinates: 45.0265, -111.0480
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From an obs on 2/23/20: "...today toured up above 9000 ft on Meldrum and some surrounding hills.... No cracking, collapsing, or naturals observed aside from some small wet loose that occurred yesterday in steep S rocky terrain at 8500 ft.... HS 150+ with depth hoar 130 down. The new snow will be falling on a variety of snow surfaces from crusts (E-S-W) to wind board (ridgelines) to NSFs (N). Temperatures warmed to above freezing today to at least 9000 ft. Winds increased to moderate out of the west by 1400 with some wind transport occurring at ridgelines."

From another group on Electric Peak on 2/23/20: "One recent natural avalanche near the ridgeline roughly 30 cm deep probably due to wind loading (D1) and a handful of natural loose wet (D1) avalanches on southerly aspects. Dug a quick pit on the face (10700’ NE 30 degree slope HS 190cm) and got an ECTP23 @ 35 below the surface on a hardness change below a 1F fresh windslab... Also, bulletproof windboard below the first roll (@10200’) and cranking winds!"


More Avalanche Details
Northern Madison
Buck Ridge
Sledder triggered on Buck Ridge
Incident details include images
Buck Ridge
AMu-R4-D2.5-O
Elevation: 9,300
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.1719, -111.3800
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

"Went out on a recon to Buck Ridge today. New the dangers and avoided riding open slopes. 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."


More Avalanche Details
Out of Advisory Area
Emigrant Peak
Many large, destructive slides on Emigrant Peak
Incident details include images
Emigrant Peak
HS-N-R4-D3-O
Elevation: 9,800
Coordinates: 45.2630, -110.7070
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

[date of activity roughly estimated] From email on 2/22/2020: "The mountains around Emigrant Peak have certainly reached their tipping point. Skinning up in the morning we witnessed the debris of more than a dozen avalanches on all aspects, more than I have ever seen in a single day. Many of these avalanches were extremely large and powerful deep slabs that broke towards the ground, likely to have released within the past week. Slides were running to the end of their runout zones and carried with them many trees that were torn to shreds."


More Avalanche Details

Photos- Southern Madison

Displaying 1 - 40
  • 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

  • We saw a group of six snowmobilers who said they triggered these slides in McAtee Basin on the left side of the meadow on Saturday, Feb 8. I didn't see tracks up on the hill or sidehill tracks so they may have triggered the slope from the flats below. The debris runs all the way to bottom of the hill. Photo: K Peaslee

  • We saw a group of six snowmobilers who said they triggered these slides in McAtee Basin on the left side of the meadow on Saturday, Feb 8. I didn't see tracks up on the hill or sidehill tracks so they may have triggered the slope from the flats below. The debris runs all the way to bottom of the hill. Photo: K Peaslee

  • We saw a group of six snowmobilers who said they triggered these slides in McAtee Basin on the left side of the meadow on Saturday, Feb 8. I didn't see tracks up on the hill or sidehill tracks so they may have triggered the slope from the flats below. The debris runs all the way to bottom of the hill. Photo: K Peaslee

  • "Noted two SS-D1.5/2 naturals (presuming based on lack of any sort of tracks) on Wheeler, typical spots for these conditions, both SE aspect around 8000'." Photo: G. Antoniolli

  • "Noted several avalanches (NW aspect ~ 8800') off of Elephant that traveled quite far into the trees where the summer trail typically runs, all appear to be new snow, D1- D2 in size, average 2' crowns, running on old/new interface from  Feb 2. They appear to have run midstorm, sometime yesterday (photos 1,2,3).  Above 9000', W Winds were crafting fresh wind slabs that were most reactive on a midstorm crystal/density change that buried a layer of stellars ~ 1' deep in shallower spots,  topped with denser snow." Photo: G. Antoniolli

  • "Natural avalanche. North facing slope. Around half mile wide. Photos don't show half of the slide. Broke on the ground facets. Crown was between 3 and 15 feet deep. We didn't get a photo of the deepest crown. Ripped trees out around 5" diameter." Photo: Reed Malmstrom

  • "Natural avalanche. North facing slope. Around half mile wide. Photos don't show half of the slide. Broke on the ground facets. Crown was between 3 and 15 feet deep. We didn't get a photo of the deepest crown. Ripped trees out around 5" diameter." Photo: Reed Malmstrom

  • "Natural avalanche. North facing slope. Around half mile wide. Photos don't show half of the slide. Broke on the ground facets. Crown was between 3 and 15 feet deep. We didn't get a photo of the deepest crown. Ripped trees out around 5" diameter." Photo: Reed Malmstrom

  • On private property, this small child triggered a slide and climbed out of the debris, not buried. A very close call! On the heels of this large snowstorm there are possibilities of children getting caught on road cuts or any open hill!  Photo: Anonymous

  • We triggered this avalanche in the second Yellow Mule off Buck Ridge on 2/6/2020 It is on a small roll/cornice "in the flats". It broke within the current 2-3' storm snow. Photo: GNFAC

  • A snowmobiler triggered this avalanche in the second Yellow Mule off Buck Ridge on 2/6/2020 It is on a small roll/cornice "in the flats". It broke within the current 2-3' storm snow. Photo: GNFAC

  • We saw this natural crown that broke within the current 2-3' storm on a small terrain feature. It is in the second Yellow Mule off Buck Ridge on 2/6/2020. Photo: GNFAC

  • This small natural avalanche was seen in Teepee basin on Tuesday, 2/4. Photo: A. Wheeler

  • From riders involved: "Yesterday we were the ones in the big sky avalanche. There was no markings on the spot we were climbing. Further down the mountains there were climbs at the same angles of this slope. Thankfully the rider was above the slide when it started and managed to stay on top. Rider walked down the debris and we found the sled lower down in the trees. No injuries." Photo: Anonymous

  • From riders involved: "Yesterday we were the ones in the big sky avalanche. There was no markings on the spot we were climbing. Further down the mountains there were climbs at the same angles of this slope. Thankfully the rider was above the slide when it started and managed to stay on top. Rider walked down the debris and we found the sled lower down in the trees. No injuries." Photo: Anonymous

  • From obs. form: "[slope] Was marked up previously. We parked out near the bottom and a few guys not in our group start climbing. So we watch them climb. It breaks out. Guy ditches the sled and manages to stay up top. Sled goes down with the slide. Then the snow breaks in 2 other spots creating more slides." Photo: C. Carlson

  • Snow picked up at Mt. Blackmore with calm to light winds. Someone up there before us pulled out a small wind loaded pocket on the face leaving the basin. Photo: S Jonas

  • The 10' deep avalanche in 2nd Yellowmule is almost completely filled in now. In its place are massive cornices overhanging the slope. Give these beasts a lot of extra room as they can break back far from the edge. Photo: GNFAC

  • Ian Hoyer stands in a snowpit in Beehive Basin. Avalanches are getting harder to trigger, but in more shallow areas we are still finding a poor snowpack structure. The stability test scores are climbing higher, but still propagating and we did not ski the adjacent slope. Photo: GNFAC

  • 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

  • From e-mail: "2nd hand observation arrived at site about 5 minutes after slide. Triggered by sidehilling snowmobiler but was not caught up in it... looked approximately 50 ft wide 150 ft vertical. Did not appeared to be very deep" Photo: P. Gish

WebCams


Raynolds Pass, Looking N

Weather Forecast Southern Madison

Extended Forecast for

20 Miles S Big Sky MT

  • Tonight

    Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 15. South southwest wind 13 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 15 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 29. South southwest wind 13 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph.

    Mostly Sunny

    High: 29 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 21. South southwest wind around 17 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 21 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: A 50 percent chance of snow, mainly after 11am.  Patchy blowing snow between 11am and 5pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 30. Southwest wind 17 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

    Chance Snow
    and Patchy
    Blowing Snow

    High: 30 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: Snow likely, mainly before 11pm.  Patchy blowing snow between 9pm and 11pm. Cloudy, with a low around 13. West southwest wind 13 to 16 mph becoming north northwest in the evening. Winds could gust as high as 24 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

    Snow Likely
    and Patchy
    Blowing Snow

    Low: 13 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: A 40 percent chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 20. North wind around 14 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    High: 20 °F

  • Sunday
    Night

    Sunday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 2. West northwest wind 10 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 2 °F

  • Monday

    Monday: A slight chance of snow after 11am.  Sunny, with a high near 23. West southwest wind 11 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow

    High: 23 °F

  • Monday
    Night

    Monday Night: Snow likely, mainly after 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 11.

    Snow Likely

    Low: 11 °F

The Last Word

This article is intense and has some good lessons in it: A skier shares what happened the day he lost his wife to an avalanche.