Regional Conditions for Southern Madison

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 14:00
42℉
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 Madison

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 Madison
Taylor Fork
Sage Basin Avalanche
Incident details include images
Incident details contain video
Taylor Fork
SS-NC-R3-D2-O
Elevation: 9,250
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 45.0607, -111.2720
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

This avalanche failed on a heavily wind-loaded slope in Sage Basin along the ridgeline. It may have initiated as a cornice fall or a wind-slab, but it broke down to deeply buried facets. Even though it was a small slope, the slide had enough power to knock down a tree and piled debris deeply at the bottom of the slope.


More Avalanche Details

Photos- Southern Madison

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: "With recent persistent winds the cornices are growing to impressive size. Noted a few natural cornice drops on the south 'rim' of Sage Basin." Photo: R. Larson

  • 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.

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

  • This recent avalanche failed on a heavily wind-loaded slope in Sage Basin along the ridgeline. It may have initiated as a cornice fall or a wind-slab, but it broke down to deeply buried facets. Even though it was a small slope, the slide had enough power to knock down a tree and piled debris deeply at the bottom of the slope. Photo: GNFAC

  • 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

  • Natural avalanche in southern Madison Range. West facing. 9,000 ft. Look like recent wind-loaded snow. Observed 2/27/21. Photo: B. Nobel 

  • This small natural avalanche was seen by snowbikers in Beaver Creek in the southern Madison Range on 24 February. Photo: J. Stumne

  • 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 2/14/21 two splitboarders triggered this avalanche while skinning up the slope. One was caught, partially buried and critically injured. Photo: GNFAC

  • On 2/14/21 two splitboarders triggered this avalanche while skinning up the slope. One was caught, partially buried and critically injured. Photo: GNFAC

  • 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.

  • Natural avalanche on the upper Bacon Rind Creek side of Skyline Ridge. Likely broke on Sunday 2/7.

    Photo: GNFAC (2/11/2021)

  • Natural avalanche on the Teepee Basin side of Skyline Ridge. Likely broke on Sunday 2/7.

    Photo: GNFAC (2/11/2021)

  • Natural avalanche on the Teepee Basin side of Skyline Ridge. Likely broke on Sunday 2/7.

    Photo: GNFAC (2/11/2021)

  • A large avalanche that broke on Skyline Ridge and ran within 300 ft of the Big Sky Trail. Likely broke on Sunday, Feb 7th. 

    Photo: B. Ramage

  • Debris from a large avalanche that broke on Skyline Ridge and ran within 300 ft of the Big Sky Trail. Likely broke on Sunday, Feb 7th. 

    Photo: B. Ramage

  • On 2/7/21 skiers in Beehive reported: "Numerous large collapses, ECTP in several pits on mid-pack facets, and triggered a test slope remotely from flat terrain. It broke in the old snow, but towards to top, maybe 10cm below the interface with the last week’s snow. Propagated over 50m, crown depth 60-100 cm. Would be solid size 2 if the slope wasn’t 20m tall." Photo: Sam H.

  • 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

  • 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

  • One of many natural and snowmobile-triggered avalanches in the Taylor Fork that failed during and immediately after this week's storm. Over 2 feet of snow fell from Thursday through Saturday overloading a snowpack with multiple weak layers. Photo: GNFAC

  • One of many natural and snowmobile-triggered avalanches in the Taylor Fork that failed during and immediately after this week's storm. Over 2 feet of snow fell from Thursday through Saturday overloading a snowpack with multiple weak layers. Photo: GNFAC

Videos- Southern Madison

WebCams


Raynolds Pass, Looking N

Weather Forecast Southern Madison

Extended Forecast for

20 Miles S Big Sky MT

  • This
    Afternoon

    This Afternoon: Sunny, with a high near 36. South wind around 14 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.

    Sunny

    High: 36 °F

  • Tonight

    Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 22. South wind 8 to 13 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 22 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: Partly sunny, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 41. Southwest wind 3 to 8 mph.

    Becoming
    Sunny

    High: 41 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 21. South southwest wind 9 to 13 mph.

    Mostly Clear

    Low: 21 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: Sunny, with a high near 37. South wind around 14 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.

    Sunny

    High: 37 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 25. South southeast wind around 16 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 25 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: A 20 percent chance of snow after 11am.  Mostly sunny, with a high near 39. South southwest wind 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow

    High: 39 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: A chance of snow before 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 21. South southwest wind 13 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.

    Chance Snow
    then Partly
    Cloudy

    Low: 21 °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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