Regional Conditions for Centennial Range

as of 5:00 am
Today0″ | N/A
Oct 14 0″ | N/A
Oct 13 0″ | N/A
8775′     4/02 at 23:00
27 ℉
NW - 6 mph
Gusts 9 mph
7750′   10/15 at 21:00
42℉
2″ Depth
Bottom Line: It is barely fall, but with layers of snow piling up in the mountains bigger avalanches are possible. Avalanches this time of year are not uncommon, and have injured and killed people in past seasons (accident reports). If you plan to travel in the backcountry, whether skiing, climbing or hunting, prepare for avalanches like you would all winter. Avoid steep slopes with fresh drifts of snow, especially where even a small slide could push you into rocks or trees, or pile up deep in a confined gully.
Primary Problem: Wind-Drifted Snow

Snow Observations- Centennial Range & Lionhead

Centennial Range
Centennials - Idaho
Mt Jefferson

May 5, hiked up S. Duck creek to Mt Jefferson. There were quite a few wet natural slides from probably 2 weeks ago. The snow today, however, was very stable. I traveled/skied on the north and east aspects.

Full Snow Observation Report
Centennial Range
Hellroaring Creek
Hellroaring

Observed stable conditions, some pinwheeling and roller balls in the late afternoon on steep direct solar aspects, dry shallow pow on direct N. aspects above 8,000', consolidated melt freeze everywhere else. . Seems like a perfect melt-freeze cycle. Saw lots of highmarking on W. face of Jefferson, Reas Peak, and the Divide w/out slide activity or any movement in general on all but South Facing slopes, which were out of view.

Full Snow Observation Report
Centennial Range
Centennials - Montana
Hellroaring Basin / Mt. Nemesis

We found a 2.85m settled base at roughly 7,000’ elevation base camp of Hellroaring Powder Guides.
The temps have been cold, but warming into the high 20s, low 30s during sunny periods.
A sample snowpit showed a weak layer of concer at about 50-60cm below the surface, made of very small facets.
However, an ECT was non-reactive. No signs of recent avalanches in the basin were present. Hower, some debris piles from older slides were apparent in the larger runout zones on Mt. Nemesis.

Full Snow Observation Report
Centennial Range
Hellroaring Creek
Hellroaring
Incident details include images

Widespred slide activity from the last storm cycle, e.g. 2/14-2/18 ranging from E-NE to W. Aspects all elevations, creek bottoms slid at 7000' and peaks slide at 9800'. DEEP crownlines. From a dist. 4'-6', mostly in wind loaded terrain, micro-ridges, and corniced areas.

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Lionhead Range
Two Top
Twin Creek Snowmobile Trail (ID) Closed for Avalanche Danger

Liz Davey, Island Park District Ranger on the Caribou-Targhee NF, said that the Twin Creek Snowmobile Trail is closed because of avalanche danger!!

Full Snow Observation Report
Centennial Range
Hellroaring Creek
Hellroaring Hut Area

***This report was submitted by a guest from a recent hut trip***

2-13-19 0630Hrs 7700’ at hut, SW winds, mod. 14F, S2 Precip.

1300Hrs Test Pit at top of Pussyfoot, 200 degrees, slope angle 20, 7700 elevation, snowing S2, winds SW and variable and Mod, 14F: 205HS, CT 21 down 61cm; CT 23 down 75; CT 30 down 86. ECTX. We found a dense consolidated layer(k hardness) 12”++ deep, down 120CM and stopped digging there. Storm/wind slab gained energy around 1500Hrs. Many different layers in the top 60CM of the new snow, none of them particularly concerning.

On 2-14-19 0700Hrs At the hut: ,23F, and S2 for 24hrs past, with an estimated 18-24 HN24. SW winds Mod, variable at times. At 0900Hrs 31F, PP/graupel mixed, backing to S1. Barometer rising now. Snow surface had become heavy and dense. Touring out to Pussyfoot, we saw the west facing slope above the Hut around 8700’?? had a new slide with a 2-3 foot crown, possible 200 yards in length running up and over a ridge. Cloudy, foggy no photo taken. The same area where a “few more turns” happened? Wind loading and storm slabs present in areas.

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Centennial Range
Centennieals
Incident details include images

This was shared with me from one of our Fremont County Search & Rescue members. I have no further information.

Full Snow Observation Report
Centennial Range
Centennials - Idaho
Avalanche in the Centennials
Incident details include images

I saw this with my binoculars from several miles away. This is just west of Mt Jefferson and on a southeast facing slope.

Full Snow Observation Report
Centennial Range
Centennials - Montana
Hellroaring Canyon

Yesterday, I skied into Hellroaring Canyon with a group of 6 backcountry skiers staying the night at Hellroaring Hut. While guiding the skiers to the hut, we saw large deposits of avalanche debris in the bottom of major slide paths on west and southwest facing aspects of Mt. Nemesis. It appeared that some of these avalanches were roughly size 1 - 2.5. Numerous creek bottoms and cut banks had also avalanched into Hellroaring Creek. Even some very low angle NW facing gully features had been ripped out. Looking across the valley into the Blair Lake area, I noted only one very small slide on a steep, rocky aspect. I did not have a chance to dig a snow pit, but I did observe numerous huge “whoompfs” while ski touring, and it was obvious that the faceted layer underneath last week’s 6 inches of new snow was failing regularly.

Full Snow Observation Report
Centennial Range
Centennials - Idaho
Centennial Mountains between Reas and Taylor peaks
Incident details include images

We rode this area all day. No one in the group had ever ridden this area, so it was an exploitation day. I dug a pit on a S facing 10* slope at 8564’.
HS 144 with 6 distinct layers, everything above 60cm was fairly consistent, the bottom 60 was JUNK, all large grain facets that were very soft, with little to no cohesion. I was surprised by the failure I got at 132cm, it failed very easily on the shovel shear, and with a CT11. I got an ECTN17 also at 132cm, nothing else. I did a PST just for the sake of killing time at had a 15/end at the 60cm interface. If there is a large enough trigger I have no doubt that the current slab is capable of propagating, and if it does the slide will likely be big. We did not see any avalanche activity while riding or driving in.

Full Snow Observation Report

Avalanche Activity- Centennial Range & Lionhead

Northern Madison
Sphinx Mountain
Whumph on The Sphinx
Incident details include images
Sphinx Mountain
AF-O
Elevation: 9,000
Aspect: N
Coordinates: 45.1582, -111.4770
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From e-mail on Saturday 10/5, climbers on the Sphinx found these conditions: "We found a lot of snow on the Sphinx today following heavy precip since Sam’s report two days ago [see photo]. 3-5 cm in the parking lot, 20 cm at the Sphinx-Helmet col. Moderate SW winds had created drifts almost a meter deep in places on the traverse to the ice routes on the north face. I backed off after a whumph on a particularly exposed section of the traverse. We tried different ledge systems above and below the normal approach route but found similar snow conditions throughout."

Photo: From 10/3 prior to 8-10" new snow, "No snow hazard of much concern on the approach. However, a quick hasty pit in an isolated wind pocket revealed a CT1 on this layer.  ice axe is to the ground."


More Avalanche Details

Photos- Centennial Range & Lionhead

Displaying 1 - 11
  • A local near Fairy Lake gets a taste of fresh October snow and wind. "You know it's somewhat windy when the goats start closing their eyes and their beards get blown sideways." Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Dry loose snow avalanches were observed on 10/10 as the recent snow settled. From e-mail "...saw some small, solar-initiated, dry loose snow slides in steep, rocky terrain (heads up ice climbers). With a firm surface beneath the new snow, these little guys were picking up steam quickly." Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Avalanche debris on the saddle near Hyalite Peak. This is indicative of the type of heavily wind loaded terrain near ridgelines where avalanches are most likely this time of year. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • We put up the Lionhead weather station on Tuesday, October 8th. There was 4-6" of snow above 8,000'. Photo: GNFAC

  • Broken off cornice on the saddle between Blackmore and Elephant on 10/5. "Snow was anywhere from inches deep with grass and rocks to hip deep. It was mostly knee deep though. Down in the flats below the bowl there was easily 8-10" fresh and another 2" on my way down..." Photo: @benjacobsenphoto

  • Wind transport of snow on Gallatin Peak, October 2, 2019. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • MSU SAW is October 9th from 5-9pm in SUB Ballroom A. www.montana.edu/outdoorrecreation/SAW.html for more info.

  • We hiked in to put up the Flanders weather station on 9/25 and found a spotty distribution of 4-6" of snow above 8,000'. Photo: GNFAC

  • Last weekend (9/23) there was about 14 inches of snow at 9,000'. Sun and warm temperatures created wet snow avalanches on slopes that face the sun. These small slides can be hazardous if they push you into the wrong terrain. Photo: Z. Drobnik

  • Last weekend (9/23) there was about 14 inches of snow at 9,000'. Sun and warm temperatures created wet snow avalanches on slopes that face the sun. These small slides can be hazardous if they push you into the wrong terrain. Photo: Z. Drobnik

  • Last weekend (9/23) there was about 14 inches of snow at 9,000'. Sun and warm temperatures created wet snow avalanches on slopes that face the sun. These small slides can be hazardous if they push you into the wrong terrain. Photo: Z. Drobnik

Videos- Centennial Range & Lionhead

Weather Forecast- Centennial Range

Extended Forecast for

10 Miles ESE Lakeview MT

  • Tonight

    Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 30. South wind 10 to 13 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 30 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 52. Breezy, with a south wind 11 to 16 mph increasing to 18 to 23 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 29 mph.

    Mostly Sunny
    then Sunny
    and Breezy

    High: 52 °F

  • Wednesday
    Night

    Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 33. South southeast wind 14 to 18 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 33 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: A chance of rain and snow after noon.  Increasing clouds, with a high near 46. Breezy, with a southeast wind 14 to 22 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 30%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

    Partly Sunny
    then Chance
    Rain/Snow and
    Breezy

    High: 46 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: Rain and snow likely, becoming all snow after 9pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 27. South southwest wind 14 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Rain/Snow
    Likely then
    Chance Snow

    Low: 27 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: Snow likely, mainly after noon. Some thunder is also possible.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 33. Breezy.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow
    then Snow
    Likely and
    Breezy

    High: 33 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: A 20 percent chance of snow. Some thunder is also possible.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 24. Breezy.

    Slight Chance
    Snow and
    Breezy

    Low: 24 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: Snow, mainly after noon.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 30. Breezy.

    Snow and
    Breezy

    High: 30 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: Snow likely, mainly before midnight. Some thunder is also possible.  Cloudy, with a low around 22. Breezy.

    Snow Likely
    and Breezy

    Low: 22 °F

The Last Word

Get tickets for the 21st Annual Powder Blast Fundraiser on October 25th at The Emerson Ballroom.