Regional Conditions for Centennial Range

as of 5:00 am
Apr 300″ | NA
Apr 29 0″ | NA
Apr 28 0″ | NA
8775′     1/29 at 3:00
24 ℉
N - 0 mph
Gusts 0 mph
7750′   05/06 at 12:00
58℉
23″ Depth
Bottom Line: Spring weather can be highly variable and create a mix of avalanche problems to watch out for. Snow conditions and snow stability can change drastically from day to day or hour to hour. Anticipate rapid change and plan accordingly. Plenty of snowfall over the winter with more spring snow to come makes avalanches possible into summer.

Snow Observations- Centennial Range & Lionhead

Centennial Range
Ski Hill
Getting worse at Lionhead and Centennials

Both the Lionhead area and the nearby Centennial Range in Idaho have a similar snowpack. About 20-25" are on the ground consisting of weak, faceted, sugary snow. Riding is supportable, but we tiptoed around Lionhead because of rocks.Snow and wind are forecasted in the oming week. This snowpack will become unstable quickly. I expect to see cracking, whumpfs and recent avalanche activity. Small avalanhes on road cuts or creek banks are bulls-eye data that big avalanches are likely. Be careful, pay attention and stay clear of creeks and other terrain traps where even a small slide can be deadly. We made a video that outlines our concern which is posted on the Centennials page.

Full Snow Observation Report
Centennial Range
Centennials - Montana
Hellroaring
Incident details include images

Observed 24" of snow in leeward aspects at an elevation of 7700'. West faces above 7000' appeared scoured and bare to the ground, limited coverage. In sheltered south facing areas where snow hadn't been scoured, a stout breakable crust existed near the surface. Old snow snow was faceted to the ground, ski poles easily penetrating dirt. Below 7000' skiing was not possible due to low coverage, relegating our party to skin on the summer trailhead in and out of Hellroaring.

Full Snow Observation Report

Avalanche Activity- Centennial Range & Lionhead

Cooke City
COOKE CITY
Many wet slides near Cooke
Incident details include images
COOKE CITY
WL-N
Coordinates: 45.0202, -109.9380
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From email 5/2/21: "Small but plentiful wet snow avalanches in Cooke City today. Didn’t see any that were broke on a deeper scale."


More Avalanche Details
Cooke City
Republic Mountain
Natural wet slides on Republic Mtn
Republic Mountain
WL-N
Elevation: 9,000
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 45.0003, -109.9540
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From obs 4/30/21: "Yesterday I witnessed a big wet slide. It started on the exit from The Fin on Old Man Rays. Looks like it started on a rock band. Noon. Since people have been skiing The Fin recently I just happened to be looking up there and saw movement. It quickly quadrupled and then flowed across the ski line and over the cliff band. Spectacular. Flowed like a water fall for about a minute."


More Avalanche Details
Bridger Range
BRIDGER RANGE
Natural wet slides in Bridger Range, 4/26-4/28
Incident details include images
BRIDGER RANGE
WL-N
Coordinates: 45.8512, -110.9480
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From obs: "I traversed the Bridger range yesterday (4/28/21). The alpine start was good and solid but I saw lots of recent avalanches that looked super wet, some that had broken a couple feet deep. Conditions were pretty stable until about 1300 when that most recent snow layer started to really want to slide on the crust. Once I was in the meadows between Baldy and the M, at about 1400, I started hearing/feeling really wet "whumps". 


More Avalanche Details

Photos- Centennial Range & Lionhead

Displaying 41 - 64
  • 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

  • Stepping out of my skis I sunk to the ground. The snowpack is weak and unsupportable. Large grains of sugary facets (depth hoar) make up the bottom third of the snowpack. Photo: GNFAC

  • We saw this natural avalanche on 1/23/21. It likely occurred in the past week. SE aspect at 9,200', Photo: GNFAC

  • A snowmobiler triggered slide on the east side of Lionhead Ridge to the north of Airplane Bowl. Photo: Photo: D. Haluptzok

  • A snowmobiler triggered slide on the east side of Lionhead Ridge adjacent to a slope called Dead Tree Hill. Photo: D. Haluptzok

  • From obs: "Rain crust is still very present in the snowpack. Two natural slab avalanches on north aspect of Reas Peak, one from recent storm and one from previous storm. Photo is from a snowmobile triggered avalanche from 1/9/21, you can see the party and one of the members riding the adjacent slope." Photo: C. Hericks

  • We remotely triggered (from 30' away) this avalanche at Ski Hill in the Lionhead area. These are red-flags! Stay off of and out from under steep slopes until the avalanche conditions improve. Photo: GNFAC

  • We triggered this avalanche from 50 feet away. We were walking on a low-angle slope, collapsed the slope, and where the pitch got steeper, we had an avalanche. This is an obvious sign of dangerous instability. If you are on steep slopes it is LIKELY that you will trigger an avalanche. Today, we triggered two avalanches. Photo: GNFAC

  • A skier kicked off a larger than expected cornice as they skinned up the ridge on the W side of Beehive basin on Sunday (12/20/20).

  • Doug intentionally triggered this wind-loaded sidehill. Weak, faceted snow broke under a 1' deep soft slab of windblown snow. Small avalanches like this are indicators of instability on bigger slopes. These conditions can be found throughout the southern Gallatin, southern Madison, Lionhead and Centennial Ranges. Photo: GNFAC

  • We put up the Taylor Fork Weather station today. It measures wind direction and speed, RH, and temperature. Coupled with the Carrot Basin SNOTEL, this gives us a good idea on what is occurring in this range. Photo GNFAC

  • Light wind created soft drifts of new, low density snow near the ridgeline in the Bridger Range. This wind slab easily cracked when touched with skis, 20 feet along the ridge and 5-10 feet down, but didn't slide. This is a sign drifts will be unstable as they grow with more snow and wind. Photo: GNFAC

  • From IG post: "Weak and thin snowpack. A little sluff was all it took to entrain the whole season’s snowpack. S. Madison ~9000’ east facing" Photo: @vt.to.mt

  • From IG post: "Weak and thin snowpack. A little sluff was all it took to entrain the whole season’s snowpack. S. Madison ~9000’ east facing" Photo: @vt.to.mt

  • We found a thick layer of surface hoar (1-2cm) on top of the snowpack at Lionhead Ridge on 11/24/20. Below that layer the snowpack was faceted and weak. This will be an unstable foundation for future storms. Photo: GNFAC

  • Watch the video HERE!

  • The BBWC (Bridger Bowl Wind Cloud) on Tuesday 10/27 accompanied 50-60 mph gusts. This strong wind drifted recent snow into slabs that could avalanche on steep slopes. Early season snow means we need to be thinking about and managing avalanche hazard when we travel in the mountains. Photo: GNFAC

  • Backcountry.com did a social media survey and found that many of us could use an avalanche class. Don't hesitate to sign up for one. Even a one-hour avalanche awareness class is a great place to start. Check out our Education Calendar for an expanding list of classes being offered in southwest Montana. Many are free.

  • Wind was blowing and drifting recent snow in the Bridger Range the morning of October 15th. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Snow on Lone Mtn. on the morning of October 14th. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • By morning of October 11 most mountain ranges were white at the higher elevations. This picture of Saddle Peak was taken from Stone Creek up Bridger Canyon. About .6-.8" of precipitation fell throughout southwest Montana. The Fisher Creek Snotel outside of Cooke City shows 6" of snow fell at 9,100 feet. Only time will tell what melts and what sticks around, but it sure is a good sign! Photo: GNFAC

Weather Forecast- Centennial Range

Extended Forecast for

10 Miles ESE Lakeview MT

  • This
    Afternoon

    This Afternoon: Sunny, with a high near 62. South southwest wind 13 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.

    Sunny

    High: 62 °F

  • Tonight

    Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 43. South southeast wind 9 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 43 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: A chance of rain and thunderstorms, then showers and possibly a thunderstorm after 1pm.  High near 57. Breezy, with a south southeast wind 10 to 15 mph increasing to 17 to 22 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 80%.

    Chance Rain
    then Showers
    and Breezy

    High: 57 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: Rain showers before midnight, then rain and snow showers likely between midnight and 3am, then snow showers likely after 3am. Some thunder is also possible.  Low around 26. South southwest wind 11 to 17 mph becoming west northwest after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 25 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Showers then
    Rain/Snow
    Likely

    Low: 26 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: A 50 percent chance of snow.  Partly sunny, with a high near 37. West northwest wind 14 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    High: 37 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: A 20 percent chance of snow before midnight.  Partly cloudy, with a low around 22. Northwest wind 9 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow then
    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 22 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: A 40 percent chance of snow after noon.  Partly sunny, with a high near 40. Northwest wind 8 to 11 mph becoming west southwest in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 18 mph.  Little or no snow accumulation expected.

    Partly Sunny
    then Chance
    Snow

    High: 40 °F

  • Sunday
    Night

    Sunday Night: A chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 25. West wind around 9 mph becoming north northeast after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 18 mph.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 25 °F

  • Monday

    Monday: A chance of snow before noon, then snow showers likely after noon. Some thunder is also possible.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 41.

    Snow Showers
    Likely

    High: 41 °F

The Last Word

Thank you to everyone that sent in observations, read the forecasts, took an avalanche class or donated money, time or gear. Our success is directly related to community support and the Forest Service. Have a safe spring and summer!