Regional Conditions for Lionhead Range

as of 5:00 am
Jan 274″ | 5-15 W
Jan 26 1″ | N/A
Jan 25 1″ | 10-20 W
8775′     1/27 at 24:00
13 ℉
S - 5 mph
Gusts 9 mph
7750′   01/27 at 23:00
22℉
51″ Depth
Bottom Line: Fresh drifts of snow are possible to trigger and will grow today with moderate wind and 3-5” of new snow. Be cautious of wind loaded slopes near ridgelines, identifiable by round pillows of snow or overhanging cornices. A less likely, but much larger avalanche is possible to trigger breaking at least 2-4 feet deep on persistent weak layers near the base of the snowpack. It is more difficult than it was a week ago to trigger one of these, but the consequences are large and call for conservative decision making.

Past 5 Days

Thu Jan 23

Moderate
Fri Jan 24

Moderate
Sat Jan 25

Moderate
Sun Jan 26

Moderate
Mon Jan 27

Moderate

Avalanche Activity- Lionhead Range

Northern Madison
McAtee Basin
Snowmobile Triggered Avalanche McAtee Basin
Incident details include images
McAtee Basin
HS-AMu-R2-D2-O
Coordinates: 45.1771, -111.4350
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From Instagram: "I watched a snowmobiler set this avalanche off today. Very scary in MT right now."


More Avalanche Details
Lionhead Range
Lionhead Ridge
Snowmobile Triggered Avalanche Lionhead
Incident details include images
Lionhead Ridge
HS-AM-R2-D2-G
Elevation: 8,800
Aspect: N
Coordinates: 44.7336, -111.3290
Caught: 1 ; Buried: 0

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 the way it did.  

A clear reminder that this can happen to any of us and to be careful out there."


More Avalanche Details
Centennial Range
Reas Peak
Snowmobile triggered near Reas Peak
Incident details include images
Reas Peak
HS-AMu-R4-D2.5-O
Coordinates: 44.5477, -111.4860
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Snowmobiler triggered avalanche near Reas Peak on Sunday, 1/19/20. he was able to ride through it uphill.


More Avalanche Details

Photos- Lionhead Range

Displaying 1 - 40
  • 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

  • Fresh wind slabs releasing naturally near the top of Lionhead Ridge. Photo: GNFAC

  • This was an older slide on Lionhead Ridge. It broke 3 to 4 feet deep and propagated on a buried weak layer. Probably from a few days ago. Photo: GNFAC

  • 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

  • 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

  • The crown of this snowmobiler triggered avalanche tapered to a thin slab. These thin areas of the slope are prime zones to trigger a slide from. Photo: GNFAC

  • Natural avalanche observed on 1/17 in Airplane Bowl off of Lionhead Ridge.

    Photo: P. Smith

  • The snowpack in Lionhead is a respectable 6' deep. The facets near the ground are gaining strength and we were unable to get them to break in our tests. Stability is improving! Photo: GNFAC

  • We visited the avalanche that was triggered by a snowmobiler and partially buried 2 people on January 4th. The crown was 10 feet at the deepest part. Photo: GNFAC

  • We visited the avalanche that was triggered by a snowmobiler and partially buried 2 people on January 4th. The crown was 10 feet at the deepest part. Photo: GNFAC

  •  @carter.olson

  • From one of the riders that was caught, "The 3 persons involved were traveling across the slope about 20-30 yards up from the tree line parallel to the ridge line in the slide area when it broke, not high marking and not traveling uphill. One rider did increase his elevation while traveling across the slope but was never more than 1/4 of the way up when the slide was triggered."

  • A party of three skiers remote triggered avalanche with at least 6' crown off N face of Mt Porphry along rockband near summit on 12/29/19. They triggered it after tyhey had found "Three pits dug on NE face ascending Mt Porphry indicating increasing stability and no clean propagation. Approx 150-210 cm deep snowpack." Photo: G. Alsentzer

  • Avalanche in 2nd Yellowmule. Likely broke during storm on 12/24. Less than a foot deep but ~150 ft wide. Photo: GNFAC

  • A natural avalanche observed on 12/26 from Lionhead Ridge. This slide likely broke during the storm on Christmas Eve. The avalanche is approximately 100 ft wide and on an east facing slope. It appears to have broken on a weak layer mid-pack.

    Photo: GNFAC

  • We dug this snowpit in Denny Creek at the base of Lionhead Ridge near West Yellowstone on 12/22. An poor snowpack structure makes large avalanches possible to trigger. Photo: GNFAC

  • We toured up to about 7700 feet on a NE facing aspect in the N Madison, upon entering the bottom of the meadow we had several large collapses and then one very large collapse that propagated 100+ feet uphill while on lower angle terrain below the steeper terrain Of the meadow above. We dug a pit, we got an ECTP 10. The pit was 75 cm deep, we found basal facets with an ice crust on top and About 40cm of denser 3-4 finger snow above the ice crust. Photo: A. Palombo

  • Riders saw these recent slides on 12/15 near Carrot Basin. Photo: A. Wheeler

  • Riders saw these recent slides on 12/15 near Carrot Basin. Photo: A. Wheeler

  • Riders saw these recent slides on 12/15 near Carrot Basin. Photo: A. Wheeler

  • An old avalanche crown on Lionhead Ridge, taken 12/14. Photo: G. Antonioli

  • On Friday (12/13) there were natural avalanche crowns in Carrot Basin of Taylor Fork. These were a few days old, but show the potential to trigger slides on a buried persistent weak layer. Photo: GNFAC

  • Skiers at Targhee Pass near West Yellowstone reported: "We got a few good collapses while skinning up through east-facing low angle meadows, and got some serious cracking and collapsing while stomping on fresh wind pillows just below ridgeline on a northeast-facing slope at about 8200'. We dug down at one of the cracks and found a 35cm thick F+ slab that had failed on a layer of 4-6mm depth hoar. Cracks propagated close to 100'..." Photo: A. Schauer

  • Riders reported multiple natural slab avalanches on N facing slopes. Photo: R. Rustigian

  • Riders reported multiple natural slab avalanches on N facing slopes. Note widespread crowns along slope in background. Photo: R. Rustigian

  • A snowmobiler triggered an avalanche (yellow pin) north of Crown Butte (the gray mountain at the top of the image). This zone is typically approached from Lulu Pass. His sled was partially buried, but the rider was not. Lots of new snow in the last 24 hours created a CONSIDERABLE avalanche danger.

  • This natural avalanche on the northeast side of Crown Butte near Daisy Pass (Cooke City) almost caught people below. Approximately 2 feet of snow has fallen with wind and the avalanche danger is rated CONSIDERABLE. Photo: B. Whittle

  • Photo taken 12/6 near Two Top, south of West Yellowstone.

    From email: "South facing stuff was thinner than I expected and north and west facing was a lot better than I expected. South facing stuff was 59cm deep and we had multiple ECT-P 14’s between the facets at the bottom and the newer snow."

    Photo: B. Radecky

  • This is a close-up of the angular Depth Hoar grains found near the ground in the mountains south of Big Sky to West Yellowstone. These are weak and cannot support a lot of snow weight. Avalanches will break near the ground on these. Photo: GNFAC

  • At the bottom of the snowpack is a thick layer of weak and sugary, faceted snow called Depth Hoar. These large grains do not bond well and form an unstable foundation of the snowpack. Avalanches will break at this layer. Photo: GNFAC

  • We put up the Taylor Fork weather station today (12/03) and it is churning out hourly data. Check it out here: https://www.mtavalanche.com/weather/stations/taylor-fork

  • We partnered with the Gallatin Valley Snowmobile Association to put in two new beacon checkers at the Taylor Fork and Buck Ridge trailheads. They are working great!

    Thanks GVSA! Photo: GNFAC

  • We recognize that backcountry skiing can be daunting to approach. That’s why Ben Goertzen and the Friends of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center have teamed up to help breakdown some of the most prominent barriers of entry to backcountry skiing through this campaign. One lucky winner will be given a complete backcountry skiing kit, a spot in an avalanche awareness course, and featured in a three part video series that ends with an excursion into the backcountry with professional skier and filmmaker, Ben Goertzen . These videos will be used by the Friends of GNFAC to help other aspiring backcountry skiers gain awareness, knowledge and start to breakdown their barriers to entry.

    Click Here for More Details on How to Enter

    Watch the Backcountry Barriers Launch Video: https://vimeo.com/376473804

WebCams

Weather Forecast Lionhead Range

Extended Forecast for

10 Miles WNW West Yellowstone MT

  • Overnight

    Overnight: Snow likely, mainly after 4am.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 14. Wind chill values as low as zero. Southwest wind around 11 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. Total nighttime snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

    Snow Likely

    Low: 14 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: Snow.  High near 24. Wind chill values as low as zero. Breezy, with a south southwest wind 14 to 24 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

    Snow and
    Breezy

    High: 24 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: Snow, mainly before 11pm. The snow could be heavy at times.  Low around 15. Southwest wind 9 to 15 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

    Heavy Snow
    then Chance
    Snow

    Low: 15 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 23. West wind 8 to 14 mph.

    Partly Sunny

    High: 23 °F

  • Wednesday
    Night

    Wednesday Night: Snow likely, mainly after 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 12. South southwest wind around 14 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

    Snow Likely

    Low: 12 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: A 50 percent chance of snow, mainly before 11am.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 22. Southwest wind 13 to 16 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow
    then Slight
    Chance Snow

    High: 22 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: A 20 percent chance of snow after 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 14. South southwest wind around 15 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow

    Low: 14 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: A chance of snow.  Cloudy, with a high near 22. Southwest wind 14 to 21 mph.

    Chance Snow

    High: 22 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: A chance of snow.  Cloudy, with a low around 21.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 21 °F

The Last Word

See our mid-season snowpack summary for a review of the deep slab avalanche problem and general (conservative) travel advice.