Trip Planning for Lionhead Range

as of 5:00 am
Apr 301″ | NA
Apr 29 4″ | NA
Apr 28 1″ | NA
8775′  04/03 at 10:08
23℉
SW - 7mph
Gusts 10mph
7750′   05/19 at 02:00
42℉
37″ 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.

Past 5 Days

Mon Apr 18

None
Fri Apr 22

None
Mon Apr 25

None
Fri Apr 29

None
Mon May 2

None

Relevant Avalanche Activity

Bridger Range
Bridger Bowl
Many natural storm snow slab avalanches at Bridger
Incident details include images
Bridger Bowl
SS-N-R2-D1.5-S
Elevation: 7,500
Coordinates: 45.8156, -110.9230
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

There were many similar depth, 8-12" natural crowns along the ridge that broke this morning or overnight within the recent snow that fell over the weekend.


More Avalanche Details
Bridger Range
Beehive Basin
Natural Loose snow avalanches at Bridger and Beehive
Incident details include images
Beehive Basin
WL-N-R1-D1.5-I
Elevation: 8,500
Coordinates: 45.3407, -111.3910
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Widespread natural loose snow avalanches on 5/4 in Bridger and Beehive. 6-12" of snow that fell on 5/3 was quickly reactive when the sun came out with temps to 40 F on 5/4.


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Northern Madison
Beehive Basin
Skier triggered Avalanche in Beehive Basin
Incident details include images
Beehive Basin
L-AS-R2-D1.5-I
Elevation: 9,000
Aspect: W
Coordinates: 45.3225, -111.3820
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

5/3/22 at approximately 4:00pm a storm slab avalanche occurred in beehive basin on a west aspect @9000 ft. This slab was 6-8” deep and propagated around 50’. No one was buried, however we aren’t sure if anyone was caught because we were not the party who triggered this avalanche. We did witness the party drop in but quick went out of sight.


More Avalanche Details

Relevant Photos

Displaying 1 - 40
  • Natural avalanche that occurred at Bridger early on 5/9/22. There were many similar depth natural crowns along the ridge that broke within the recent snow that fell over the weekend.

  • Crown of a natural avalanche that occurred at Bridger on 5/9/22. There were many similar depth natural crowns along the ridge that broke within the recent snow that fell over the weekend.

  • Natural wet loose avalanche in Beehive Basin. Occurred on Wednesday 5/4 after new snow fell on Tuesday.

  • Wet loose snow avalanches of recent 6" of snow. They likely occurred when the sun came out Wednesday morning, or at the end of the storm on Tuesday. GNFAC

  • "5/3/22 at approximately 4:00pm a storm slab avalanche occurred in beehive basin on a west aspect @9000 ft. This slab was 6-8” deep and propagated around 50’. No one was buried, however we aren’t sure if anyone was caught because we were not the party who triggered this avalanche. We did witness the party drop in but quick went out of sight." Photo: H. Bigos-Lowe

  • On 4/18/22 near Cooke City we witnessed natural rollerballs and pinwheels by 11 am, and a couple wet loose slides below cliffs on southerly slopes around noon, and were able to easily trigger pinwheels on west-southwest aspects around 1230-1pm. Photo: GNFAC

  • A large drift on the Ramp just north of Bridger Bowl. Photo: GNFAC

  • Drifts cracked and slid on steep rollovers north of Bridger Bowl. Photo: K Hammonds

  • We observed many wet snow avalanches in the Targhee Creek drainage near Lionhead Ridge that likely occurred between 3/26 and 3/29. Photo: GNFAC

  • We observed many wet snow avalanches in the Targhee Creek drainage near Lionhead Ridge that likely occurred between 3/26 and 3/29. Photo: GNFAC

  • We observed many wet snow avalanches in the Targhee Creek drainage near Lionhead Ridge that likely occurred between 3/26 and 3/29. Photo: GNFAC

  • An avalanche on Wilson Peak that caught two skiers and injured one on 4/3/22. Photo: GNFAC

  • Skiers noted wet slab and wet loose avalanche activity on March 28th in the mountains near Cooke City. Photo: B. Fredlund

  • On 3/27/22 Big Sky ski patrol witnessed many natural wet slides in closed terrain. Photo: BSSP

  • "We also conducted avalanche mitigation on our Cabin’s Road at 4:30pm. The snowpack in this zone doesn’t get skied and is representative of the backcountry. The slope is ENE around 8,400’. Several wet slab avalanches were produced with explosives and ski cutting. The avalanches ranged from R4/D2 to R2/D1. They all hit the road and several crossed, and buried, the Cabin’s Road. Although most of this mitigation was done with explosives, it took minimal effort with skis to get snow moving. The crowns were 2-3’ deep and ran on the ground." Photo: YCSP

  • "A wet loose avalanche was seen in the Apron (closed terrain that hasn’t been opened this season) around 3:00pm. It was an R2/D2 on a east facing slope around an elevation of 8,500’." Photo: YCSP

  • Natural wet slab avalanche on Cedar Mtn. Observed 3/26/22. Photo: J. Gerardi

  • From obs 3/26/22: "Freezing temps overnight created breakable crust in the morning which quickly deteriorated as the day warmed. (Temps rose surprisingly faster than we anticipated.  Experience large whumphs while ascending the NW shoulder of Electric Pk. at 9600 ft. Without hesitation we turned back and skied out the skin track. The snow became very rotten and we penetrated to boot-tops often while exiting." Photo:  S. Miller

  • On March 26 many natural wet slides occurred in closed terrain at Bridger Bowl. Photo: BBSP

  • We saw this natural avalanche on 3/19/22 appeared to be within 24 hours old and triggered by cornice fall that broke out a slab below. Northeast aspect at 8,800' on Lionhead Ridge. Photo: GNFAC

  • We saw this natural avalanche on 3/19/22 appeared to be within 24 hours old and triggered by cornice fall that broke out a slab below. Northeast aspect at 8,800' on Lionhead Ridge. Photo: GNFAC

  • We saw this natural avalanche on 3/19/22 appeared 24-48 hours old and triggered by cornice fall that broke out a slab below. North aspect at 10,000' behind the top of Targhee Creek near Lionhead. Photo: GNFAC

  • From email 3/13/22: "Noticed these small breaks all over the zone [on 3/12/22], mostly on south facing slopes, along with cracking near them. Easily triggered as well as lots of natural breaks. This one was just west of round lake, south facing:" Photo: S. Strenge

  • At Lionhead, east wind was blowing up the normal starting zones and moving snow. Once it switches westerly the wind loads will create instability. There is 10-12" of powdery snow to blow around. Photo: GNFAC

  • Wet slides occurred near Quake Lake on 3/3 or 3/4. Photo. T. Hansen

  • Wind slab avalanche on Lionhead Ridge. Approximately 50 ft wide and ran 200 vertical feet. Looks to have gouged down into lower layers below the rocks. 2/3/22. Photo: GNFAC

  • Small loose wet avalanches started beneath cliffs on the Lionhead Ridge. 2/3/22. Photo: GNFAC

  • We dug a pit at 9,000' on an east facing slope on Sawtelle Peak on 2/24/22. Our old pit from 1/12/22, almost 6 weeks ago, is still plainly visible in the foreground. It has been a dry 6 weeks!  Photo: GNFAC

  • From message 2/20/22: "Triggered this slide yesterday a few miles from two top. 1.5 foot crown."

  • From message 2/20/22: "Triggered this slide yesterday a few miles from two top. 1.5 foot crown."

  • This is the slope that avalanched and killed a snow bike rider (motorized) on 2/19/22. Photo is from the Search and Rescue team who were leaving the site as it was getting dark, and did not have time to gather more info. Click link below for more details. Photo: B. Zavora

  • We saw this fairly recent, very small cornice fall avalanche on Cedar Mtn. on 2/12/2022. Photo: GNFAC

  • Chris Hericks, snow ranger on Beaverhead Deerlodge NF, points to the lower of two surface hoar layers. We are finding similar layering throughout our entire forecast area. The top 18" of the snowpack is weak and will quickly become unstable when it snows. Photo: GNFAC

  • Crown of the avalanche on Ski Hill. The snow rangers in the photo are standing near the victim burial site. Photo: GNFAC

  • Looking up from the bottom of the avalanche that killed one snowmobiler on Ski Hill. The crown is visible at the top of the hill. The men in the photo are standing near the trees where the victim was buried. Photo: GNFAC

  • The backpack pictured marks the place where the avalanche victim was buried. Photo: GNFAC

  • Identifying snow crystals in the layer that failed at the crown of the avalanche on Ski Hill. The avalanche broke on weak, faceted crystals near the surface. Photo: GNFAC

  • Debris from the fatal avalanche on Ski Hill. The backpack marks the place where the victim came to rest. Photo: J. Norlander

  • Identifying and recording grain types in the snowpack at the site of the Lionhead avalanche fatality. Photo: J. Norlander

Videos- Lionhead Range

WebCams


Rendezvous Ski Trail, W. Yellowstone

Snowpit Profiles- Lionhead Range

 

Select a snowpit on the map to view the profile image

Weather Forecast Lionhead Range

Extended Forecast for

10 Miles WNW West Yellowstone MT

  • Overnight

    Overnight: Scattered snow showers.  Cloudy, with a steady temperature around 33. Breezy, with a west southwest wind around 26 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 40%. Total nighttime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Scattered
    Snow Showers
    and Breezy

    Low: 33 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: Scattered snow showers, mainly between 3pm and 5pm.  Cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a steady temperature around 29. Breezy, with a west wind 17 to 22 mph increasing to 24 to 29 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 41 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 30%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

    Scattered
    Snow Showers
    and Breezy

    High: 29 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: A 50 percent chance of snow, mainly after 10pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 21. Blustery, with a northwest wind 16 to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 32 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow
    and Blustery

    Low: 21 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: A chance of snow before noon, then a chance of snow showers after noon. Some thunder is also possible.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 33. North wind around 16 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    High: 33 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 19. North wind 10 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 19 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: A 30 percent chance of snow after noon.  Mostly sunny, with a high near 38. North northeast wind 7 to 10 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Sunny then
    Chance Snow

    High: 38 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: A 20 percent chance of snow before midnight.  Partly cloudy, with a low around 23. North northeast wind 7 to 10 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow then
    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 23 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: A slight chance of snow before noon, then a chance of snow showers after noon. Some thunder is also possible.  Partly sunny, with a high near 39. East northeast wind 7 to 10 mph becoming west southwest in the afternoon.

    Chance Snow
    Showers

    High: 39 °F

  • Sunday
    Night

    Sunday Night: A chance of snow before midnight.  Partly cloudy, with a low around 24.

    Chance Snow
    then Mostly
    Clear

    Low: 24 °F

The Last Word

Thank you to everyone that sent in observations, read the advisories, 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! See this article for some general spring travel advice.