Regional Conditions for Northern Gallatin

as of 5:00 am
Dec 81″ | 20-45 SW
Dec 7 0″ | 30-50 SW
Dec 6 0″ | 15-20 W
9980′     12/09 at 01:00
7.2℉
W - 12mph
Gusts 26mph
8100′   12/09 at 2:00
18℉
Depth
Bottom Line: Avalanches will break on the interface below the new snow, mainly where it is drifted into fresh slabs. Expect avalanches to become larger and easier to trigger as snow piles up through today. Carefully assess the stability of the new snow before riding in steep terrain.

Past 5 Days

Wed Dec 4

Moderate
Thu Dec 5

Moderate
Fri Dec 6

Moderate
Sat Dec 7

Low
Sun Dec 8

Moderate

Avalanche Activity- Northern Gallatin

Bridger Range
Bridger Bowl
Bridger patrol triggered large slides on heavily wind loaded slopes
Incident details include images
Bridger Bowl
HS-ACc-R2-D3-O
Elevation: 8,500
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.8156, -110.9230
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Ski patrol triggered two large hard slab avalanches, one in Slushman's Ravine and the other in Mundy's Bowl, by knocking large cornices down on the slope. One was 4' deep, AC-HS-R2-D3-O, ran 1150' vertical. The other was 2.5' deep, AC-HS-R2-D2-O, ran 650' vertical. This was their first control in this area for the season, so the snowpack is similar to backcountry.


More Avalanche Details
Northern Gallatin
Hyalite - main fork
Natural and human triggered wind slab avalanches in Hyalite
Incident details include images
Hyalite - main fork
SS
Coordinates: 45.4472, -110.9620
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Observations from Hyalite today:

1. When approaching the base of Mt. Blackmore this morning at roughly 8:45am we observed strong swirling winds at higher elevations (summit of Blackmore and the Elephant/Blackmore Saddle). The winds we observed were primarily loading snow onto E and SE facing aspects. Furthermore, we witnessed four naturally triggered avalanches over a twenty minute span. All slides appeared to be D1/D2 on E and SE aspects and, seemingly, restricted to the newly loaded snow.

2. My partner and I climbed Zach Attack today. We intentionally triggered numerous size 1 wind slabs in the gully approaching the climb, which has slopes up to 35 degrees. These slabs were between 5 and 15 cm thick, up to 5m wide, 4F in hardness, touchy, and failed on lower density new snow. Although none of them ran more than 20m in this terrain, it would be a different story on steeper slopes, and if you were in an exposed position they had enough mass to push you around. Strong down and cross-slope winds formed these slabs at and below treeline, while the more alpine terrain of the climb itself was scoured.

3. Skied up in the main drainage of Hyalite today. Triggered some small wind slabs and propagating cracks. We backed off our main objective (a north facing couloir) because of these red flags and multiple crown lines on the same aspect and elevation.

 

More Avalanche Details
Bridger Range
Saddle Peak
Natural and human triggered wind slabs in the Bridger Range
Incident details include images
Saddle Peak
SS-N-D2
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.7943, -110.9360
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0
From an email:
"I toured up Bridger today... We found reactive windslabs at the ridgeline. On the drive up we observed a few small avalanches in Mundies Bowl and a larger (D2) slide just north of Saddle’s north summit. All appeared to be windslabs that released at the ridgeline. We dug a pit a few hundred feet below the ridge above the entrance to 2 Way and Stuper. I’ve attached a photo of this, as well as of windslabs at the ridgeline and one of the flank of the slide on Saddle"

More Avalanche Details

Photos- Northern Gallatin

Displaying 1 - 40
  • The Bridger Bowl Ski Patrol triggered this slide on a heavily wind-loaded east facing slope at the ridgeline. They wrote, "With a shovel push the vertical cornice/pillow broke 15''-36'' deep on a steep and rounded bulge just south of Lee's Leap running on the crust. The debris terminated well below Pat's Chute." Its code is HS-AC-R2-D2-O-TR. Photo: BBSP
  • This large avalanche was triggered intentionally by the Bridger Bowl Ski Patrol at the ridgeline above little Slushman's Ravine. They were cutting a cornice and it broke 7 feet back from the edge, 4 feet deep and 150 feet wide. It was a hard slab avalanche and ran 1150 feet. It was east facing and broke on a crust formed in the early season. It's code is HS-AC-R2-D3-O-TL. Photo: BBSP

  • 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

  • This avalanche of wind-drifted snow was triggered with a ski cut on a southeast aspect at 9,800'. Photo: T. Chingas

  • This slide was triggered up Hyalite from 100' away. It was a wind loaded slope at 9,000', northeast aspect. Photo: T. Chingas

  • From an observation:

    When approaching the base of Mt. Blackmore this morning at roughly 8:45am we observed strong swirling winds at higher elevations (summit of Blackmore and the Elephant/Blackmore Saddle). The winds we observed were primarily loading snow onto E and SE facing aspects. Furthermore, we witnessed four naturally triggered avalanches over a twenty minute span. All slides appeared to be D1/D2 on E and SE aspects and, seemingly, restricted to the newly loaded snow. Photo: SAM

  • From an observation:

    When approaching the base of Mt. Blackmore this morning at roughly 8:45 am we observed strong swirling winds at higher elevations (summit of Blackmore and the Elephant/Blackmore Saddle). The winds we observed were primarily loading snow onto E and SE facing aspects. Furthermore, we witnessed four naturally triggered avalanches over a twenty minute span. All slides appeared to be D1/D2 on E and SE aspects and, seemingly, restricted to the newly loaded snow. Photo: SAM

  • This natural avalanche released on Saddle Peak. wind loading from west winds created sensitive wind slabs this morning. Photo: S. Jonas

  • Skiers found reactive wind slabs near the ridge line that easily avalanched. Photo: S. Jonas

  • From obs.: "New snow from 24 hours ago blew around the ridge tops from 11pm last night until 7am this morning ~30mph. This soft 4 finger slab was about 6”-7” deep and broke on a convex roll.... We were assessing the terrain carefully and expected this result." Photo: R. Christian-Frederick

  • We triggered this dry loose avalanche on a west facing slope in Beehive Basin on 11/30. 3-5" of recent snow easily slid on top of a crust. Photo: GNFAC

  • Dry loose snow avalanches were easy to trigger on Saturday 11/30 in Beehive Basin. Photo: GNFAC

  • Obs from skiers in Hyalite: "A pit on a SE aspect at 9600' [near Flanders] was 75cm deep and looked pretty good, except for the crust near the surface that's sitting on top of some facets, which failed as I isolated the column. I did not notice any cracking, collapsing, or recent activity on this layer, but it will likely be something to keep in mind as we get more snow. We noticed the same crust atop near-surface facets on a N aspect in Maid of the Mist last weekend, although its crustiness varies, depending on aspect." Photo: S. Reinsel

  • These small crowns indicate that new snow may not bond well to the old snow surface. Photo: B. Fredlund

  • Strong winds found snow to transport on Saturday 11/23. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Large surface hoar in Hyalite on 11/23. Photo: C. Kussmaul

  • Shooting cracks in Hyalite at ~9500 ft on a N aspect on 11/23. 

    From obs "We got some large shooting cracks while skinning and ended up turning around." Photo: C. Kussmaul

  • From obs: "We took a tour up into the Maid today. A generally stable snowpack in the area, new snow seemed to bond well with the underneath crust layer. We did observe small pinwheels/rollers on steep pitches on southeast aspects, mostly due to the rocks heating up during the day. We also observed sluff buildup on aprons below the shadier and steep northern aspects." Photo: Tommy S.

  • Toured up to the ridge at Bridger today and traversed into Bridger Gully. At around 8,000' in the trees above the most prominent snowfield, my partner and I observed very small dry sluffs confined to the new snow.  Bellow Bridger Gully, my partner was able to release a slide while traversing through rocks above his intended line. This was on an east-southeast aspect at 7,500'. Photo: Cole Oshiro-Leavitt

  • Skiers near Mt. Blackmore got unstable test results near the top of a 125cm deep snowpack. Photo: L. Peters

  • On Thursday 11/21 skiers at Bridger noted: "...some activity (D1-D2) isolated to the new snow around rock features and ridgetops that were wind-affected..." Photo: G. Antonioli

  • On Thursday 11/21 skiers at Bridger noted: "...some activity (D1-D2) isolated to the new snow around rock features and ridgetops that were wind-affected..." Photo: G. Antonioli

  • From obs.: "I went skiing at Bridger today,... There was 4-5” of new snow, which was sitting on a firm surface. The wind had done some work, and I was able to break off a few shallow (6”) wind slabs in the first 100 feet or so off the ridge." Photo: A. Schauer

  • A skier on Saturday (11/16) took the time to dig a quick pit about 200' below east ridge of Mt Blackmore. He found about 2.5 feet of snow with a few crust layers. Photo: K. Stewart

  • From obs: "Went for a tour up to Hyalite Basin. No recent sightings of avalanche activity in the basin. There was substantial wind effect on East aspects at 9,000 feet including a dense 3 inch wind layer that was present up to the saddle, which did not propagate in our ECT. We observed a crust layer on south aspects at 7,000 which likely formed before the most recent snow." Photo: Tommy Saulnier

  • These feathery surface hoar crystals were buried under 5" of snow last night up Hyalite. These weak grains may become a problem with additional load. Phoro: B. VandenBos

  • "Lots of cracking up there this morning on fresh, mid elevation wind slabs"

    Photo: B. Nobel

  • "While skinning up to the top of Powder Park lift at Bridger, we had roughly 15' cracks propagate on an E/SE aspect. A snowpit showed roughly 8" of wind slab above a few inches of facets, on top of last week's rain crust." November 11, 2019.

    Photo: G. Lawrence

  • On November 8th, skiers found weak facets and surface hoar had formed during prior cold and dry weather. Keep an eye out for these weak layers if they get buried. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • On November 8th, skiers found weak facets and surface hoar had formed during prior cold and dry weather. Keep an eye out for these weak layers if they get buried. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Wet loose avalanches at Bridger Bowl (observed on 11/5).

    Photo: G. Antonioli

  • Wet loose avalanches at Bridger Bowl (observed on 11/5).

    Photo: G. Antonioli

  • Cornices are growing larger with abundant early season snowfall. Stay far back from the edge of ridgelines and avoid slopes directly below cornices. Photo: G. Antonioli

  • On Sunday (11/3) skiers noted recent avalanche activity in the basin between Divide and the Maid on an east-southeast aspect. Appears to have slid on 11/2. Photo: G. Antonioli

  • On 11/2, skiers found fresh drifts that easily cracked, and avalanched on steeper slopes. Photo: T. Chingas

  • E aspect, 9,100'. Triggered from a stomping a small cornice, which landed on a steep slope below and popped a small wind slab. Photo: T. Chingas

  • A skier reported on 11/1, "Activity I observed was restricted to the new snow. A fair bit of loose snow....  Skiers on the E bowl of Blackmore triggered some D1 dry sluffage, running on a crust beneath the new snow." Photo: B. VandenBos

  • A skier reported on 11/1, "Activity I observed was restricted to the new snow. A fair bit of loose snow....  Skiers on the E bowl of Blackmore triggered some D1 dry sluffage, running on a crust beneath the new snow." Photo: B. VandenBos

WebCams


Bozeman Pass, Looking SE

Weather Forecast Northern Gallatin

Extended Forecast for

14 Miles SE Gallatin Gateway MT

  • Overnight

    Overnight: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 6. Wind chill values as low as -10. West northwest wind around 13 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 6 °F

  • Monday

    Monday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 22. Wind chill values as low as -10. West wind around 14 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.

    Mostly Sunny

    High: 22 °F

  • Monday
    Night

    Monday Night: A 20 percent chance of snow after 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 14. Wind chill values as low as -2. Southwest wind around 14 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow

    Low: 14 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 25. Southwest wind 14 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.

    Mostly Sunny

    High: 25 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 17. South wind around 17 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 17 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 26.

    Mostly Cloudy

    High: 26 °F

  • Wednesday
    Night

    Wednesday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 18.

    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 18 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: A chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 27. Breezy.

    Chance Snow
    and Breezy

    High: 27 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: A chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 22.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 22 °F

The Last Word

The Gallatin Valley Snowmobile Association deserves a shout-out for putting up new beacon checkers at Taylor Fork and Buck Ridge Trailheads.