Regional Conditions for Northern Madison

as of 5:00 am
Oct 140″ | 20-40 WSW
Oct 13 0″ | 10-20 SW
Oct 12 0″ | 10-20 SSW
9400′     /00 at :
- mph, Gusts
" New
8880′   10/14 at 23:00
27℉
5″ 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

Past 5 Days

Mon Apr 29

None
Thu May 2

None
Thu Sep 26

None
Thu Oct 3

None
Thu Oct 10

None

Avalanche Activity- Northern Madison

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
Bridger Range
Fairy Lake
Small wind slab near Fairy Lake
Incident details include images
Fairy Lake
SS-AS-R1-D1-S
Elevation: 9,000
Coordinates: 45.9043, -110.9580
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From e-mail: "The only places one could ski were wind pockets blown into the limestone fin features that in places were well over a foot. These spots were also where the snow was weirdest/posed any sort of avalanche hazard as you pretty much had to find a wind slab in order to ski anything! One group reported triggering a slab in one of these spots, but vis was too poor to see."


More Avalanche Details

Photos- Northern Madison

Displaying 1 - 14
  • 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

  • Strong westerly wind scoured snow off high ridgelines and slopes in the northern Bridger Range on Friday (10/11). 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

  • 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

  • Ice Climbers on the Sphinx sent this photo from October 3, and noted,

    "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." Photo: S. Magro

  • 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.

  • The mountains got their first coat of snow at the end of September, though it isn't quite enough to protect you from hitting rocks. Where the snow is drifted provides the best coverage, but is also the most likely place to trigger a small slide. A small slide would be painful if it pushes you into the many exposed rocks. Photo: G. Antonioli

  • The mountains got their first coat of snow at the end of September. It isn't quite enough to protect you from hitting rocks. Photo: G. Antonioli

  • 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- Northern Madison

WebCams


8800 Camera, Lone Peak view

Golf Course

Yellowstone Club, Timberline Chair

Weather Forecast Northern Madison

Extended Forecast for

5 Miles NNW Big Sky MT

  • Overnight

    Overnight: Mostly clear, with a low around 22. West southwest wind around 8 mph.

    Mostly Clear

    Low: 22 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: Sunny, with a high near 42. Southwest wind 7 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

    Sunny

    High: 42 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 30. South wind around 17 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 30 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 45. Breezy, with a south wind 18 to 24 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy
    then Mostly
    Sunny and
    Breezy

    High: 45 °F

  • Wednesday
    Night

    Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 31. Breezy, with a south wind 22 to 26 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.

    Partly Cloudy
    and Breezy

    Low: 31 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: A 50 percent chance of snow, mainly after noon.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 38. Breezy.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Breezy.
    Slight Chance
    Snow then
    Chance Snow

    High: 38 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: A 40 percent chance of snow before midnight.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 22. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow
    then Mostly
    Cloudy

    Low: 22 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: A chance of snow after noon.  Partly sunny, with a high near 30. Windy.

    Mostly Sunny
    and Breezy
    then Chance
    Snow and
    Windy

    High: 30 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: A chance of snow before midnight.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 20. Breezy.

    Chance Snow
    and Breezy
    then Mostly
    Cloudy

    Low: 20 °F

The Last Word

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