Trip Planning for Southern Gallatin

as of 5:00 am
Today3″ | 15-30 SW
Jan 31 0″ | 15-25 SW
Jan 30 0″ | 10-20 N
9460′     02/01 at 08:00
4.9℉
- 12mph
Gusts Unknown mph
9000′     02/01 at 05:00
4℉
64″ Depth
Bottom Line: Dangerous avalanche conditions exist in the mountains around Bozeman, Big Sky, West Yellowstone and Cooke City. Strong winds wreaked havoc on last week’s powder, forming thick drifts of hard, wind-blown snow on many slopes at all elevations and aspects. Weak layers in the upper three feet of the snowpack create conditions where avalanches can break widely across slopes. Build a wide margin for error today by avoiding steep terrain and the runout areas below avalanche paths.
Primary Problem: Persistent Weak Layer

Past 5 Days

Sat Jan 28

Considerable
Sun Jan 29

Considerable
Mon Jan 30

Considerable
Tue Jan 31

Considerable
Today

Considerable

Relevant Photos

Displaying 1 - 19
  • Surface hoar can often be seen as a grey stripe on the wall of your snowpit as was the case at Bacon Rind in the Southern Madison Range on 1/23. Photo: GNFAC

  • On a Jan. 16 tour into Beehive, we found the concerning layer of feathery surface hoar buried under 6" of snow. It is widespread from Big Sky through West Yellowstone and Cooke City. It has produced avalanches near Hebgen Lake, with more snow, it will likely produce avalanches in Beehive too. Photo: GNFAC

  • Darren Johnson was a passionate skier, patroller, and wildland firefighter and this fund helps his memory live on. During the week of January 16, 2023, there are two events happening to help spread awareness about the DJ Fund and generate donations for the next recipients to attend National Avalanche School in October 2024. The first event is at the Independent Theatre on Tuesday, January 17. This charity event has a $10 entry fee which includes a raffle ticket to a silent auction. On Thursday, January 19, join us at Beehive Basin Brewery for a raffle and pint night in which $1 from every pint sold goes into the DJ Memorial Fund.

    To donate to the Darren Johnson Avalanche Education Memorial Fund visit djmemorialfund.org, or join us at these two exciting events hosted by Yellowstone Club Ski Patrol. Huge thanks to all who have sponsored and donated to these events.

  • Skier unintentionally triggered and was caught in wind slab avalanche on the Y couloir in Sheep Creek Drainage. Skier was carried 10m before self arresting. The slide ran ~250m down and broke across the entire width of the couloir. There were no injuries and skied away. 

  • We looked at the avalanche that killed a snowmobiler yesterday (12/31/22) on Crown Butte near Cooke City. Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the victim, and those involved with the rescue and recovery. Photo: GNFAC

  • On December 31, 2022 a snowmobiler was killed in a very large avalanche north of Cooke City, MT. The avalanche occurred near Daisy Pass on Crown Butte on a southeast facing slope at 9,800’. The avalanche appeared to be 2-4' deep, 500' wide, 600' vertical, and broke on weak snow near the bottom of the snowpack. Photo: GNFAC

  • Many slick roofs shed this winter's snow with the above-freezing temperatures. There are some impressive fracture lines at the ice rink in Bogert Park in Bozeman. Photo: GNFAC

  • We dug a pit at 9,000 feet on a SE facing slope above Hebgen Lake. We found weak snow under a slab that broke with an ECTP26. Photo: GNFAC

  • From obs 12/3/22: "Looking east from the top of [Ernie Miller] ridge, we noted another crown on a west aspect that looked to be about 100' wide and deep." Photo: H. Darby

  • From obs 12/3/22: "Looking toward Ernie Miller ridge, we noted an old crown in the main bowl just below the summit. It was on an E-NE aspect, 200 or more feet wide and looked to be filled in with new snow but was still visible." Photo: H.Darby

  • From obs 12/3/22: "Toured up to Bacon Rind today and skied meadows off of the ridge. Dug a pit at 8700' on a W aspect. HS was 70cm. We got an ECTP12 45 cm up from the ground at the interface between wind packed snow and a layer of .5-1mm facets and mixed forms. That layer made up the bottom 45cm of the snowpack in that area. Dug another pit at 8800' on an E aspect. HS was 115cm. We got an ECTP 14 50cm up from the ground on that same interface as described above. The bottom 50cm of the snowpack looked to be facets and mixed forms. The upper 65cm in that area was a mixture of different layers of wind packed grains that ranged from F to 4F hardness." Photo: H. Darby

  • From obs 12/3/22: "Toured up to Bacon Rind today and skied meadows off of the ridge. Dug a pit at 8700' on a W aspect. HS was 70cm. We got an ECTP12 45 cm up from the ground at the interface between wind packed snow and a layer of .5-1mm facets and mixed forms. That layer made up the bottom 45cm of the snowpack in that area. Dug another pit at 8800' on an E aspect. HS was 115cm. We got an ECTP 14 50cm up from the ground on that same interface as described above. The bottom 50cm of the snowpack looked to be facets and mixed forms. The upper 65cm in that area was a mixture of different layers of wind packed grains that ranged from F to 4F hardness." Photo: H. Darby

  • At 1:30pm on 11/23 I intentionally triggered a fresh drift of snow in a narrow avalanche path along the edge of the north bowl at Bridger. Northeast aspect at 7,600’ elevation. The crown was 6-8” deep consisting of snow that fell today, 20’ wide and ran 250’ vertical. SS-ASc-R2-D1.5-I. Photo: GNFAC

  • Big Sky ski patrol triggered these slides with explosives on 11/22 during routine avalanche mitigation work. The avalanches were hard slabs that averaged 12" deep and broke on a weak layer above a crust on top of snow that fell in October. Photo: BSSP

  • Big Sky ski patrol triggered these slides with explosives on 11/22 during routine avalanche mitigation work. The avalanches were hard slabs that averaged 12" deep and broke on a weak layer above a crust on top of snow that fell in October. Photo: BSSP

  • Observer reported "A number of Avalanche Crowns on an east aspect at 9500 ft." in Tepee Basin.

  • An observer reported "A number of Avalanche Crowns on an east aspect at 9500 ft." in Tepee Basin

  • From obs: "Skied Hyalite Peak today and found a wind slab ~10cm deep. Ski cut a small cornice below the main face and broke a small slide that carried ~20’ with little energy with a ~25’ wide crown" Photo: C. Crowe

  • Evidence of wind-loading creating the conditions for avalanches in the Bridger Range. Cracking is an indicator of instability. The observer noted this was "Nothing consequential," but this shows that unstable drifts are forming. They will be more consequential where there is more snow and as the wind creates larger drifts. Photo: E Smith

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Snowpit Profiles- Southern Gallatin

 

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Weather Stations- Southern Gallatin

Weather Forecast Southern Gallatin

Extended Forecast for

17 Miles SE Big Sky MT

  • Today

    Today: A 20 percent chance of snow before 2pm.  Partly sunny, with a high near 21. Wind chill values as low as -5. South wind 10 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow

    High: 21 °F

  • Tonight

    Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 9. Wind chill values as low as -5. South southeast wind 11 to 13 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 9 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 26. Wind chill values as low as -5. South wind 10 to 13 mph.

    Sunny

    High: 26 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 12. Wind chill values as low as zero. South wind around 11 mph.

    Mostly Clear

    Low: 12 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: Partly sunny, with a high near 30. Breezy, with a south wind 10 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.

    Mostly Sunny
    then Partly
    Sunny and
    Breezy

    High: 30 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 15. Breezy, with a south southwest wind 11 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy
    and Breezy
    then Mostly
    Cloudy

    Low: 15 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: Partly sunny, with a high near 27. South southwest wind 11 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

    Partly Sunny

    High: 27 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 17.

    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 17 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: A 40 percent chance of snow, mainly after 11am.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 30.

    Chance Snow

    High: 30 °F

The Last Word

Check out the weather and avalanche log for a rundown of recent weather and avalanche conditions.

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