Trip Planning for Southern Madison

as of 5:00 am
Today0″ | 15-25 NW
Jan 16 0″ | 10-25 NW
Jan 15 0″ | 10-15 W
9460′     01/17 at 21:00
27.4℉
W - 10mph
Gusts 21mph
9000′   01/17 at 20:00
28℉
60″ Depth
Bottom Line: Don’t discard your backcountry travel protocols on days like today when avalanches are unlikely. These protocols are what we use to hedge our bets when entering avalanche terrain. Dig a pit and test the snowpack for isolated instabilities, carry rescue equipment and know how to use it, ride or ski one at a time in avalanche terrain, and manage your terrain choice to minimize the negative effects of a small slide.
Primary Problem: Persistent Weak Layer

Past 5 Days

Thu Jan 13

Moderate
Fri Jan 14

Moderate
Sat Jan 15

Low
Sun Jan 16

Low
Today

Low

Relevant Avalanche Activity

Northern Madison
Beehive Basin
Skier triggered cornice beehive basin
Incident details include images
Beehive Basin
SS-NCu-R3-D2-O
Elevation: 9,300
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.3379, -111.3990
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From email 1/9/21: "Skier triggered cornice failure avalanche. Broke at skis 10-12 feet from the lip. No one caught or injured."


More Avalanche Details
Southern Madison
Taylor Fork
Natural avalanches in southern Madison
Incident details include images
Taylor Fork
SS-N-R3-D2-I
Elevation: 10,000
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.0607, -111.2720
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0
More Avalanche Details
Southern Madison
Red Mountain
Natural Avalanches Red Mountain
Incident details include images
Red Mountain
HS-N-R2-D2
Coordinates: 44.9474, -111.1560
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Several natural avalanches were observed on Red Mountain. These avalanches were seen on 1/13/22, but likely occurred around 1/8/22. 


More Avalanche Details

Relevant Photos

Displaying 1 - 32
  • A group at Ernie Miller Ridge had an unstable test score in their second snowpit of the day (1/16/22). Lingering instabilities are isolated but it is an excellent idea to dig down and test the snowpack before getting into avalanche terrain. Photo: T Dumbrovsky

  • Riders reported on 1/15/22: "Some surface hoar is forming on nearly every aspect at all elevations. over 1 cm thick in some areas." Photo: B. Rasmussen

  • Riders reported on 1/15/22: "Some surface hoar is forming on nearly every aspect at all elevations. over 1 cm thick in some areas." Photo: B. Rasmussen

  • Settlement rings around the base of trees near Cooke City, January 15, 2022. Photo: B. Fredlund

  • Seen 1/14/22, R1-D2 on west aspect at 9,500'. Photo: GNFAC

  • Avalanche that is likely 5-7 days old in Sunlight Basin, Taylor Fork, southern Madison Range. Photo taken 1/14/22 by GNFAC

  • Avalanche that is likely 5-7 days old in Sunlight Basin, southern Madison Range. Photo taken 1/14/22 by GNFAC

  • Avalanche that is likely 5-7 days old in Taylor Fork, southern Madison Range. Photo taken 1/14/22 by GNFAC

  • Avalanches on Red Mountain. Photo taken 1/13/22. Likely broke around 1/8/22. Photo: M. Standal

  • A group in Cabin Creek saw a very large crown from an avalanche that occurred on the east aspect of Sage Peak last weekend (1/7 or 1/8). Photo: Anonymous

  • From email 1/9/22: "Skier triggered cornice failure avalanche. Broke at skis 10-12 feet from the lip. No one caught or injured."

  • From email 1/9/22: "Skier triggered cornice failure avalanche. Broke at skis 10-12 feet from the lip. No one caught or injured."

  • A sled was recovered uphill of the 2 avalanche victims in the same area it was stuck. The sled was found with a probe line and is buried 3-4 feet deep. The avalanche crown can be seen in the upper slopes above them. Photo: GNFAC

  • The crown of the avalanche that killed two snowmobilers on December 27, 2021 was 300 feet wide and 4-5 feet deep. Photo: GNFAC

  • These are the two sites where the 2 snowmobilers were recovered. They were buried 4-5 feet deep in debris piles that measured 9 feet deep. Photo: GNFAC

  • Ian Hoyer stands next to the crown where we dug a snowpit and investigated the snow structure. The crown averaged 4-5 feet deep. Near his right knee is the layer of weak faceted snow that broke 40 cm above the ground. Above this layer was a thick slab of windblown snow. Photo: GNFAC

  • Dave Zinn of the GNFAC gets 3 layers breaking in his Extended Column Test. About 3 feet of snow fell in the last 4 days which got blown into wind slabs. The weight of the new snow is also creating instability on a weak layer of sugary facets near the ground. Photo: GNFAC

  • Bare ground on the ridge between Tepee Basin and Bacon Rind Creek. Nearby we found 4 ft deep drifts. 12/22/21. Photo: GNFAC

  • An avalanche in Tepee Basin appears to have failed within or under the new snow around 12/15/21. Photo taken 12/22/21.

    Photo: GNFAC

  • An avalanche in Tepee Basin that broke under new snow on facets near the ground. Likely occurred on 12/15/21. Photo taken 12/22/21.

    Photo: GNFAC

  • Digging a snowpit in 4 feet of drifted snow in Tepee Basin (12/22/21). Photo: GNFAC

  • Natural avalanche in Taylor Fork that broke 100ft wide, 2-3 ft deep, beneath the recent storm snow. Appears to have failed towards the end of the storm (likely 12/15/21). Photo: GNFAC

  • This avalanche was remotely triggered by snowmobilers from over 100 ft away on 12/15. It broke beneath the recent storm snow, 1-2 ft deep.

    Photo: GNFAC

  • A skier in the Southern Madison Range remotely triggered this avalanche in the Bacon Rind area from a flat bench above the slope. It broke over 50-75' away where the slope got steeper. Human-triggered avalanches are likely. Avoid steep terrain until the snowpack stabilizes. Photo: Anonymous 

  • From obs: 12/12/21: "Heavy wind loading from gusty SW winds and recent snowfall. Made for some touchy conditions. This was at 9100’ between Sage and Sunlight basins." Photo: JR Mooney

  • New snow was blown into thick drifts that can be triggered by skiers or riders. Cracking like this is a sign that drifts are unstable and could slide on steeper slopes. Photo: GNFAC

  • From obs (12/5/21): "Went poking around in the Taylor Hilgard today looking for snow. As expected, found a thin and faceted snowpack at lower elevations. Snowpack improved considerably above 8500', often .5-1m. I dug a quick pit to the ground on a N-NE facing slope at around 9300'. Pit measuded 1.1m, and to my surprise consisted of a relatively compacted and consolidated snowpack, almost entirely 4f hardness. I was expecting to find layers of facets near the base of the snowpack, and between crusts in the middle, but did not."

    Photo: L. Heine

  • From email (12/5/21) : "Small avalanche triggered while approaching ice climb in East fork of Hyalite basin. 

    Another D1 natural avalanche was observed later in the day similar aspect/elevation

    NE @7600’
    SS-AFu-D0.5-I"

    Photo: A. Schoening

  • Skiers on Mount Blackmore observed cracking within the freshly wind-loaded snow on a southeast-facing slope just below the ridge (11/24/21). Photo: J Schack

  • From e-mail 11/7/21: "...Once in airplane bowl we saw multiple large slides that ran last night, syn-storm. Most of which came down from the East face of Sac. A few 200-300’ wide and running the length of the bowl.,,, attached is a grainy cell phone pic of the slides in Airplane Bowl." -Anonymous.

  • From email 11/4/21: "...noticed two small wet loose avalanches in the east facing bowl between Pomp and Hardscrabble Peaks." Photo: H. Darby

  • From e-mail 11/4/21: "Hiking up in the Bridger Range from Sacagawea Pass and noticed no faceting of the current snowpack. The snow near the pass and on the ridge is very wind affected as is to be expected and dropping into the bowl on the east side of the Pass the snowpack there has a distinct sun crust. Dug around a little bit at 8600 ft on a NE aspect and found a sun crust of about two inches with what felt like rounded grains below that. Even in the direct sun, the crust was taking a long time to rewarm and was pretty slippery..." Photo: H. Darby

WebCams


Raynolds Pass, Looking N

Snowpit Profiles- Southern Madison

 

Select a snowpit on the map to view the profile image

Weather Forecast Southern Madison

Extended Forecast for

20 Miles S Big Sky MT

Winter Weather Advisory January 18, 07:00am until January 19, 03:00pm
Click here for hazard details and duration
Winter Weather Advisory
  • Tonight

    Tonight: A 20 percent chance of snow after 4am.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 18. South southwest wind 14 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy
    then Slight
    Chance Snow

    Low: 18 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: A 30 percent chance of snow, mainly after 4pm.  Partly sunny, with a high near 26. West southwest wind 9 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Partly Sunny
    then Chance
    Snow

    High: 26 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: A 50 percent chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 13. West wind around 14 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 13 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: A 40 percent chance of snow, mainly before 11am.  Partly sunny, with a high near 22. West wind 11 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph.  Little or no snow accumulation expected.

    Chance Snow

    High: 22 °F

  • Wednesday
    Night

    Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 10. Southwest wind 11 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 10 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: A 50 percent chance of snow, mainly after 11am.  Partly sunny, with a high near 20. South southwest wind 16 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    High: 20 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: Snow.  Low around 14. South southwest wind around 18 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

    Snow

    Low: 14 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: Snow likely, mainly before 11am.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 24. Southwest wind around 16 mph becoming north northwest in the morning. Winds could gust as high as 26 mph.

    Snow Likely

    High: 24 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 9.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 9 °F

The Last Word

As we wait for the next dump of snow, now is an excellent time to practice avalanche rescue. Are you fast and efficient with your beacon? Is your partner? Even the sharpest knife needs an occasional tune. Check out this BCA video to hone your skills.