Trip Planning for Bridgers

as of 5:00 am
Dec 90″ | 10-30 W
Dec 8 0″ | 15-30 W
Dec 7 0″ | 25-55 W
8100′     12/10 at 02:00
12℉
0″New
8500′     12/10 at 01:00
9℉
W - 7mph
Gusts 21 mph
Bottom Line: The primary avalanche concern is slides breaking in drifts of wind-blown snow. Watch out for and avoid these wind drifts, or carefully check to see how they’ve bonded before riding steep slopes. We also can’t yet rule out the possibility that there are weak layers on some slopes. Dig and look for weak layers hiding 1-2 ft deep.
Primary Problem: Wind-Drifted Snow

Past 5 Days

Mon Dec 5

Considerable
Tue Dec 6

Considerable
Wed Dec 7

Moderate
Thu Dec 8

Moderate
Fri Dec 9

Moderate

Relevant Avalanche Activity

Bridger Range
Bridger Bowl
Intentional Trigger in the John
Bridger Bowl
SS-ASc-R1-D1-I
Elevation: 8,000
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.8156, -110.9230
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Cut a wind slab from the top of the John at 2:30 in the afternoon.

3-6” crown. 50-75’ wide. Ran down to the low grade below


More Avalanche Details
Northern Gallatin
Lick Creek
Skier triggered wind-load
Incident details include images
Lick Creek
SS-ASc-R1-D1-O
Elevation: 9,000
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.5243, -110.9560
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Observed active windloading on the eastern side of Lick Creek today.

12-18 inch slab broke easily when ski cut and a small but very reactive cornice was rapidly building.


More Avalanche Details
Bridger Range
Ross Peak
Two skiers caught in avalanche on Ross Peak
Incident details include images
Ross Peak
SS-ASu-R2-D1.5
Elevation: 8,500
Aspect: SE
Coordinates: 45.8586, -110.9560
Caught: 2 ; Buried: 2

Two skiers triggered an avalanche while ascending the Banana Couloir on Ross Peak on the morning of 12/5/22. The skiers were approximately 150 ft from the top of the couloir. The avalanche broke 20 ft above the upper skier. The slide broke in wind drifted snow 6 inches deep and approximately 30 ft wide, across most of the couloir. The lower skier was waiting in a "safe spot on the side" but was also caught by the slide. The slide ran ~600 vertical feet, pulling out a deeper pocket of snow (1.5-2 ft deep) midway down the path. Both skiers were fully submerged as they were carried, but ended up partially buried near the toe of the debris. One skier had snow packed into his mouth and underneath his eyelids. They returned to the trailhead under their own power. 


More Avalanche Details

Relevant Photos

Displaying 1 - 33
  • I dug a pit above Silken Falls in the gulley. I found a weak layer of facets breaking about 10" under a wind slab (ECTP15). We did not get any cracking, but the terrain is very serious and even a small slide could be deadly. We did not feel comfortable center punching up the gully. Given how much traffic the gullies are getting, I do not think it is widespread, but it's out there and could avalanche.

    Wind and snow this weekend may make this layer more unstable, so it's important to be careful crossing exposed terrain. Either rope up or tun around if it is suspect.

     

  • Avalanche that caught two skiers on Ross Peak. 12/5/22. Red "x"s mark the approximate crown and toe locations. Photo: Anonymous

  • Looking up an avalanche in the Banana Couloir on Ross Peak that caught and carried two skiers on 12/5/22. Photo: Anonymous

  • Toured up to the NE shoulder on Mt. Blackmore yesterday. Winds were strong and variable, but mostly gusting from the S-SW. A lot of snow was moving around, skin tracks were filled in very quickly, and you could actively see small cornices starting to build on the lee side of the ridge. Photo: H. Darby

  • Saw a group of skiers trigger a small wind slab avalanche on an eastern aspect at around 8,300' in the main fork of Hyalite in "Candy Land" just south of the climb Big League Chew at 2:00pm on Saturday (11/26). Crown looked to be around 2" to 1' and 90' wide. The slide ran maybe 100'. No skiers were caught. Photo: Anon

  • Saw a group of skiers trigger a small wind slab avalanche on an eastern aspect at around 8,300' in the main fork of Hyalite in "Candy Land" just south of the climb Big League Chew at 2:00pm on Saturday (11/26). Crown looked to be around 2" to 1' and 90' wide. The slide ran maybe 100'. No skiers were caught. Photo: Anon.

  • Looking up Skier triggered slide at Bridger on 11/27.

  • View from top of skier triggered slide at Bridger on 11/27: "NE face. Rollover around 35 degrees mellowing throughout the run. The face had tracks from earlier today before i triggered the slide. I was able to self arrest and stop myself before being carried. The crown was around 20-25 ft wide and the slide ran roughly 100ft downhill before stopping. Both myself and my partner skied away unharmed."

  • Crown of skier triggered slide at Bridger on 11/27: "NE face. Rollover around 35 degrees mellowing throughout the run. The face had tracks from earlier today before i triggered the slide. I was able to self arrest and stop myself before being carried. The crown was around 20-25 ft wide and the slide ran roughly 100ft downhill before stopping. Both myself and my partner skied away unharmed."

  • Toured to the ramp and Bradley's Meadow on 11/25 around noon. Temperature was 45 F and wind was calm. Snow surface was moist 5-10cm deep on most slopes. The snow surface on shady slopes above about 8,000' remained dry, despite temperatures above freezing at all elevations. Natural rollerballs and pinwheels on steep, rocky southerly slopes around 7,800'. Photo: GNFAC

  • A skier was caught and carried 40-45 yards in an avalanche on Thanksgiving Day in an area known as Papa Bear at Bridger Bowl. Bridger Bowl is not open, and there are no avalanche mitigation or ski patrol services. Photo: Anonymous

  • A group of skiers sent in this photo to show how windy it was up at Bridger on Thanksgiving Day. The wind was focused at mid-mountain levels and blew from the north to northwest. There was a lot of snow moving around and stripping of snow surfaces. Photo: H Darby

  • Skiers at Bridger Bowl observed a small avalanche near the lower Nose that was likely human-triggered. Photo: T. Chingas

  • Skiers observed a small avalanche below the Nose at Bridger Bowl. They believed it may have been human triggered. Photo: T. Chingas

  • From Obs: "Moderate to strong wind at mid-mountain level with visible transport across and downslope in many locations. Skiing conditions deteriorating in wind affected zones." 

  • From Obs: "Moderate to strong wind at mid-mountain level with visible transport across and downslope in many locations. Skiing conditions deteriorating in wind affected zones."

  • 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

  • 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

  • Toured into divide basin on Friday. Looking at the north face of hyalite peak we saw a slide that went to the ground, and was about 150 feet wide. It possible this slide propagated further, but severe wind loading was actively occurring and it was hard to tell if the crown had been filled back in. We dug a pit at 9300 feet on a SÉ aspect and found a 80-100 cm HS and right side up snow pack with minor faceting below a crust 30 cm from the bottom. 

  • This natural avalanche of wind blown snow narrowly missed hitting two skiers.

    Photo: Anonymous

  • submitted to us via IG: "triggered this large wind slab below Bridger Lift this morning [11/18]. It propagated quite a ways."

  • From obs: "triggered a small wind slab in sluice box today. this was not a surprise as all of the wind loaded areas had shown cracking and instability on the way up. though these other areas exhibited the same instability, this little pocket in sluice was the only spot steep enough to run. wanted to stop and measure slope angle but the dog was getting cold"

    Photo: J. Armer

  • The Bridger Mountains look good with a fresh layer of snow. Photo: GNFAC

  • From obs: "Photos of a small wind slab avalanche (R1 D1)  from yesterday at approximately 7800 feet on the northern end of bradleys meadow. The slide was initiated by the second skier and although the rest of the slope was <30 degrees the starting zone was a NE facing steep cross loaded wind pillow just below the ridge. 

    As my friend was skiing down he saw a crack propagate up and to his left and was able to stop on the side of the path as the snow ran past him. The  crown was approximately 30-40 feet and ran about 100 feet." Photo: G. Roe

  • From obs: "Photos of a small wind slab avalanche (R1 D1)  from yesterday at approximately 7800 feet on the northern end of bradleys meadow. The slide was initiated by the second skier and although the rest of the slope was <30 degrees the starting zone was a NE facing steep cross loaded wind pillow just below the ridge. 

    As my friend was skiing down he saw a crack propagate up and to his left and was able to stop on the side of the path as the snow ran past him. The  crown was approximately 30-40 feet and ran about 100 feet." Photo: G. Roe

  • From IG: "Remotely skier trigger wind slab up on white worm near sac bowl". Photo: C. Howell

  • Small slab avalanche triggered by skier in a small chute near The John and Bronco runs in Bridger Bowl. Propagation from skier’s ski, slab slid down through the chute. Crown maybe 10 feet wide. Slab looked about 6 or 7 inches thick. Looked like a layer of new snow from today and yesterday’s storm sliding on top of an old crust layer. Nobody harmed, just spooked.

  • From obs: "Saw some cracking and propagation of a 6-8" storm slab on steeper terrain near the Bridger Lift. Gentle upslope winds seem to have compacted a slab near some terrain features, and I got a small propagation at the edge of the Sluice Box gully where the slope angle tipped up near 40." Photo: C. Avis

  • While traveling up the Fairy Lake road, we observed the aftermath of an avalanche in October Bowl. The avalanche was D2-D3, start zone was at approximately 9000 ft, north east aspect, crown depth and width is unknown. Photo: H. Bigos-Lowe

  • Skiers found a thin snowpack that is beginning to weaken (facet). Read observation here. Photo: T McCutcheon.

  • 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

WebCams


Bridger Base Area

Ridge, Looking North

Alpine Apron

Snowpit Profiles- Bridgers

 

Select a snowpit on the map to view the profile image

Weather Forecast Bridgers

Extended Forecast for

10 Miles NNE Bozeman MT

  • Overnight

    Overnight: Patchy blowing snow after 4am. Mostly clear, with a steady temperature around 17. Wind chill values as low as zero. South southwest wind 17 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph.

    Patchy
    Blowing Snow

    Low: 17 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: Patchy blowing snow between 9am and 1pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 31. South southwest wind 13 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.

    Patchy
    Blowing Snow

    High: 31 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: Patchy blowing snow between 3am and 4am. Partly cloudy, with a steady temperature around 28. Breezy, with a south southwest wind 14 to 22 mph.

    Patchy
    Blowing Snow
    and Breezy

    Low: 28 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: A 40 percent chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 33. South wind 13 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    High: 33 °F

  • Sunday
    Night

    Sunday Night: Snow.  Low around 17. South southeast wind 11 to 14 mph becoming north northeast after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 18 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.

    Snow

    Low: 17 °F

  • Monday

    Monday: Snow.  High near 20. Northwest wind 10 to 13 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

    Snow

    High: 20 °F

  • Monday
    Night

    Monday Night: Snow likely, mainly before 11pm.  Cloudy, with a low around 6. West northwest wind 11 to 13 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

    Snow Likely
    then Chance
    Snow

    Low: 6 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: A chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 13. West wind around 14 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.

    Chance Snow

    High: 13 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: A chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 7.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 7 °F

The Last Word

Watch our playlist of YouTube videos to get caught up on our avalanche concerns this season.

12 / 8 / 22  <<  
 
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