Trip Planning for Cooke City Area

as of 5:00 am
Dec 90″ | 10-35 S
Dec 8 0″ | 5-20 W
Dec 7 3″ | 15-40 SW
10,000′     12/10 at 00:00
3.2℉
S - 13mph
Gusts 34mph
9100′     12/10 at 00:00
11℉
55″ Depth
Bottom Line: There is weak snow buried 2-3 ft deep that could avalanche under the weight of a skier or rider today. Natural avalanches have become unlikely, but human triggered slides remain possible. Dig to search for and test these weak layers in the middle of the snowpack before riding steep slopes. Be doubly skeptical of the weak layers if they are sitting beneath hard slabs of wind drifted snow. Also watch for thin fresh drifts forming today as new snow accumulates.
Primary Problem: Persistent Weak Layer

Past 5 Days

Mon Dec 5

Considerable
Tue Dec 6

Considerable
Wed Dec 7

Considerable
Thu Dec 8

Moderate
Fri Dec 9

Moderate

Relevant Avalanche Activity

Cooke City
Fisher Mtn.
Remote triggered deep slab, Fisher
Incident details include images
Incident details contain video
Fisher Mtn.
HS-AMr-R3-D2.5-O
Elevation: 10,000
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 45.0661, -109.9590
Caught: 1 ; Buried: 0

On Dec 9, 2022 around 1:30pm we triggered a large, deep slab avalanche while riding across a lower angle slope below. This occurred on Fisher Mtn. near Cooke City on an east-northeast aspect at 10,000'. It broke 3-6+' deep and 300' wide. One rider was caught and carried, not buried, and luckily nobody was injured.


More Avalanche Details
Cooke City
Henderson Mountain
Rider Triggered Avalanche, Chimney Rock
Incident details include images
Incident details contain video
Henderson Mountain
HS-AMu-R2-D2-O
Elevation: 9,800
Aspect: NW
Coordinates: 45.0524, -109.9450
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

There was a human-triggered avalanche near Chimney Rock on Henderson Mountain. The avalanche failed on weak snow near the ground. We believe a snowmobiler triggered the slope.

From GNFAC visit to crown 12/8: "We rode to Daisy Pass to look at the avalanche that was triggered by a snowmobiler two days ago (12/6/22). It was on the slope east of the pass that people often climb up and out, steeper than the normal route out. It broke 2-3 feet deep and 250-300’ wide, R2-D2. At the crown it broke on a weak layer about 100cm above the ground, but it broke closer to the ground in many places lower on the slope where the snowpack was shallower and weaker. I would guess one of those areas is where it was triggered from."


More Avalanche Details
Cooke City
Henderson Bench
Natural Avalanche, Henderson Bench
Incident details include images
Henderson Bench
NC-R2-D2-O
Elevation: 10,000
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 45.0558, -109.9470
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From IG: “Avalanche spotted on Henderson bench today, appears to be cornice triggered yesterday or the day before. 2-5 feet deep, 600’ wide, ran 800 vertical.”


More Avalanche Details

Relevant Photos

Displaying 1 - 29
  • On Dec 9, 2022 around 1:30pm we triggered this avalanche while riding across the lower angle slope below. It broke 3-6+' deep and 300' wide. One rider was caught and carried, and luckily nobody was injured. Photo: GNFAC

  • On Dec 9, 2022 around 1:30pm we triggered this avalanche while riding across the lower angle slope below. It broke 3-6+' deep and 300' wide. One rider was caught and carried, and luckily nobody was injured. Photo: GNFAC

  • On Dec 9, 2022 around 1:30pm we triggered this avalanche while riding across the lower angle slope below. It broke 3-6+' deep and 300' wide. One rider was caught and carried, and luckily nobody was injured. Photo: GNFAC

  • On Dec 9, 2022 around 1:30pm we triggered this avalanche while riding across the lower angle slope below. It broke 3-6+' deep and 300' wide. One rider was caught and carried, and luckily nobody was injured. Photo: GNFAC

  • Looking down path of avalanche triggered by a snowmobiler on 12/6/22 near Daisy Pass, Cooke City. NW-N aspect, 9,800'. Photo: GNFAC

  • Crown of avalanche triggered by a snowmobiler on 12/6/22 near Daisy Pass, Cooke City. NW-N aspect, 9,800'. Photo: GNFAC

  • Avalanche triggered by a snowmobiler on 12/6/22 near Daisy Pass, Cooke City. NW-N aspect, 9,800'. Photo: GNFAC

  • From IG: “Avalanche spotted on Henderson bench today, appears to be cornice triggered yesterday or the day before. 2-5 feet deep, 600’ wide, ran 800 vertical.” Photo: M. Cohen

  • "Here’s an avalanche we saw on December 2nd 2022 in cooke city on the north side of Henderson mountain just above lulu road." Photo: G. Kalkowski

  • from IG: @coldfear

  • Small avalanche below Henderson Bench. SE aspect. Likley Snowmobile-trigger did not confirm. 70-90’wide, 1-3’ crown, ran 40’ Photo: R. Youngbar

  • Observed 12/3, likely slid 12/2. Photo: GNFAC

  • Observed 12/3, likely slid 12/2. Photo: GNFAC

  • Photo: GNFAC

  • Large natural avalanche on Republic Mtn. likely broke early 12/2. Photo: GNFAC

  • Large natural avalanche on Republic Mtn. likely broke early 12/2. Photo: GNFAC

  • Observed 12/3/22. Photo: Z. Peterson

  • From IG 12/3: "...Most notable was this massive slide on fox, looks to have broke 2-6’ deep and over 1000’ wide. Couldn’t quite see the toe from our tour but it looked to have run over 1000’ vertical. Never have seen one so large on Fox…" Photo: M. Cohen

  • Natural avalanche on Republic Mtn. 12/2/22 Photo: Z. Peterson

  • Near Cooke City (12/2/22) We saw multiple large natural avalanches that broke last night or early this morning. Photo: GNFAC

  • Near Cooke City (12/2/22) We saw multiple large natural avalanches that broke last night or early this morning. Photo: GNFAC

  • Near Cooke City (12/2/22) We saw multiple large natural avalanches that broke last night or early this morning. Photo: GNFAC

  • On Dec 1, 2022 we found 21" new snow = 1.2"SWE that fell since the morning of 11/30. We had an ECT break and propagate 6-8" below the new snow on top of a crust that formed last week. With more snow on the way we might see avalanches break on this layer. Photo: GNFAC

  • From obs: "Well developed surface hoar was widespread this morning near Cooke City (11/25). The strong sun burned it off on aspects that received sun, but it was preserved in shaded areas." Photo: N. Salsburg

  • 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

  • From email: "Saw a recent slab avalanche today on a NE aspect of Mt. Henderson, around 10,000.  We were skiing nearby on Nov. 11-12 and did not notice this slide, but that may have simply missed it (that slope becomes shaded by about noon this time of year and there was lots of wind affected snow in that area.)" Photo: B. Fredlund

  • A 6 a.m. image of the snow that fell last night in Cooke City.

  • 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


Soda Butte Lodge, looking West

Soda Butte Lodge, looking East

Snowpit Profiles- Cooke City Area

 

Select a snowpit on the map to view the profile image

Weather Forecast Cooke City Area

Extended Forecast for

2 Miles NNE Cooke City MT

  • Overnight

    Overnight: Mostly cloudy, with a steady temperature around 8. Wind chill values as low as -5. West wind 7 to 9 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 8 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 26. Wind chill values as low as zero. Southwest wind 7 to 14 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy

    High: 26 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a steady temperature around 19. West southwest wind 8 to 10 mph becoming east after midnight.

    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 19 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: A 50 percent chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 29. West wind 11 to 13 mph becoming southeast in the morning.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    High: 29 °F

  • Sunday
    Night

    Sunday Night: Snow likely, mainly after 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 13. South southeast wind 9 to 11 mph becoming north after midnight.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Snow Likely

    Low: 13 °F

  • Monday

    Monday: Snow.  Temperature rising to near 21 by 11am, then falling to around 12 during the remainder of the day. North northeast wind 6 to 11 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of around 2 inches.

    Snow

    High: 21 °F⇓

  • Monday
    Night

    Monday Night: Snow likely, mainly before 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 3. North wind 9 to 11 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Snow Likely

    Low: 3 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: Snow likely, mainly before 11am.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 17. Northwest wind 9 to 15 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 60%.

    Snow Likely

    High: 17 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: A 40 percent chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 4. Northwest wind around 14 mph.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 4 °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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