Trip Planning for Southern Madison

as of 5:00 am
Dec 90″ | 25-35 S
Dec 8 0″ | 10-20 S
Dec 7 0″ | NA
9460′     12/10 at 02:00
4.7℉
- 23mph
Gusts Unknown mph
9000′     12/10 at 01:00
9℉
44″ 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

Southern Madison
Sunlight Basin
Natural Avalanche, Sunlight Basin
Incident details contain video
Sunlight Basin
SS-N-R1-D1
Coordinates: 44.9731, -111.3100
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

We saw an R1-D1 across the bowl of Sunlight Basin that looked recent after digging a pit near the weather station. While sledding around the area, we noticed faceting snow at the bottom of the snowpack in multiple locations.


More Avalanche Details
Southern Madison
Ernie Miller Ridge
Collapsing on Ernie Miller Ridge
Ernie Miller Ridge
AS
Elevation: 9,300
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 44.9453, -111.1350
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

"We toured to Ernie Miller today and saw a natural avalanche on a NE slope around 9600 ft. We heard and felt multiple collapses on our way in. We dug a pit on an east facing slope around 9300 ft where we found 105 cm of snow. We got a ECTN 2 result, failing on an interface about 15cm from the surface and ECTP5 failing 40 cm from the surface."

"Toured up to Bacon Rind today and skied meadows off of the ridge. Noted many collapses and whumpfs in the snowpack as we ascended east aspects to the ridge."


More Avalanche Details
Southern Madison
Bacon Rind
Two Natural Avalanches Ernie Miller
Incident details include images
Bacon Rind
SS-N-R2-D2-O
Elevation: 9,600
Coordinates: 44.9575, -111.0970
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Toured up to Bacon Rind today and skied meadows off of the ridge. Noted many collapses and whumpfs in the snowpack as we ascended east aspects to the ridge. 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. Looking east from the top of the ridge, we noted another crown on a west aspect that looked to be about 100' wide and deep.


More Avalanche Details

Relevant Photos

Displaying 1 - 15
  • 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

  • We just installed a new Beacon Checker at the Fir Ridge Trailhead which leads into Teepee Basin and Cabin Creek. Thanks Jim Norlander for installing it! Photo: J. Norlander

  • 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

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

  • 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

  • From obs 11/12/22: "Looks like this could be a problem when buried."

  • 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


Raynolds Pass, Looking N

Snowpit Profiles- Southern Madison

 

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Weather Forecast Southern Madison

Extended Forecast for

20 Miles S Big Sky MT

  • Overnight

    Overnight: Mostly cloudy, with a steady temperature around 12. Wind chill values as low as -15. Windy, with a south wind 28 to 34 mph, with gusts as high as 39 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy
    and Windy

    Low: 12 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: A 20 percent chance of snow after 11am.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 22. Wind chill values as low as -10. Windy, with a south wind 33 to 37 mph, with gusts as high as 44 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow and
    Windy

    High: 22 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: A 40 percent chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 18. Wind chill values as low as zero. Breezy, with a south wind 22 to 29 mph, with gusts as high as 37 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow
    and Breezy

    Low: 18 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: Snow.  High near 25. Breezy, with a south wind 18 to 22 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

    Snow and
    Breezy

    High: 25 °F

  • Sunday
    Night

    Sunday Night: Snow.  Low around 16. South southeast wind 11 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

    Snow

    Low: 16 °F

  • Monday

    Monday: Snow.  High near 19. Southeast wind around 11 mph becoming north northwest in the morning.  Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

    Snow

    High: 19 °F

  • Monday
    Night

    Monday Night: A 50 percent chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 3. North wind around 14 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 3 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: A chance of snow, mainly before 11am.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 12. North northwest wind around 14 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.

    Chance Snow

    High: 12 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: A slight chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 1.

    Slight Chance
    Snow

    Low: 1 °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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