Avalanche Incidents

Cooke City
Fisher Mtn.
Skier triggered slide on Fisher Mountain
Incident details include images
Fisher Mtn.
SS-ASu-R2-D2-I
Elevation: 9,700
Aspect: SW
Coordinates: 45.0661, -109.9590
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Dug at South facing snowpit at 9700' near the base of a wind-loaded slope, ECTX HS:280. Continued on less than 200' up the slope, the skier breaking trail triggered the avalanche. The third skier in the group of five was caught, carried, and buried to the waist. The crown was 1-2' deep, and 50 feet wide. Location: South of Fisher Mountain. Yesterday triggered a small windslab on a north-facing slope on miller ridge, no one was involved. 

 


More Avalanche Details
Cooke City
Mount Abundance
Small snowbike triggered slide near Abundance
Incident details include images
Mount Abundance
SS-AM-R2-D1
Coordinates: 45.0773, -110.0210
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

We triggered this very small slide on a steep convex  rollover by mt abundance. South facing. Triggered from on top by snow bike. Was only 60’ wide and didn’t run far at all. About a foot deep.  Some impressive high mark tracks in the area. No other signs of instability today.


More Avalanche Details
Northern Madison
Buck Ridge
Snowmobiler triggered on Buck Ridge
Incident details contain video
Buck Ridge
SS-AMu-R3-D2-I
Elevation: 9,300
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 45.1719, -111.3800
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From FB message: I triggered this one Thursday night (2/2/23). Got lucky it didn't gain speed and sack on itself. Been in this zone 1000 times, never seen it slide, always gotta be on your game... NE aspect in Beaver Creek.


More Avalanche Details
Northern Madison
Lone Mountain
Skier triggered slide in Lone Peak backcountry
Lone Mountain
AS
Coordinates: 45.2777, -111.4510
Caught: 1 ; Buried: 0

Big Sky Ski Patrol reported a skier triggered avalanche in "The Mullet" in the backcountry outside the ski resort boundaries. One skiers was reportedly caught and carried by the slide. The initial skier triggered slide also triggered another avalanche in the adjacent "Rattail" avalanche path. Details are second hand and specifics could not be confirmed due to low visibility.


More Avalanche Details
Bridger Range
Fairy Lake
Remotely triggered avalanche in Fairy Lake
Incident details include images
Fairy Lake
SS-ASr-R3-D2-I
Coordinates: 45.9043, -110.9580
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From IG:

Fairy lake today, remote trigger from top of the ridge
 
About 2-2.5ft deep about 75-100 ft wide
 

More Avalanche Details
Northern Gallatin
Lick Creek
Skier Triggered avalanche in Lick Ck
Incident details contain video
Lick Creek
SS-AS-R4-D2
Coordinates: 45.5204, -110.9600
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

A skier triggered a slide about 20-30 yards wide and 2-4ft thick. 


More Avalanche Details
Northern Madison
Lone Mountain
Skier triggered wind slab, Wyoming Bowl near Big Sky
Incident details include images
Lone Mountain
SS-ASu-R1-D1.5
Elevation: 9,600
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.2777, -111.4510
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From Big Sky Ski Patrol 1/21/23: "skier triggered a surface wind slab in Wyoming Bowl that broke 8-12” deep. It propagated to an estimated 150’ wide- SS, R1/D1.5... The slide was small, no one was hurt, and the avalanche was reported (which we appreciate), with no further public involvement other than the trigger."


More Avalanche Details
Bridger Range
Saddle Peak
Snowboarder triggered slide, Saddle Peak
Incident details include images
Incident details contain video
Saddle Peak
SS-ARu-R1-D2
Elevation: 9,000
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.7943, -110.9360
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

A snowboarder triggered two shallow avalanches (estimated 4-6 inches deep) on Saddle Peak in the new snow. The slide was as the snowboarder dropped off "Quarter Saddle" and a second pocket propagated above him as he traversed out of the first slide. The snowboarder wasn’t caught and the debris mostly stopped short of the main cliff with a little pile dropping off into the going home chute.

Another slide was seen from the highway in Argentina Bowl. This slide appears to be a shallow soft slab that ~50 ft wide and ran ~500 vertical ft.


More Avalanche Details
Island Park
Mt Jefferson Bowl
Snowmobiler Triggered slide Island Park
Incident details include images
Mt Jefferson Bowl
SS-AM-R2-D1.5-O
Coordinates: 44.5658, -111.5000
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From Facebook: High Mountain Adventures snowmobile rental reported one of their renters triggered a slide on the waterfalls (Mt Jefferson/Sawtelle).


More Avalanche Details
Cooke City
Lulu Pass
Snowmobile Triggered Avalanche near Lulu Pass
Lulu Pass
AMu
Coordinates: 45.0709, -109.9580
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Rider-triggered avalanche reported near Lulu Pass. Limited details. Unknown if anyone was carried or buried. 


More Avalanche Details
Cooke City
Henderson Mountain
Snowmobile-triggered Avalanche near Chimney Rock
Incident details include images
Henderson Mountain
AMu
Coordinates: 45.0524, -109.9450
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

A rider-triggered avalanche was reported from a slope near Chimney Rock on the north end of Henderson Mountain. Limited details. Unknown whether anyone was caught or buried. 


More Avalanche Details
Cooke City
Sheep Creek
Skier Caught in Wind Slab in Sheep Creek, Cooke
Incident details include images
Sheep Creek
HS-ASu-R2-D1.5-I
Elevation: 9,800
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.0344, -109.9840
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

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. 


More Avalanche Details
Southern Madison
Buck Ridge
Snowboarder triggered/caught small slide on Buck Ridge
Incident details include images
Buck Ridge
SS-ARu-R2-D1.5-I
Elevation: 9,200
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 45.1719, -111.3800
Caught: 1 ; Buried: 1

Location: 45.165, -111.35808 (onX) 

Elevation: ~9,200 feet

While riding a small NNE facing slope near the trail on Buck Ridge, a snowboarder triggered and followed a cornice slide that propagated approximately 75 feet and slid about 20' vertical. The one rider was caught and carried approx. 10' and ended up buried upright, waist deep with no injuries. 

 


More Avalanche Details
Bridger Range
Saddle Peak
Large natural avalanche on Saddle Peak
Incident details include images
Incident details contain video
Saddle Peak
N-R2-D2.5-O
Elevation: 9,000
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.7943, -110.9360
Caught: 1 ; Buried: 1

At 1:30 PM on Jan 6th a large avalanche poured over the cliffs on Saddle Peak, outside the boundaries of Bridger Bowl. Clouds obscured the starting zone. Multiple groups were in the runout zone, including a skier hitting a jump. One person was caught and buried up to his neck. He was able extricate himself and was unharmed. He did a beacon search at the toe of the debris. He estimated the debris was at least six feet deep.

We believe this was a natural avalanche that broke in the new and wind drifted snow which then broke into older snow. Bridger Bowl measured 6" of new snow with 0.75 inches of Snow Water Equivalent at the Alpine Wx. Station. The avalanche was estimated to be 2 feet deep, and measured on Google Earth to be 550 feet wide and 1700 feet long. 


More Avalanche Details
Northern Gallatin
Hyalite - East Fork
Loose snow avalanche Hyalite Canyon, Bobo Like
Incident details include images
Hyalite - East Fork
L-N
Coordinates: 45.4468, -110.9360
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

At about 10 AM I was belaying my partner on the first pitch of Bobo Like in the Flanders drainage of Hyalite Canyon.  We heard a low rumble and a couple seconds later we were engulfed in snow that poured out of the the pitch 2 gully, and seemed to keep coming for about 5 seconds.  My partner, who was on lead, was lucky enough to be at the base of the vertical ice of p1, so the snow mostly went over his head.  I was off to the side and close to rock at the base and was engulfed in loose snow, but not buried or injured.  We continued up afterwards.  When I was at the top of the second pitch, belaying my partner up, another small loose snow avalanche came down as river of snow, passing me as I hugged the anchor, and washed over my partner while he was on the pitch.  We were fortunate to have both been in positions to handle these avalanches without incident or injury.  In retrospect, the clear day and blasting morning sun likely loosened the snow above the gully and funneled it all down onto us.  After the first avalanche, the sun must have kept moving onto new slopes above, releasing more snow.  Even with a moderate danger level in the avalanche report for the day, with natural avalanches unlikely, we happened to find ourselves in a very specific scenario, with morning sun and a dangerous terrain feature, that still put us at risk.  Hopefully we will use this experience to improve our assessment of risk, terrain, and evolving conditions in the future.


More Avalanche Details
Southern Madison
Sage Peak
Snowmobile Triggered Avalanche Near Sage Mountain
Incident details include images
Sage Peak
AMu-R3-D2-O
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 44.9277, -111.2430
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From FB message: “Near Sage Creek/Sage Mountain in carrot basin. This was a east facing, wind loaded slope. Snowmobile triggered below the rock line. No burials.”


More Avalanche Details
Northern Madison
Buck Ridge
Small snowmobile triggered slide on Buck Ridge
Incident details include images
Buck Ridge
SS-AM-R1-D1
Elevation: 9,400
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 45.1719, -111.3800
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Small snowmobile triggered slide (~1ft deep and ~20x20 ft) at the head of Muddy Creek (NE Aspect, 9400 ft) off Buck Ridge. Looks like it was likely triggered on Sunday (Jan 1st) in a shallow spot near rocks.


More Avalanche Details
Cooke City
Zimmer Creek
Storm Slab near Mt. Zimmer Yurt
Incident details include images
Zimmer Creek
SS-ARu-D1.5-I
Elevation: 9,000
Aspect: SE
Coordinates: 45.0822, -109.8950
Caught: 1 ; Buried: 0

From obs: "A small, snowboarder-triggered avalanche from 12/31 on a southeast-facing slope at 9,000 feet broke on the 30cm layer and stepped down to the 40cm layer. The snowboarder was briefly caught in the sliding snow but maintained his footing as the snow washed past him."


More Avalanche Details
Lionhead Range
Lionhead Ridge
Snowmobile triggered slab in Lionhead
Incident details include images
Incident details contain video
Lionhead Ridge
HS-AMu-R2-D2.5-O
Elevation: 8,800
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 44.7145, -111.3180
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

On the way back to Lionshead.  Came upon this recent avalanche.  Rushed up to the group of 4 guys.  They were fine, not the guys who set it off.  The group of 6 we passed going there set it off.  The group of 4 said they saw these guys ... all on the hill at same time, stuck and climbing around the stuck guy.  All were okay but I hear one guy was shaken up. 4-5ft deep at break by 200-300ft wide, ran 400+ft.


More Avalanche Details
Cooke City
Crown Butte
Snowmobiler avalanche fatality on Crown Butte
Incident details include images
Incident details contain video
Crown Butte
HS-AMu-R4-D3-O
Elevation: 9,800
Aspect: SE
Coordinates: 45.0525, -109.9620
Caught: 1 ; Buried: 1; Killed: 1

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’. Two brothers (age 17 and 21) from Washington were snowmobiling uphill on adjacent slopes. The older brother was climbing a steeper slope and triggered the avalanche 100-200’ below the top. He was carried 600 vertical feet and buried 5 feet deep. The buried rider was wearing an airbag pack that was not deployed. Both riders had shovels and probes. They were not wearing avalanche beacons. A nearby group of riders rode up to the slide within minutes after it happened, saw a buried snowmobile and began to search for the rider. One rider from that group went into Cooke City to alert Search and Rescue. The buried rider was located with a probe line an hour after the avalanche happened. He was unable to be revived with CPR and AED at the site. The avalanche appeared to be 2-4' deep, 500' wide, 600' vertical, and broke on weak snow near the bottom of the snowpack. AMu-HS-R3/4-D3-O

Our deepest condolences go out to the family, friends, and those involved.  

Full report available here: http://www.mtavalanche.com/accident/22/12/31

 


More Avalanche Details
Cooke City
Sheep Mountain
Snowmobiler triggered hard slab avalanche Sheep Mtn.
Incident details include images
Incident details contain video
Sheep Mountain
HS-AMu-R3-D2-O
Elevation: 10,000
Aspect: W
Coordinates: 45.0722, -109.9280
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

...we rode over the saddle between Sheep and Scotch Bonnet and saw an avalanche that appeared very recent, and likely triggered by a snowmobiler. It was on a west facing slope at 10,000', and was a hard slab 1-4 feet deep and 150' wide, ran about 200' vertical. AMu-HS-R3-D2-O. This was a clear sign that weak layers exist, especially where the snowpack is relatively shallower, and recent snow has been drifted into thick slabs that are unstable over this weak snow.

 


More Avalanche Details
Bridger Range
Saddle Peak
Skier caught and carried on Saddle Peak
Incident details include images
Saddle Peak
SS-ASu-R2-D2.5-I
Elevation: 9,000
Aspect: SE
Coordinates: 45.7943, -110.9360
Caught: 1 ; Buried: 0

Skier triggered avalanche on Saddle Peak. 12/16/22.

From obs: "I got to the top of the south summit around 11am with lots of active wind loading. I traversed the ridge line for a couple hundred feet, kicking away at small cornices to see if I could trigger anything. Got two small 6-8” deep soft slabs to propagate 10’ wide and a couple hundred vertical but nothing major. The ridge line is too rocky to traverse right now so I dropped onto the face, still staying near the ridge line. A hundred feet or so further across my traverse, it got deep. Cross loading from the north grew a drift that was thigh deep at least. Very cautiously I tried to regain some elevation to get above anything that might pop off. A few steps up the drift, I heard a whumph and it started to slide. I would estimate 2-4’ deep, 150’ wide. It immediately caught my skis and started taking me down. I pointed them down hill and started to pick up speed hoping I could cut out of it. It started getting very deep and turbulent so after 200-300’ I pulled my airbag, while still trying to stay on my feet. Thankfully, I was able to stay up and cut out of the slide roughly 500’ below the summit. It ran full length into the bottom of Argentina bowl and south gut with a massive powder cloud. Way too close of a call. I skied down the avalanche path then back to the resort with my airbag deployed in case of any other slides coming down. Made it back to the resort touched base with ski patrol to alert them of the slide, give them information on my condition and the possibility of other skiers out there (no possibility, I was first person up and didn’t see anyone ascending from the gate when I crossed to south summit) and headed home."


More Avalanche Details
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
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
Bridger Range
Bridger Bowl
Skier triggered avalanche NE aspect Bridger.
Incident details include images
Bridger Bowl
HS-ASu-R2-D1.5-I
Elevation: 7,800
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 45.8264, -110.9290
Caught: 1 ; Buried: 0

From obs: "Triggered a small(d1r1?) wind slab off the bridger chair in bounds at bridger. Little skiers right of bumble chute on the roll over skiers left of bronco. 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."


More Avalanche Details
Bridger Range
Bridger Bowl
Human-Triggered Avalanche In Bridger Gully
Incident details include images
Bridger Bowl
SS-ASu-R2-D1.5-I
Elevation: 7,650
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.8156, -110.9230
Caught: 1 ; Buried: 0; Killed: 0

From IG Message: "I read the avalanche report this morning and felt comfortable skiing. we made a plan to ski Bradley’s Meadows but ended up skiing Bridger Gully to the 3 Bears after discussion and feeling comfortable and confident in the snowpack. we did not experience any whoompfing or have any other concerns on the approach. 

The bottom of Bridger Gully to 3 Bears is where I triggered the avalanche. My partner dropped in first and skied safely out of the potential slide area. I followed up and on my first turn, triggered the slide. To me it looked like it was around 8” deep and was around 15’ wide at the crown.

My partner had eyes on me the entire time as the slide carried me about 40-45 yards. I was on top the entire time and was able to ski out at the end. I suffered no injuries. 

We skied out and talked to other skiers about our experience."


More Avalanche Details
Bridger Range
Bridger Bowl
Small avalanche Lower Nose
Incident details include images
Bridger Bowl
SS-R1-D1-I
Elevation: 7,500
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.8156, -110.9230
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Skiers at Bridger Bowl observed a small avalanche that was likely human-triggered on the Lower Nose. New snow and wind combined to created instabilities on slopes. The ski area is closed and represents a backcountry snowpack until the ski patrol begins avalanche mitigation in preparation for the opening. 


More Avalanche Details
Bridger Range
Bradley Meadow
Wind Slab triggered on Bradley’s Meadow
Incident details include images
Bradley Meadow
HS-ASu-R1-D1-I
Elevation: 7,800
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.8322, -110.9280
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

"... 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. 

Here are the coordinates of  a way point I dropped just above the top of the slide

45° 50.0218′ N, 110° 55.7420′ W

 we circled back and took a photo of the top as well...  "


More Avalanche Details