Trip Planning for Cooke City Area

as of 5:00 am
Today6″ | 10-25 NW
Feb 5 0″ | 10-25 SW
Feb 4 0″ | 20-55 SW
10,000′     02/06 at 09:00
11.9℉
NW - 10mph
Gusts 16mph
9100′     /00 at
SNOTEL data not available″ Depth
Bottom Line: Northwest-west wind is drifting 4-7” of new snow into thicker slabs. These wind slabs can avalanche under the weight of a person and add weight to buried weak layers which makes large, human-triggered avalanches likely on wind-loaded slopes. Weak layers are buried 1-3 feet below last weekend’s snow and contributed to human-triggered avalanches as recently as Thursday and Friday. Today, slopes that have fresh drifts of snow are dangerous and should be avoided. On non-wind loaded slopes avalanches are less likely, but still possible. Carefully evaluate snowpack stability and only ride steep slopes if you are sure there are no buried weak layers or fresh drifts.
Primary Problem: Persistent Weak Layer

Past 5 Days

Thu Feb 2

Considerable
Fri Feb 3

Moderate
Sat Feb 4

Moderate
Sun Feb 5

Moderate
Today

Considerable

Relevant Avalanche Activity

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
Cooke City
COOKE CITY
Collapsing NW of Cooke City
COOKE CITY
AS
Coordinates: 45.0202, -109.9380
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Skiers northwest of Cooke City reported several collapses while they were breaking trail. 


More Avalanche Details

Relevant Photos

Displaying 1 - 40
  • 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. 

     

  • 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. 

     

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • A natural avalanche failed during last week's storm near the Goose Lake Wilderness Boundary. Photo: GNFAC

  • On 1/29/23 we saw a lot of recent natural avalanches which likely ran late on 1/27/23 or the morning of 1/28/23. Photo: GNFAC

  • On 1/29/23 we saw a lot of recent natural avalanches which likely ran late on 1/27/23 or the morning of 1/28/23. Photo: GNFAC

  • On 1/29/23 we saw a lot of recent natural avalanches which likely ran late on 1/27/23 or the morning of 1/28/23. Photo: GNFAC

  • On 1/29/23 we saw a lot of recent natural avalanches which likely ran late on 1/27/23 or the morning of 1/28/23. Photo: GNFAC

  • On 1/29/23 we saw a lot of recent natural avalanches which likely ran late on 1/27/23 or the morning of 1/28/23. Photo: GNFAC

  • Several avalanches in the Goose Lake area. Assuming they happened on Friday or Saturday. Photo: J. Mundt

  • Several avalanches in the Goose Lake area. Assuming they happened on Friday or Saturday. Photo: J. Mundt

  • Several avalanches in the Goose Lake area. Assuming they happened on Friday or Saturday. Photo: J. Mundt

  • Recent natural avalanches near Cooke City, observed 1/29/23. Photo: B. Fredlund

     

     

  • Recent natural avalanches near Cooke City, observed 1/29/23. Photo: B. Fredlund

     

     

  • Recent natural avalanches near Cooke City, observed 1/29/23. Photo: B. Fredlund

     

  • Multiple natural avalanches were seen on all aspects, all elevations near Woody Creek Cabin. Poor test scores (ECTP) in 4/6 pits, mostly beneath the snow that fell earlier this week, buried small grain facets and decomposing surface hoar. Photo: Z. Peterson

  • Photo of Castle/Submarine on woody ridge.  This all slid today.  Looked like all chutes along this face and south slid.  Also east facing Republic ridge several slides above rock band. Photo> D. Carroll

  • Recent natural avalanches observed 1/28/23, very large below Chimney Rock by Daisy Pass. Photo: A. Mulkey

  • Recent natural avalanches observed 1/28/23, north side of Crown Butte. Photo: A. Mulkey

  • Natural avy on SE aspect 8000 ft 35 to 40 degrees broke on new snow interface today. YNP next to silver falls. Also several slides in gully below falls. Photo: D. Carroll

  • A natural avalanche near round lake, Cooke City. Photo: S. Reagan

  • Surface hoar can often be seen as a grey stripe on the wall of your snowpit as was the case at Bacon Rind in the Southern Madison Range on 1/23. Photo: GNFAC

  • Observed this cornice fall triggered slide morning of 1/19/23. It was not there the previous morning which was sunny and clear. Photo: GNFAC

  • We dug five snowpits and performed extended column tests in each on 1/19/23 near Cooke City. Four snowpits were on northeast to north facing slopes between 9,200-10,000', and one pit was on a southwest facing slope at 9,200'. In one pit on a NE aspect at 9,200' we had an ECTP 15 on the surface hoar 35 cm below the surface. In all other pits we had ECTN14-19 at the depth of the surface hoar, and no obvious feathery crystals were visible. The layers where the ECTNs broke appeared to be decomposing, preserved dendrites or maybe decomposing surface hoar. Photo: GNFAC

  • Observed a point release that appeared to have stepped down. This occurred SE of the “rip curl” zone. We also noticed significant sun effect and a warming trend throughout the day. 1/17/23

  • East aspect, 10,300.  Estimated to be about 75' wide.  Likely occurred yesterday, Jan. 17th. Photo: B. Fredlund

  • Avalanches  previously reported on Monday on Miller (photo taken 1/18). GNFAC

  • Noted a couple of fresh slab avalanches out there today.  Both were on northerly aspects around 9300'.  Photo: B. Fredlund

     

  • Avalanche previously reported on Monday on Henderson (photo taken 1/17). GNFAC

  • A recent natural avalanche observed 1/16/23 (less than a day old) on Miller Ridge. SS-N-R1-D1.5-O and probably broke on the surface hoar layer. Photo: GNFAC

     

  • Photo from 1/16/23 of an avalanche on an east-northeast facing slope below Henderson ridge. It appeared to be snowbike triggered and 1-2+ days old. 150' wide and 250' vertical. HS-AMu-R2-D2-O. It appeared to have broke about 2' deep on that layer of surface hoar. Photo: GNFAC

  • Photo from 1/16/23 of a cornice triggered avalanche on Miller Ridge that broke to the ground, appears to be many days or weeks old. GNFAC.

  • Dug a pit on the east side of Henderson at the ridgeline above Henderson Bench. ENE, 10,075' elev. ECTP19 x3 on a layer of surface hoar buried 60cm (2 feet) deep. HS 260cm. There was an avalanche a few hundred feet north on an east-northeast facing slope below the ridge. It appeared to be snowbike triggered and 1-2+ days old. 150' wide and 250' vertical. HS-AMu-R2-D2-O. It appeared to have broke about 2' deep on that layer of surface hoar. There was also a more recent natural avalanche (less than a day old) on Miller Ridge, slightly smaller. SS-N-R1-D1.5-O and probably broke on the surface hoar layer. Photo: GNFAC

  • Snowboarder triggered this slide on a rollover on East Republic. Reportedly ran 80' wide, 1-1.5' deep. No one was caught.

  • Photo attached of a fresh natural avalanche, just south of Cooke City today.  It appears to have run last night or this morning.  (photographed at noon)

    It's on a NE aspect, about 8100', directly above the ice climb known as 'Silver Gate Center'.  I'd estimate the crown to be about 10" deep and 30' wide.

     

  • Small slide off the Henderson ridge by the radio hut. Looks to have broken in the last couple days. GNFAC photo. 1/10/2023

  • Slide on Chimney Rock. The one on Chimney Rock (triggered Sunday, Jan 8th) was not big, but more indicative of weak layers at the ground. Chimney was 2 slides side-by-side, mid-slope, that likely went at the same time. These likely broke on facets near the ground. The snowpack was thin there. GNFAC photo.

  • 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. 

  • Recent low density snow was drifted into 10” soft slab from west wind, north of Cooke City. Skier triggered intentional on test slope. 

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

  • Today

    Today: A 50 percent chance of snow before 11am.  Mostly sunny, with a high near 25. West northwest wind 14 to 18 mph.  Total daytime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow
    then Mostly
    Sunny

    High: 25 °F

  • Tonight

    Tonight: Mostly cloudy, with a steady temperature around 17. West wind 11 to 14 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 17 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 26. West southwest wind around 14 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy

    High: 26 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: A 40 percent chance of snow after 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a steady temperature around 20. Southwest wind 14 to 23 mph.  New snow accumulation of around 2 inches.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 20 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: Snow.  Temperature falling to around 12 by 5pm. West northwest wind 21 to 26 mph, with gusts as high as 38 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of around 3 inches.

    Snow

    High: 19 °F⇓

  • Wednesday
    Night

    Wednesday Night: A 30 percent chance of snow before 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 1. West northwest wind 18 to 23 mph decreasing to 11 to 16 mph after midnight.  New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

    Chance Snow
    then Mostly
    Cloudy

    Low: 1 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 19. West southwest wind 10 to 13 mph.

    Sunny

    High: 19 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 5. Southwest wind 11 to 14 mph.

    Mostly Clear

    Low: 5 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: Sunny, with a high near 30. Southwest wind 11 to 14 mph.

    Sunny

    High: 30 °F

The Last Word

Bruce Jamieson’s videos on Snow Science explain heady topics to the layman. Understanding the avalanche dragon helps keep us alive.

02 / 5 / 23  <<  
 
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