Trip Planning for Northern Gallatin

as of 5:00 am
Today6″ | 20-38 W
Feb 5 0″ | 25-37 SW
Feb 4 0″ | 25-60 W
9980′     02/06 at 09:00
11.3℉
W - 11mph
Gusts 22mph
8100′     /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

Northern Gallatin
Hyalite - main fork
Natural Avalanches, Main Fork and Divide Peak Cirque
Incident details include images
Hyalite - main fork
SS-N
Coordinates: 45.4472, -110.9620
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

A snowboarder noticed several small slides on the east-facing walls of the Main Fork of Hyalite Creek and a small slab avalanche in the back of the Divide Peak basin. 


More Avalanche Details
Northern Gallatin
Flanders Creek
Avalanches in Flanders Area
Incident details include images
Flanders Creek
N-R2-D2
Elevation: 9,800
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.4326, -110.9430
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From Obs: "Went skiing up in Flanders area and saw several avalanches with crowns ranging from 1-3ft deep and running a several hundred yards wide. Also experienced two whumphs and some cracks on a wind-loaded aspect near the ridge"


More Avalanche Details
Northern Gallatin
Flanders Creek
Large Cracks near Ice climb in Hyalite
Incident details include images
Flanders Creek
N
Elevation: 8,000
Coordinates: 45.4402, -110.9310
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From text: "went up to Champagne Sherbet to ice climb but then there was a big fracture on the approach! Got to a safe spot and dug to see - a strange drifted wind slab over the old belay area has created a scary snow cave trap! We bailed out of there..."


More Avalanche Details

Relevant Photos

Displaying 1 - 40
  • A snowboarder noticed several small slides on the east-facing walls of the Main Fork of Hyalite Creek and a small slab avalanche in the back of the Divide Peak basin. This slide is in an area locally known as Candy land/ ice farm

  • A snowboarder noticed several small slides on the east-facing walls of the Main Fork of Hyalite Creek and a small slab avalanche in the back of the Divide Peak basin. This slide is in a area locally known as Candy land/ ice farm

  • From Obs: "Went skiing up in Flanders area and saw several avalanches with crowns ranging from 1-3ft deep and running a several hundred yards wide. Also experienced 2 whumphs and some cracks on a wind-loaded aspect near the ridge" Photo: B. Farrell

  • From Obs: "Went skiing up in Flanders area and saw several avalanches with crowns ranging from 1-3ft deep and running a several hundred yards wide. Also experienced 2 whumphs and some cracks on a wind-loaded aspect near the ridge" Photo: B. Farrell

  • From Obs: "Went skiing up in Flanders area and saw several avalanches with crowns ranging from 1-3ft deep and running a several hundred yards wide. Also experienced 2 whumpfs and some cracks on a wind-loaded aspect near the ridge" Photo: B. Farrell

  • From text: "went up to Champagne Sherbet to ice climb but then there was a big fracture on the approach! Got to a safe spot and dug to see - a strange drifted wind slab over the old belay area has created a scary snow cave trap! We bailed out of there..."

  • From IG message: "Another one today. Back of buck creek. Triggered 100 yards above where I crossed below it in the safe zone, after I went by. No burials."

  • From obs 1/28/23: "While snowmobiling up Little Bear we witnessed this natural avalanche. There was 2-3' of new snow." Photo: J. Otis

  • From obs 1/28/23: "There were numerous debris piles, point releases, and crowns on the north face of Elephant and the northeast face of Blackmore this morning.  Most of them appeared to have run during the storm (1/27) and had been covered by at least 6 inches of new snow." Photo. S. Regnerus

  • From IG: Shooting crack on east facing slope in Goose Creek. Photo. O. Desroches

  • From IG:

    Fairy lake today (1/27/23), remote trigger from top of the ridge

    About 2-2.5ft deep about 75-100 ft wide

     

  • Skiers near Mt Blackmore noted loose snow avalanches with ski cuts. This one slid for about 50 feet on a 34 degree slope. This location did not present any signs of significant wind loading. Photo: E. Schreier

  • 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."

  • Bad quality but a D2, R3 natural in Flanders cirque. Looked like it was just the new snow, but hard to say.... on a NW aspect around 9,500 feet. Photo: O. Desroches

  • Today we toured up Storm Castle Ridge with hopes of skiing the 19th Street Couloir. On the approach we were able to trigger small (2-4") wind slabs on most lee aspects, these slides ran fast and far for their size.

     

  • From obs: "Toured into Alex Lowe basin today and noticed lots of point release slides. Most started as spindrift in the cliff bands along the ridge and gained more snow as they fell into the aprons. Skied a north and south-facing couloir, ski cut at the top of both runs and got the new snow to sluff most of the way down. Didn't encounter any cohesive slabs, just lots of sluff sliding down." Photo: S. Lipsteuer

  • Darren Johnson was a passionate skier, patroller, and wildland firefighter and this fund helps his memory live on. During the week of January 16, 2023, there are two events happening to help spread awareness about the DJ Fund and generate donations for the next recipients to attend National Avalanche School in October 2024. The first event is at the Independent Theatre on Tuesday, January 17. This charity event has a $10 entry fee which includes a raffle ticket to a silent auction. On Thursday, January 19, join us at Beehive Basin Brewery for a raffle and pint night in which $1 from every pint sold goes into the DJ Memorial Fund.

    To donate to the Darren Johnson Avalanche Education Memorial Fund visit djmemorialfund.org, or join us at these two exciting events hosted by Yellowstone Club Ski Patrol. Huge thanks to all who have sponsored and donated to these events.

  • From obs:

    While skiing down 'Fat Maid' I triggered a shallow wind slab, after I was about 3/4ths of the way down the couloir. The slide broke to my left as I entered a wider section of the run, that holds a small perched bowl feature (which is what ripped out). The slide didn't propagate out into the main couloir, so the debris never impacted me. Even if it had, I don't think it would've been big enough to knock myself or any other skier off their feet. The slide was about 1/2 the width of the couloir and ran out to about 3/4ths of the apron's length (R2 D1?). The crown was 1-3" deep and maybe 30-40' wide. 

    Photo: C. Kussmaul

  • From Obs: "Observed recent small wind slab avalanches under the ridgeline as well as one larger slide that broke on weak snow near the ground, likely cause by cornice fall."

  • On Jan 2, a natural avalanche released in the gully above Bobo Like in the Flanders Drainage and washed over a pair of climbers. No one was caught or injured. 

  • Jan 3, 2023: Dug a pit and found weak and unstable snow. We backtracked to the ridge. A recent avalanche from 2 days ago involved new, windblown snow. 

  • Natural avalanche on 1/1/23 on Saddle Peak. Appeared to involve the new, wind-drifted snow. Photo: BBSP

  • We looked at the avalanche that killed a snowmobiler yesterday (12/31/22) on Crown Butte near Cooke City. Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the victim, and those involved with the rescue and recovery. Photo: GNFAC

  • 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’. The avalanche appeared to be 2-4' deep, 500' wide, 600' vertical, and broke on weak snow near the bottom of the snowpack. Photo: GNFAC

  • From email: Dug a pit on a NW aspect near the bottom of Lick Creek. Saw sugary facets 50 cm down from the surface of the snow. Perfromed an ECT and got ECTX. 

  • Toured up to the east face of Mt. Blackmore today. We observed two small natural loose dry avalanches occurring right around noon on the new/old snow interface at about 9700' on the E aspect. The largest one ran about 200 feet down into the bowl. 

    We observed a hollow snowpack on our ascent and dug a pit at 9600' just below the northeast ridge. We found several weak layers that were fracturing beneath two well-defined crusts. We got a CT2 @ 135cm, CT11 @ 130cm, CT13 @ 118cm, and CT15 @ 115cm; in our extended column test we got ECTP15 Q2 @ 130cm.

  • Many slick roofs shed this winter's snow with the above-freezing temperatures. There are some impressive fracture lines at the ice rink in Bogert Park in Bozeman. Photo: GNFAC

  • Today we toured up Beehive Basin to Prayer Flags and down into Bear Basin. We found moderate winds transporting snow at Prayer Flags. We also observed a recent small natural avalanche that broke just below the cornice at prayer flags (9200'). It was unclear if a cornice collapse triggered the avalanche. We did not go to the crown, but estimated it to be about 20-30 feet wide, 6-8 inches deep, and running less than 100 feet. Photo: J. Breen

  • From email: "This was in a wind-protected area with soft surface snow and no obvious prior wind loading.  By this time it had gotten considerably colder, so we did not spend much time there. The total snow depth was about 115 cm, and the faceted layer went from 50 cm to the ground. ECTP23, and broke clean and smooth.  There were also a couple of ECTNs in the upper snowpack above the ECTP." Photo K Birkeland

     

  • From 12/17: "We observed numerous recent wind slabs that released naturally in the past 24 hours on NE and E aspects with some crowns starting to get covered up throughout the day. Judging from afar, I would estimate these crowns to be 6 inches to 1.5 feet deep." Photo: Tommy S.

  • Obs 12/17: "Saturday afternoon on the way back into town snow was moving in the Spanish peaks. Nice light" 

  • From obs: 12/16: "I thought this would be interesting to share but while driving around Gallatin gateway today I noticed multiple small wind pockets that released in steep draws in the gateway foothills area." Photo: M. Gaffney

  • "Large slough or slide in Hyalite today. Taken from Lick Creek. Looks like either land of the lost or avalanche gulch" - J. Johnson

  • Small slide from the cliff bands at about 9500’, on a NE facing slope on Blackmore - looked like it broke pretty shallow sometime after the snow yesterday. Photo: S.K. 

  • 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.

     

  • 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.

     

  • 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.

    Photo: N. Roe

  • There was 6" of new snow in Hyalite Canyon with increasing winds throughout the day. Our primary concern is avalanches within the new and wind-drifted snow. Photo: GNFAC

  • From obs on Mt Blackmore 12/2: " we were able to easily trigger shallow, short running windslabs by knocking down small cornices." Photo: C. Kussmaul

WebCams


Bozeman Pass, Looking SE

Snowpit Profiles- Northern Gallatin

 

Select a snowpit on the map to view the profile image

Weather Forecast Northern Gallatin

Extended Forecast for

14 Miles SE Gallatin Gateway MT

  • Today

    Today: Snow, mainly before 11am. The snow could be heavy at times.  Patchy blowing snow before 10am. High near 23. West northwest wind 16 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 80%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

    Heavy Snow
    and Patchy
    Blowing Snow
    then Slight
    Chance Snow

    High: 23 °F

  • Tonight

    Tonight: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 18. West wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 18 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 28. Southwest wind 14 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.

    Partly Sunny

    High: 28 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: Snow likely, mainly after 11pm.  Widespread blowing snow, mainly after 11pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 18. Windy, with a south southwest wind 21 to 30 mph, with gusts as high as 45 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

    Snow Likely
    and Blowing
    Snow

    Low: 18 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: Snow.  High near 20. Blustery, with a west northwest wind 22 to 28 mph, with gusts as high as 43 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

    Snow and
    Breezy then
    Snow Likely
    and Blustery

    High: 20 °F

  • Wednesday
    Night

    Wednesday Night: A 20 percent chance of snow before 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 6. Blustery, with a west southwest wind 19 to 24 mph decreasing to 10 to 15 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 37 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow and
    Blustery then
    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 6 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 23. South southwest wind 9 to 11 mph.

    Sunny

    High: 23 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 10. South wind 11 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

    Mostly Clear

    Low: 10 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: Sunny, with a high near 31.

    Sunny

    High: 31 °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.

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