Regional Conditions for Bridgers

as of 5:00 am
Today1″ | 15-30 E
Apr 1 10″ | 5-30 W
Mar 31 3″ | 5-25 WSW
8100′     4/02 at 10:00
8 ℉
0″New
8500′   4/2 at 10:00
4 ℉
W - 7 mph
Gusts 13mph
Bottom Line: A large storm ended yesterday morning which dropped 14-20” of new snow. This created instability throughout our forecast area. Yesterday, avalanches released naturally and a few were human triggered. All this activity occurred in the upper 2-3 feet of the snowpack on a weak interface of either an ice crust, feathery surface hoar, or small-grained facets. It really doesn’t matter which since they are all a similar depth and unstable. There is still a strong possibility of triggering slides, most notably on wind-loaded slopes or steep terrain that has not sluffed. Cracking, collapsing and recent avalanche activity are bulls-eye information to avoid a slope.

Past 5 Days

Sun Mar 29

Moderate
Mon Mar 30

Moderate
Tue Mar 31

Moderate
Wed Apr 1

Moderate
Today

Moderate

Avalanche Activity- Bridgers

Bridger Range
Saddle Peak
Natural avalanche on Saddle Peak
Saddle Peak
SS-N-R2-D2-I
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.7943, -110.9360
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

The clouds parted briefly around noon today and we got a view of north saddle. Pretty good size crown running up a ridge line from the cliffs to about 150’ short of main ridge, likely failed at the new snow/old snow interface. R2D2.


More Avalanche Details
Northern Gallatin
Mt Ellis
Skier triggered small sluffs on Little Ellis
Incident details include images
Mt Ellis
L-ASc-R0-D1
Elevation: 7,450
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 45.5777, -110.9550
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Winds only 5mph out of the west, temps in the 20’s, 8-10” new snow overnight. Dry-loose intentionally triggered D-1’s from ridge-top on 45 degree NE-facing slopes at 7450’. Otherwise, no obvious signs of instability, skied down through N Ridge glades.


More Avalanche Details
Southern Madison
Quake Lake
Collapsing and natural avalanches at Quake Lake
Incident details include images
Quake Lake
SS-N-I
Elevation: 9,600
Coordinates: 44.8524, -111.3920
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

"I skied near Quake Lake today, and observed several signs that the snowpack has not adjusted to this last storm yet. While ascending, several drifts collapsed under my weight, and I observed a very recent natural slide on a wind-loaded, east facing slope at about 9200'. I saw another, larger natural slide on a wind-loaded N/NW slope at 9600' that looked to have run on the new/old interface sometime late yesterday. I dug a pit on a south aspect at 9900', and found a thin layer of graupel on top of a crust 35cm down. This failed at ECTP3, which was a little hair-raising. The rest of the pack on that aspect seemed to be fairly well consolidated..."


More Avalanche Details

Photos- Bridgers

Displaying 1 - 40
  • This tree near the north ridge shows no signs of wind during the storm. Photo: PC

  • "I skied near Quake Lake today, and observed several signs that the snowpack has not adjusted to this last storm yet. While ascending, several drifts collapsed under my weight, and I observed a very recent natural slide on a wind-loaded, east facing slope at about 9200'." Photo: Sam Reinsel

  • Cornices within Bridger Bowl have grown large since the ski area closed and stopped avalanche mitigation for the season on March 15th. Photo: GNFAC

  • Cornices within Bridger Bowl have grown large since the ski area closed and stopped avalanche mitigation for the season on March 15th. Photo: GNFAC

  • Observed this 8-12" slab on 3/30/20. Appears to have been triggered by cornice fall. Also observed several small wet loose slides from previous day and this morning. Photo: GNFAC

  • We dug this pit adjacent to a snowmobiler triggered avalanche. It broke on the surface hoar layer which is located at the top blue crystal card. The bottom card denotes the larger grains of facets that formed early in the winter. Photo: GNFAC

  • This surface hoar crystal is almost 1.5 cm (each square is 2mm) and was the weak layer in a few avalanches on Buck Ridge (3/29/20). Photo: GNFAC

  • There were many tracks in Buck Ridge and only a few small slides in First Yellowmule. This picture is looking SW towards Sphinx Mountain. Feathery crystals of surface hoar are buried 1-1.5' under the surface and are a concern. This layer seems to be more prevalent in protected areas. Photo: GNFAC

  • We saw this natural avalanche from afar. It was NE aspect and likely failed on a layer of surface hoar 1-1.5' deep. The Madison Valley is in the background. Photo: GNFAC

  • Sunday (3/29/20) skiers near Fairy Lake saw this cornice collapse that ran for quite a ways in October bowl. Photo: T. Gittins

  • From obs. (3/29/20): "Significant wind started building mid morning, forming even bigger cornices and wind loading many slopes. Noticed this slide on an East/Northeast aspect at the back of the bowl above Maid of the Mist creek, possibly triggered by cornice fall but unknown. Happened between 9:45am and 11:30am today, as at 9:30am it was not there, and when we returned to the spot around 11:30am the slide was visible." Photo: CP

  • Significant cornice growth and wind transport on Bridger Ridge. Photo: T. Allen

  • From obs: "We toured up in the Throne area today. Moderate winds were blowing snow at mid elevations and ridgetops. We found dry boot top powder on East facing slopes, the snow skied upside down. We observed loose and slab avalanches on many aspects up high and at mid elevations, all looked like new snow avalanches that happened yesterday. I’ve attached a photo of an east facing slope near the Throne."  Photo: S. Jonas

  • A skier triggered slide on a windloaded slope just north of Bridger Bowl. The skier lost their ski in the slide. Photo: R. Anderson

  • In the Bridger Range, avalanches released naturally on a density change in the new snow sometime Tuesday night (3/24). Photo: E. Knoff

  • In the Bridger Range, avalanches released naturally on a density change in the new snow sometime Tuesday night (3/24). Photo: E. Knoff

  • Snowfall throughout the afternoon fluctuated between S1 - S5 (during brief squalls). The winds started out moderate and from the west but calmed by the last lap ~5 pm. The new snow (from last night/this morning) was fairly well bonded to the sun/melt-freeze crust below, but the storm came in subtly upside down. Today’s snowfall (accumulating ~3” while skiing between 1-530) was light. Right along the ridgeline, we triggered 4 predictable small storm slabs 4~6” deep on the upside-down storm snow from last night/this morning, but surprisingly not on the old crust. They were each 5-10m wide x 5m long and only ran ~5m vertically. Photo: Z Miller

  • This is a photo of a small roof avalanche near Island Park. Warming temperatures cause water to percolate through the snow which lubricates the sliding surface. Roof avalanches have injured and killed people in the past, just one more thing to worry about. Photo: M.E. 

  • Dave Zinn digs a hand pit along the ridge to assess how the new snow is sticking to the ice crust. Photo: GNFAC

  • Obs: "School bus size cornices over Easterly portions of Lionhead Ridge. It is hard to tell from the photo, but the largest cornices were about 20-25' tall. We dug a few pits on East Facing slopes between 9,000-9,500 ft with the worst result being an ECTN-21 however these Cornices are primed and ready to fall with the abundant sunshine and warming weather." Photo: JR

  • From e-mail: "Natural wet slides... caused us to back off our plan of heading that way and ski a north, shady aspect instead. On a southern aspect. 9000ft. 1:30pm. We dug a hasty pit and observed a weak layer about 1m down. The facets were beginning to round." Photo: K. Master

  • From IG post with #gnfacobs: "I triggered a small windslab, mid slope on the north face of Wilson. It was a a pretty stubborn slab that broke above me. Cross loaded from lookers right. 6-8” deep." Photo: B Gill

  • From IG post with #gnfacobs: "I triggered a small windslab, mid slope on the north face of Wilson. It was a a pretty stubborn slab that broke above me. Cross loaded from lookers right. 6-8” deep." Photo: B Gill

  • From south of Big Sky yesterday 3/17 about 9:00, just north of Buck Ridge at 8500'. Large surface hoar on northerly aspects. Photo: Spence

  • We dug near the top of Bacon Rind and found 155cm of snow. Our primary concern is with the upper snowpack. As it warms and wets we can expect an increase of avalanche activity on the ice crusts. Facets are still dry and soft at the bottom of the pack and I got this layer to break with an ECTP29. Photo: GNFAC

  • We observed 7 wet, loose snow avalanches today in the Northern Bridger Range. All avalanches were in the R1, D1-1.5 size range. They would be consequential in the steep, technical terrain where they occurred. Photo: GNFAC

  • We observed 7 wet, loose snow avalanches today in the Northern Bridger Range. All avalanches were in the R1, D1-1.5 size range. They would be consequential in the steep, technical terrain where they occurred. Photo: GNFAC

     

  • We intentionally triggered a small wind slab and cornice before committing to a north-facing line in Frazier Basin. Photo: GNFAC

  • Spencer Jonas, GNFAC intern, in a snowpit in Beehive Basin. We found over 6 feet of snow and just dug our the top 4 feet to assess the stability. The new snow is bonding well and there were no signs of instability. Photo: GNFAC

  • From obs. on 3/10/2020: "Really touchy windslab formation throughout the day. 6-12 in slabs running on freeze crust." Photo: D. Wyckoff

  • Cornices have grown rapidly in the last few days. These will be susceptible to breaking and could trigger pillows of wind slabs under them. Photo: Bridger Bowl Ski Patrol

  • Strong wind stripped snow off many slopes above treeline. Photo: GNFAC

  • This naturally triggered avalanche likely happened Tuesday morning. Strong wind loaded slopes and made huge cornices. Photo: GNFAC

  • The winds blew the new new into wind slabs that avalanched naturally yesterday. This photo was taken at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday (3/10) by Evan Schock.

  • A falling cornice triggered a large slide in the wet snow on an east facing slope up Hyalite. It was north of Mt. Blackmore and west of History Rock. Photo: R. Parsons

  • A google earth view of the cornice triggered location, 

    45.4626N, -111,0219W
    8766'

    Photo: R. Parsons

  • Point releases across highway from Bacon Rind. 3/6/2020.

    Photo: GNFAC

  • Point releases across the highway from Bacon Rind. 3/6/2020

    Photo: GNFAC

  • Wet slide in Buffalo Horn Creek. 3/6/2020.

    Photo: A. Norlander

  • Overview of an avalanche triggered on 2/27/2020 at 8:30 p.m. by a groomer between Storm Castle and Swan Creeks in the northern Gallatin Range. The driver was ok, but the machine did a full barrel roll and was very badly damaged. Photo: GNFAC

Videos- Bridgers

WebCams


Bridger Base Area

Ridge, Looking North

Bridger Lift

Weather Forecast Bridgers

Extended Forecast for

10 Miles NNE Bozeman MT

  • Today

    Today: A 20 percent chance of snow before 3pm.  Partly sunny, with a high near 23. Wind chill values as low as zero. East northeast wind 6 to 14 mph becoming west in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow

    High: 23 °F

  • Tonight

    Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 10. Wind chill values as low as -5. Southwest wind 7 to 10 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 10 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: A 30 percent chance of snow after noon.  Mostly sunny, with a high near 29. West southwest wind 8 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Mostly Sunny
    then Chance
    Snow

    High: 29 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: A 40 percent chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 19. South southwest wind 10 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 19 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: A 40 percent chance of snow.  Partly sunny, with a high near 34. West southwest wind around 13 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    High: 34 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 20. South wind around 10 mph becoming east after midnight.

    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 20 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: Snow likely, mainly before noon.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 37. East southeast wind around 11 mph becoming southwest in the afternoon.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

    Snow Likely

    High: 37 °F

  • Sunday
    Night

    Sunday Night: A slight chance of snow after midnight.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 24. Southeast wind around 11 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy
    then Slight
    Chance Snow

    Low: 24 °F

  • Monday

    Monday: A chance of snow before noon, then snow showers likely after noon. Some thunder is also possible.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 41.

    Snow Showers
    Likely

    High: 41 °F

The Last Word

A backcountry skier was caught and injured in an avalanche in Colorado on Tuesday, 3/31. Details are here. This incident is on the heels of another avalanche on 3/24 that caught, partially buried and injured a snowboarder (details here). Backcountry rescues are risky in the best of times. With COVID-19 running amok, rescuers are also at risk to exposing each other to the virus. Be smart, be safe and think of others.