Regional Conditions for Cooke City Area

as of 5:00 am
Oct 180″ | 15-30 SW
Oct 17 0″ | 15-40 SW
Oct 16 0″ | 15-30 SW
10,000′     10/19 at 02:00
16.8℉
SW - 10mph
Gusts 22mph
9100′   10/19 at 1:00
25℉
11″ Depth
Bottom Line: The expected snow and wind through the weekend will increase the chances of triggering an avalanche. Slopes that were dirt prior to the storm will not become dangerous with the new snow, but slopes above 8000’ harboring older snow will have the potential to slide. Slopes with dense, wind-loaded snow are inviting to ski and easy to ascend on skins or foot, however, freshly formed drifts will also be the most susceptible to avalanche.
Primary Problem: Wind-Drifted Snow

Past 5 Days

Thu May 2

None
Thu Sep 26

None
Thu Oct 3

None
Thu Oct 10

None
Thu Oct 17

None

Avalanche Activity- Cooke City Area

Northern Madison
Sphinx Mountain
Whumph on The Sphinx
Incident details include images
Sphinx Mountain
AF-O
Elevation: 9,000
Aspect: N
Coordinates: 45.1582, -111.4770
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From e-mail on Saturday 10/5, climbers on the Sphinx found these conditions: "We found a lot of snow on the Sphinx today following heavy precip since Sam’s report two days ago [see photo]. 3-5 cm in the parking lot, 20 cm at the Sphinx-Helmet col. Moderate SW winds had created drifts almost a meter deep in places on the traverse to the ice routes on the north face. I backed off after a whumph on a particularly exposed section of the traverse. We tried different ledge systems above and below the normal approach route but found similar snow conditions throughout."

Photo: From 10/3 prior to 8-10" new snow, "No snow hazard of much concern on the approach. However, a quick hasty pit in an isolated wind pocket revealed a CT1 on this layer.  ice axe is to the ground."


More Avalanche Details
Bridger Range
Fairy Lake
Small wind slab near Fairy Lake
Incident details include images
Fairy Lake
SS-AS-R1-D1-S
Elevation: 9,000
Coordinates: 45.9043, -110.9580
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From e-mail: "The only places one could ski were wind pockets blown into the limestone fin features that in places were well over a foot. These spots were also where the snow was weirdest/posed any sort of avalanche hazard as you pretty much had to find a wind slab in order to ski anything! One group reported triggering a slab in one of these spots, but vis was too poor to see."


More Avalanche Details

Photos- Cooke City Area

Displaying 1 - 13
  • A local near Fairy Lake gets a taste of fresh October snow and wind. "You know it's somewhat windy when the goats start closing their eyes and their beards get blown sideways." Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Strong westerly wind scoured snow off high ridgelines and slopes in the northern Bridger Range on Friday (10/11). Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Dry loose snow avalanches were observed on 10/10 as the recent snow settled. From e-mail "...saw some small, solar-initiated, dry loose snow slides in steep, rocky terrain (heads up ice climbers). With a firm surface beneath the new snow, these little guys were picking up steam quickly." Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Avalanche debris on the saddle near Hyalite Peak. This is indicative of the type of heavily wind loaded terrain near ridgelines where avalanches are most likely this time of year. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Broken off cornice on the saddle between Blackmore and Elephant on 10/5. "Snow was anywhere from inches deep with grass and rocks to hip deep. It was mostly knee deep though. Down in the flats below the bowl there was easily 8-10" fresh and another 2" on my way down..." Photo: @benjacobsenphoto

  • Ice Climbers on the Sphinx sent this photo from October 3, and noted,

    "No snow hazard of much concern on the approach. However, a quick hasty pit in an isolated wind pocket revealed a CT1 on this layer.  ice axe is to the ground." Photo: S. Magro

  • Wind transport of snow on Gallatin Peak, October 2, 2019. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • MSU SAW is October 9th from 5-9pm in SUB Ballroom A. www.montana.edu/outdoorrecreation/SAW.html for more info.

  • The mountains got their first coat of snow at the end of September, though it isn't quite enough to protect you from hitting rocks. Where the snow is drifted provides the best coverage, but is also the most likely place to trigger a small slide. A small slide would be painful if it pushes you into the many exposed rocks. Photo: G. Antonioli

  • We hiked in to put up the Flanders weather station on 9/25 and found a spotty distribution of 4-6" of snow above 8,000'. Photo: GNFAC

  • Last weekend (9/23) there was about 14 inches of snow at 9,000'. Sun and warm temperatures created wet snow avalanches on slopes that face the sun. These small slides can be hazardous if they push you into the wrong terrain. Photo: Z. Drobnik

  • Last weekend (9/23) there was about 14 inches of snow at 9,000'. Sun and warm temperatures created wet snow avalanches on slopes that face the sun. These small slides can be hazardous if they push you into the wrong terrain. Photo: Z. Drobnik

  • Last weekend (9/23) there was about 14 inches of snow at 9,000'. Sun and warm temperatures created wet snow avalanches on slopes that face the sun. These small slides can be hazardous if they push you into the wrong terrain. Photo: Z. Drobnik

Videos- Cooke City Area

WebCams


Soda Butte Lodge, looking West

Soda Butte Lodge, looking East

Weather Forecast Cooke City Area

Extended Forecast for

2 Miles NNE Cooke City MT

  • Overnight

    Overnight: Mostly cloudy, with a steady temperature around 24. West southwest wind 11 to 13 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 24 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: Snow showers, mainly after 9am.  High near 32. Southwest wind 11 to 15 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of around 4 inches.

    Snow Showers
    Likely then
    Snow Showers

    High: 32 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: Snow.  Low around 22. West southwest wind 11 to 15 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of around 3 inches.

    Snow

    Low: 22 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: Snow likely.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 28. West wind 14 to 17 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.

    Snow Likely

    High: 28 °F

  • Sunday
    Night

    Sunday Night: Snow likely, mainly before midnight.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 18. West wind 11 to 13 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of around 2 inches.

    Snow Likely

    Low: 18 °F

  • Monday

    Monday: Snow likely.  Cloudy, with a high near 30. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.

    Snow Likely

    High: 30 °F

  • Monday
    Night

    Monday Night: Snow likely.  Cloudy, with a temperature falling to near 25 by 8pm, then rising to around 30 during the remainder of the night. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

    Snow Likely

    Low: 25 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: Snow likely, mainly before noon.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 37. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

    Snow Likely

    High: 37 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: Snow likely, mainly before midnight.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 23. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

    Snow Likely

    Low: 23 °F

The Last Word

Get tickets for the 21st Annual Powder Blast Fundraiser on October 25th at The Emerson Ballroom.


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