Regional Conditions for Northern Gallatin

as of 5:00 am
Feb 243″ | 25-40 W
Feb 23 0″ | 10-25 W
Feb 22 0″ | 20-40 W
9980′     02/25 at 02:00
3.4℉
W - 10mph
Gusts 24mph
8100′   02/25 at 1:00
15℉
Depth
Bottom Line: Today new snow and moderate wind create fresh slabs that can avalanche naturally or be triggered by a skier or snowmobiler. These fresh slabs increase the possibility of avalanches breaking at least 3-5 feet deep at the base of the snowpack. Large natural avalanches are possible as slopes are loaded with new snow and fresh drifts this afternoon. Anticipate stability to decrease, and take a step back from larger, committing objectives.

Past 5 Days

Thu Feb 20

Moderate
Fri Feb 21

Moderate
Sat Feb 22

Moderate
Sun Feb 23

Moderate
Mon Feb 24

Considerable

Avalanche Activity- Northern Gallatin

Southern Gallatin
Specimen Creek
Small natural wet loose and wind slab in S. Gallatins
Specimen Creek
WL-N-R1-D1
Elevation: 8,500
Aspect: S
Coordinates: 45.0265, -111.0480
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From an obs on 2/23/20: "...today toured up above 9000 ft on Meldrum and some surrounding hills.... No cracking, collapsing, or naturals observed aside from some small wet loose that occurred yesterday in steep S rocky terrain at 8500 ft.... HS 150+ with depth hoar 130 down. The new snow will be falling on a variety of snow surfaces from crusts (E-S-W) to wind board (ridgelines) to NSFs (N). Temperatures warmed to above freezing today to at least 9000 ft. Winds increased to moderate out of the west by 1400 with some wind transport occurring at ridgelines."

From another group on Electric Peak on 2/23/20: "One recent natural avalanche near the ridgeline roughly 30 cm deep probably due to wind loading (D1) and a handful of natural loose wet (D1) avalanches on southerly aspects. Dug a quick pit on the face (10700’ NE 30 degree slope HS 190cm) and got an ECTP23 @ 35 below the surface on a hardness change below a 1F fresh windslab... Also, bulletproof windboard below the first roll (@10200’) and cranking winds!"


More Avalanche Details
Northern Gallatin
Storm Castle
Naturals in Storm Castle Creek
Incident details include images
Storm Castle
SS-N-R3-D2-O
Elevation: 8,500
Coordinates: 45.4504, -111.2240
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

On Saturday 2/22/20 riders saw natural slides on east and west aspects 10 miles up Storm Castle creek. 


More Avalanche Details
Bridger Range
Flathead Pass
Naturals near Flathead Pass
Incident details include images
Flathead Pass
HS-N-R3-D2.5-O
Elevation: 8,000
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 45.9684, -111.0210
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Natural avalanche crowns were seen on 2/20/2020 near Flathead Pass that appear to be from the last 2-3 days. They were fresher than crowns that were seen here on 2/9, and these slopes had not slid when the area was visited on 2/9.


More Avalanche Details

Photos- Northern Gallatin

Displaying 1 - 40
  • Skiers saw this 2-4' deep natural crown on Sunday 2/23/20. Photo: from IG @skishot

  • On Saturday 2/22/20 riders saw natural slides on east and west aspects 10 miles up Storm Castle creek. Photo: @bryant_thorne

  • On Saturday 2/22/20 riders saw natural slides on east and west aspects 10 miles up Storm Castle creek. photo: @bryant_thorne

  • An image of the 4 crown and location of debris.

  • This crown was the one to the furthest looker's left of the bowl. Photo: GNFAC

  • These trees were bent over from repeated avalanches in this bowl. Photo: GNFAC

  • The deepest part of the crown was estimated to be 10-12' deep. It was a steep and heavily wind-loaded with a rocky starting zone.  Photo: GNFAC

  • The avalanche was powerful and put debris far down the slope along the flat bench. Photo: GNFAC

  • These 4 avalanches seem to have run at the same time (estimated 15 or 16 February) although the crown does not connect them, but the weak layer of depth hoar surely does. Slides 1 and 2 merged into the huge debris field. Photo: GNFAC

  • The end of the runout is marked with the arrow. Photo: GNFAC

  • I measured the Alpha Angle (angle from crown to toe of debris) at 16 degrees. This is a very low angle that signifies the avalanche ran about as far as it ever could based on the size of the path. I took 5 measurements using 2 inclinometers to make sure this was correct. Photo: GNFAC

  • The uphill branches on this stand of trees was freshly limbed up to 15' high. Photo: GNFAC

  • From IG #gnfacobs post: "An avalanche from early Tuesday (02/18) morning caused by a natural cornice fall. Note the step down partway down the path. ENE @ 9700. Ran 1300’." Photo: A. Whitmore

  • We saw this crown on an east aspect around 9,000 feet above Blackmore lake on 2/21/20. It likely broke during the weekend of 2/15-2/16, but could be more recent. Photo: GNFAC

  • Crown of an avalanche that broke the weekend of 2/14-2/15 on a SE aspect around 9,700' on Mt. Blackmore in Hyalite. Depth was 3-5 feet. Avalanche in background is one of at least seven we saw in this drainage. Photo taken 2/21/20: GNFAC

  • Crown of an avalanche that broke the weekend of 2/14-2/15 on a SE aspect around 9,700' on Mt. Blackmore in Hyalite. Depth was 3-5 feet. Photo taken 2/21/20: GNFAC

  • Debris from an avalanche that broke the weekend of 2/14-2/15 on the north face of Mt. Blackmore in Hyalite. Photo taken 2/21/20: GNFAC

  • Natural avalanche in the Maid of the Mist Cirque. Photo taken 2/21/2020. Avalanche appears to have broken earlier in the week.

    Photo: R. Phipps

  • Deep slab avalanche in the Maid of the Mist Cirque. Photo taken 2/21/2020. Avalanche likely occurred around a week prior. 

    Photo: R. Phipps

  • Very large avalanche photographed from Gallatin Gateway at the head of Little Bear Canyon. Photo: Robert Hawthorne

  • "I had been riding trees most of the day down low and moved up to about mile marker 10 later in the day. Did a side hill through open trees and stopped on top of this slope. Watched it all propagate and slide below me." Photo: anonymous

  • "...picture is a close up of the avalanche on the ridge between Elephant and Blackmore on a south aspect. This one was the largest and the most fresh. All avalanches appeared to be naturally triggered from wind loading." Photo: T. Chingas

  • "looking at Alex Lowe Peak from the west ridge of Elephant. There were 5 avalanches clearly visible. I highlighted the crowns/debris paths with red." Photo: T. Chingas

     
  • "Toured up Blackmore today... Also saw the wheeler mountain avalanches from a few days ago." Photo: Mike Murray

  • "Toured up Blackmore today, we had shooting cracks under our feet along the north east ridge line." Photo: Mike Murray

  • "We came across the debris of a significant slide in one of the steeper lines just north of Wolverine bowl today. There was zero new fallen snow on the debris so it happened sometime this morning before 11:30 a.m. and after the snowfall stopped last night. The multiple crowns looked to be 3-5 feet tall and a large tree has been jammed into the tube ride chute. The toe of the debris is all the way down into the creek at the base of Wolverine. It's possible a large cornice broke off at the ridgeline but we couldn't get eyes on the actual start of the slide. We skinned up and down the debris pile twice while in search mode at around 12:30 but did not pick up a signal. We did not investigate above the pinch of the chute and into the upper part of the slide. The debris pile is quite deep with some damaged trees. We did 6 lines off the ramp over the weekend and did not see any other avalanche activity but obviously some significant wind loading." Photo: Ray K

  • "We came across the debris of a significant slide in one of the steeper lines just north of Wolverine bowl today. There was zero new fallen snow on the debris so it happened sometime this morning before 11:30 a.m. and after the snowfall stopped last night. The multiple crowns looked to be 3-5 feet tall and a large tree has been jammed into the tube ride chute. The toe of the debris is all the way down into the creek at the base of Wolverine. It's possible a large cornice broke off at the ridgeline but we couldn't get eyes on the actual start of the slide. We skinned up and down the debris pile twice while in search mode at around 12:30 but did not pick up a signal. We did not investigate above the pinch of the chute and into the upper part of the slide. The debris pile is quite deep with some damaged trees. We did 6 lines off the ramp over the weekend and did not see any other avalanche activity but obviously some significant wind loading." Photo: Ray K

  • "We came across the debris of a significant slide in one of the steeper lines just north of Wolverine bowl today. There was zero new fallen snow on the debris so it happened sometime this morning before 11:30 a.m. and after the snowfall stopped last night. The multiple crowns looked to be 3-5 feet tall and a large tree has been jammed into the tube ride chute. The toe of the debris is all the way down into the creek at the base of Wolverine. It's possible a large cornice broke off at the ridgeline but we couldn't get eyes on the actual start of the slide. We skinned up and down the debris pile twice while in search mode at around 12:30 but did not pick up a signal. We did not investigate above the pinch of the chute and into the upper part of the slide. The debris pile is quite deep with some damaged trees. We did 6 lines off the ramp over the weekend and did not see any other avalanche activity but obviously some significant wind loading." Photo: Ray K

  • We came across the debris of a significant slide in one of the steeper lines just north of Wolverine bowl today. There was zero new fallen snow on the debris so it happened sometime this morning before 11:30 a.m. and after the snowfall stopped last night. The multiple crowns looked to be 3-5 feet tall and a large tree has been jammed into the tube ride chute. The toe of the debris is all the way down into the creek at the base of Wolverine. It's possible a large cornice broke off at the ridgeline but we couldn't get eyes on the actual start of the slide. We skinned up and down the debris pile twice while in search mode at around 12:30 but did not pick up a signal. We did not investigate above the pinch of the chute and into the upper part of the slide. The debris pile is quite deep with some damaged trees. We did 6 lines off the ramp over the weekend and did not see any other avalanche activity but obviously some significant wind loading. Photo: Ray K

  • "We came across the debris of a significant slide in one of the steeper lines just north of Wolverine bowl today. There was zero new fallen snow on the debris so it happened sometime this morning before 11:30 a.m. and after the snowfall stopped last night. The multiple crowns looked to be 3-5 feet tall and a large tree has been jammed into the tube ride chute. The toe of the debris is all the way down into the creek at the base of Wolverine. It's possible a large cornice broke off at the ridgeline but we couldn't get eyes on the actual start of the slide. We skinned up and down the debris pile twice while in search mode at around 12:30 but did not pick up a signal. We did not investigate above the pinch of the chute and into the upper part of the slide. The debris pile is quite deep with some damaged trees. We did 6 lines off the ramp over the weekend and did not see any other avalanche activity but obviously some significant wind loading." Photo: Ray K

  • "Slide occurred on north aspect of Mt Blackmore at 9200ft. Photo provides close-up view and width of crown." Photo: Laura Ippolito

  • "Slide occurred on north aspect of Mt Blackmore at 9200ft. Photo was taken at the end of the runout." Photo: Laura Ippolito

  • "Slide occurred north northwest aspect of Mt Blackmore at 9400ft in a narrow meadow. This provides width of slide." Photo: Laura Ippolito

  • "Slide occurred north northwest aspect of Mt Blackmore at 9400ft in a narrow meadow. Close-up view of an approximate 8" crown." Photo" L. Ippolito

  • Photo of the Divide Basin avalanche that was likely triggered by a cornice fall on Friday, Feb 14. Photo: Nick Truax

  • Photo of the Divide Basin avalanche that was likely triggered by a cornice fall on Friday, Feb 14. Photo: Nick Truax

  • From an observation, "R3-4 D2 avalanche that failed at the ground observed from the Trail Creek Rd. Looked to be several hundred feet wide, couldn’t see the debris, but crown went through lots of trees." Photo: Chris Cullaz

  • From an observation, "R3-4 D2 avalanche that failed at the ground observed from the Trail Creek Rd. Looked to be several hundred feet wide, couldn’t see the debris, but crown went through lots of trees." Photo: Chris Cullaz

  • We skied Wheeler via South Cottonwood and found that the two gullies on the East and South East aspects had recently run in their entirety. We could only see the crown on the South East gully but it appeared to have broke on the steepest part of the slope near the top approximate 3-4ft deep and was the width of the gully. Both avalanches ran the full length and width of their gullies, breaking several trees along the way. The East debris pile was about 25ft deep and the South East was 15ft deep. The East rounded the corner into the ravine at the bottom and also ran about 200ft into the forest. A couple larger trees in the path that were not broken had their branches stripped off the bottom 30ft. Interestingly, the narrow meadow between the South East gully and the South East meadow you recently reported slides on has not slid. Also, we had no propagation or collapsing in our pits. Photo: Alan Cleary

  • We skied Wheeler via South Cottonwood and found that the two gullies on the East and South East aspects had recently run in their entirety. We could only see the crown on the South East gully but it appeared to have broke on the steepest part of the slope near the top approximate 3-4ft deep and was the width of the gully. Both avalanches ran the full length and width of their gullies, breaking several trees along the way. The East debris pile was about 25ft deep and the South East was 15ft deep. The East rounded the corner into the ravine at the bottom and also ran about 200ft into the forest. A couple larger trees in the path that were not broken had their branches stripped off the bottom 30ft. Interestingly, the narrow meadow between the South East gully and the South East meadow you recently reported slides on has not slid. Also, we had no propagation or collapsing in our pits. Photo: Alan Cleary

WebCams


Bozeman Pass, Looking SE

Weather Forecast Northern Gallatin

Extended Forecast for

14 Miles SE Gallatin Gateway MT

  • Overnight

    Overnight: A 40 percent chance of snow.  Patchy fog.  Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 7. Wind chill values as low as -5. Northwest wind around 6 mph.  Total nighttime snow accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.

    Chance Snow
    and Patchy
    Fog

    Low: 7 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: A 20 percent chance of snow before 11am.  Patchy fog before 9am.  Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 19. Wind chill values as low as -5. West wind 6 to 10 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow and
    Patchy Fog
    then Mostly
    Sunny

    High: 19 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: Increasing clouds, with a low around 12. Wind chill values as low as zero. West southwest wind around 10 mph.

    Increasing
    Clouds

    Low: 12 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: A 50 percent chance of snow, mainly after 11am.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 25. West southwest wind 10 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    High: 25 °F

  • Wednesday
    Night

    Wednesday Night: A 40 percent chance of snow, mainly before 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 17. West southwest wind 11 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 17 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: A 20 percent chance of snow.  Partly sunny, with a high near 27. West wind 10 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow

    High: 27 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 17. Southwest wind 10 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 17 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: Sunny, with a high near 33. Southwest wind around 11 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.

    Sunny

    High: 33 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 20.

    Mostly Clear

    Low: 20 °F

The Last Word

On Saturday 2/15, three motorized snowbikers were caught in an avalanche in Colorado and two were killed. The full accident report is now available here. Please take the time to learn what we can from this and all accidents.