Regional Conditions for Cooke City Area

as of 5:00 am
Today1″ | 10-22 NW
Jan 15 0″ | 25-40 NW
Jan 14 10″ | 15-25 W
10,000′     01/16 at 10:00
11.6℉
NW - 7mph
Gusts 13mph
9100′   01/16 at 9:00
19℉
60″ Depth
Bottom Line: Our main concern is a layer of sugary facets buried 2-3’ deep. Now in addition, the recent snowfall buried a weak layer of surface hoar 6-12” deep that may avalanche. It is worth digging to see if these layers exist prior to traveling on steep slopes, and to track their location as they could avalanche with the next round of snow. Careful snowpack evaluation and cautious route finding are essential.
Primary Problem: Persistent Weak Layer

Past 5 Days

Tue Jan 12

Moderate
Wed Jan 13

Moderate
Thu Jan 14

Considerable
Fri Jan 15

Moderate
Today

Moderate

Avalanche Activity- Cooke City Area

Cooke City
COOKE CITY
Small, natural avalanches outside Cooke City
Incident details include images
COOKE CITY
SS-N
Coordinates: 45.0202, -109.9380
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

... 3 photos are from around Cooke City, all viewed from the road today (photos 1 and 3 are westerly aspects).  Photo 2 is a northerly aspect.  All mid elevations.


More Avalanche Details
Cooke City
Hayden Creek
Natural avalanche south of Cooke
Incident details include images
Hayden Creek
SS-N-R2-D2
Elevation: 10,000
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 44.9952, -109.9080
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Natural avalanche observed on Climax path in Hayden creek on 1/13/21.


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Cooke City
Woody Ridge
Small natural south of Cooke
Woody Ridge
SS-N-R1-D1-O
Elevation: 10,000
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 44.9739, -109.9240
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From email: "I was skiing in Hayden Creek yesterday 20210109 with two others. We found widespread poor structure across the E face of the sub with some failure upon isolation down 65-80cm on 2-3mm faceted crystals HS varied from 110-230cm. We also saw one small R1D1 pocket that pulled out seemingly at the same depth as the aforementioned faceted crystals In slightly steeper and rockier terrain. No photo. The avalanche was on a ENE aspect on Hayden Peak."


More Avalanche Details

Photos- Cooke City Area

Displaying 1 - 40
  • This small, natural avalanche released on a west aspect outside Cooke City. It was seen from the road. Photo: B. Fredlund

  • This small, natural avalanche released on a north aspect outside Cooke City. It was seen from the road. Photo: B. Fredlund

  • This small, natural avalanche released on a west aspect outside Cooke City. It was seen from the road. Photo: B. Fredlund

  • This natural avalanche was observed 1/13/21 south of Cooke City. It looks to have broke that day during snowfall and strong wind. Photo: N. Hance

  • Surface hoar was observed on many slopes near Cooke City on 1/12/21. It is now buried by recent snow and may cause avalanches. Photo: @turbo_dieshall

  • A recently observed avalanche that ran something in the January 5th cycle (within a few days of 1/5). This occurred on a northerly aspect around 9,000'. Photo: B Fredlund

  • A recently observed avalanche that ran something in the January 5th cycle (within a few days of 1/5). This occurred on a westerly aspect around 10,000. Photo: B Fredlund

  • From obs: "1/9/21 350pm: 333 deg NNW, broke on ski cut lookers right approx 60 ft across, 200 ft or so total distance to toe of debris. Broke 2.5/3 ft deep on a wind loaded pocket, slid on a firm surface with facets on top."

  • From obs: "1/9/21 350pm: 333 deg NNW, broke on ski cut lookers right approx 60 ft across, 200 ft or so total distance to toe of debris. Broke 2.5/3 ft deep on a wind loaded pocket, slid on a firm surface with facets on top."

  • Observed 1/9/21. Photo: H. Graham

  • From email:"We suspect this happened fresh today (1/9/21), we  wonder if those animal tracks coming in from the left triggered it. North facing, 2 ft crown, (I’d guess), about 9k feet, facing Goose Creek. So our friends (while ski cutting) triggered a  very similar slide on this same aspect/elevation mid afternoon today, about 1/4 mile farther west along this ridge, looked to be same depth." Photo: S. Strenge

  • Photo: B. Fredlund

  • A clear morning on 1/9/21 provided good opportunity for a photo of the avalanche triggered by a group of skiers on 1/8/21. Photo: B. Fredlund

  • The slide ran 700 feet vertical and 200 feet wide over a rock band and through trees. Photo: GNFAC

  • The debris field was estimated to be 4-500 feet wide and up to 6 feet deep. Photo: GNFAC

  • The bed surface was a uniform 37 degree steepness. Photo: GNFAC

  • The crown was 1.5-2' deep and broke on a layer of faceted crystals. Photo: GNFAC

  • From observation (1/8/21): "Skier triggered slide from someone outside our group lower in Silver Creek 9350’ S facing 18-24” deep 60-70’ wide. Ran 500’ skier was able to regain skis and off slab 100’ below initiation."

  • Natural avalanche NW of Cooke City on an E, SE aspect around 9,700'.

    Photo: B. Fredlund

  • On January 8, 2021 a group of skiers triggered an avalanche on The Fin outside Cooke City (pictured). Three were caught, two were injured and one was evacuated by helicopter due to serious injuries. Photo: A. Mallet

  • "We observed at least a half a dozen recent/ fresh slab avalanches north of Cooke City today. These slab avalanches were found: on all aspects, near ridgelines, and also on many aprons." Photo: B. Fredlund

  • "We observed at least a half a dozen recent/ fresh slab avalanches north of Cooke City today. These slab avalanches were found: on all aspects, near ridgelines, and also on many aprons." Photo: B. Fredlund

  • We observed a few fresh natural avalanches out there today... a S, SE aspect on Mineral Mountain.  That slide looked to have occurred last night, and is estimated to be around 4-500' wide. Photo: B. Fredlund
     
  • Natural, unwitnessed avalanche. Cooke got 6" of snow (.6" SWE) the night before. Photo: R. Knatterud

  • Remote triggered a soft slab with a ski cut. Cut across top of slope and the slide initiated ten yards below. slide was approximately 25 feet at the crown and ran the whole length/ width of the gulley. Couldn’t see past the choke of the gulley. Thicker at the crown where snow was wind drifted 16 in~. Dug a quick pit after. HS 80 cm. Slab on top of crust and facets. No one was caught and we skinned back up and skied out our original skin track. Photo: S. Brown

  • Remote triggered a soft slab with a ski cut. Cut across top of slope and the slide initiated ten yards below. Slide was approximately 25 feet at the crown and ran the whole length/ width of the gulley. Couldn’t see past the choke of the gulley. Thicker at the crown where snow was wind drifted 16 in~. Dug a quick pit after. HS 80 cm. Slab on top of crust and facets. No one was caught and we skinned back up and skied out our original skin track. Photo: S. Brown

  • Skiers triggered a wind slab while ascending the north couloir on Abiathar Peak on 1/2/21. On their descent they triggered this similar sized slab. They were not caught or injured, and felt lucky to dodge a bullet. 

  • This slide was triggered remotely, from low angle terrain, on a 9100’ SE aspect on a 34-35 degree slope. It was a 1.5'-2' deep soft slab (4F+ to F hard) that broke on weak sugary facets.

     

  • Skiers triggered this avalanche remotely, from a distance on 1/2/2021. It is on 9100’ elev. SE aspect in Yellowstone N.P. outside of Cooke City.

     

  • From obs: "Beautiful blue bird up the Republic Creek drainage skiing woody ridge. Noticed what appeared to be a natural from last cycle although I did notice a skin track headed up that way." Photo: J. Baker

  • Natural avalanche in Yellowstone, Barronette Peak. Easterly aspects. Photo: B. Fredlund

     

  • Natural avalanche in Yellowstone on 12/24/20. Easterly aspect, and mid elevations. Photo: B. Fredlund

     

  • Two natural wind slab avalanches on a heavily wind loaded slopes on the northern flank of Sheep Mountain, outside Cooke City. Photo taken 12/23. 

    Photo: GNFAC

  • Natural avalanche on Miller Mountain, outside Cooke City. Photo taken on 12/23. Looks to have broken overnight underneath the new storm snow. Approximately 500 ft wide and ran 500 ft vertical. 

    Photo: GNFAC

  • Natural avalanche on Sheep Mountain, outside Cooke City. Broke beneath a cornice on a heavily wind-loaded steep slope. Photo taken on 12/23. Appears to have broken during the storm on 12/21 or 12/22.

    Photo: GNFAC

  • Near lower meadows off Republic, Hunter's Knob, E aspect ~8,900', avg 1' crown depth. Photo: G. Antonioli

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

  • Today

    Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 23. West wind 11 to 14 mph.

    Mostly Sunny

    High: 23 °F

  • Tonight

    Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a temperature falling to near 13 by 11pm, then rising to around 17 during the remainder of the night. Wind chill values as low as zero. West northwest wind 10 to 15 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 13 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: Snow showers likely, mainly after 11am.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 25. West southwest wind 11 to 14 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.

    Snow Showers
    Likely

    High: 25 °F

  • Sunday
    Night

    Sunday Night: Snow likely.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 13. West wind 10 to 14 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of around 2 inches.

    Snow Likely

    Low: 13 °F

  • M.L.King
    Day

    M.L.King Day: Snow likely.  Mostly cloudy, with a temperature rising to near 20 by noon, then falling to around 11 during the remainder of the day. West wind 5 to 13 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.

    Snow Likely

    High: 20 °F

  • Monday
    Night

    Monday Night: A 20 percent chance of snow before 11pm.  Partly cloudy, with a low around 4.

    Slight Chance
    Snow then
    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 4 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: Sunny, with a high near 19.

    Sunny

    High: 19 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: A 30 percent chance of snow after 11pm.  Partly cloudy, with a temperature rising to around 13 by 3am.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 10 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: A 30 percent chance of snow.  Partly sunny, with a high near 21.

    Chance Snow

    High: 21 °F

The Last Word

Ski-Doo is offering free avalanche education classes online that you can take here: https://www.ski-doo.com/avalanche.html