Regional Conditions for Northern Gallatin

as of 5:00 am
Today3″ | 10-33 W
Jan 15 0″ | 20-35 W
Jan 14 2″ | 20-40 W
9980′     01/16 at 10:00
12.2℉
W - 16mph
Gusts 25mph
8100′   01/16 at 10:00
22℉
Depth
Bottom Line: Moderate west wind drifted 3-4” of new snow into fresh slabs which add weight to an unstable snowpack and create dangerous avalanche conditions. Weak, sugary snow that formed during recent months of cold, dry weather is buried 2-3 feet deep and produced many large avalanches during the last couple weeks. In addition to avalanches breaking deep and wide on sugary weak layers, you can also trigger fresh drifts along ridgelines. Although relatively smaller these wind slabs can be harmful, especially in terrain with higher consequences, and they could trigger deeper avalanches.
Primary Problem: Persistent Weak Layer

Past 5 Days

Tue Jan 12

Moderate
Wed Jan 13

Considerable
Thu Jan 14

Considerable
Fri Jan 15

Moderate
Today

Considerable

Avalanche Activity- Northern Gallatin

Northern Gallatin
Hyalite - main fork
Couple large collapses in Hyalite Creek
Hyalite - main fork
Coordinates: 45.4472, -110.9620
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From obs: "While ski touring in the Hyalite Creek Drainage today, my ski partner and I both, at separate times of the day, remote triggered sudden collapses. Each time, we felt the snow collapse underneath our feet, and then heard and felt a deep "whumph". The noise came from the North of us both times, where the slope was slightly steeper (still below about 28 degrees-- not colored with "slope angle shading" layer on caltopo.)."


More Avalanche Details
Northern Gallatin
Mt Blackmore
collapse at Blackmore
Mt Blackmore
Coordinates: 45.4444, -111.0040
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From email: "Got up to Blackmore way.  I didn’t like the skin track heading up to N ridge but my partner was a little ahead and should of reeled him back... because the main skinner right now is exposed to much of face.   So when caught up we angle lookers right a tidge to gain ridge. Just before the ridge was the disturbing collapse."


More Avalanche Details
Northern Gallatin
Flanders Creek
Skier triggered large slide on Flanders Mountain
Incident details include images
Incident details contain video
Flanders Creek
HS-ASu-R4-D2.5-O
Elevation: 9,800
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.4359, -110.9440
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From obs: "We dug a pit and found a really weak snowpack! Regardless of the poor stability result, we proceeded to ski an East facing bowl south of Flanders Mountain knowing that the slope angle was low and only flirted with 30 degrees in some parts of the bowl. We could have chosen to ski the trees further to our left, but after evaluating the consequence associated with skiing the bowl, we decided that the center of the bowl did not pose too big a risk given we skied one at a time. My partner skied first, he skied practically all the way back to the skin track when the slope failed and the entire bowl released. He was pretty well out of the way of danger by the time the bowl began to move. From our perspective, the trigger happened at the bottom of the slope.... The bowl was not the only slope that slid, the avalanche propagated around the ridge and released a slide on the more south-easterly facing aspect just south of the bowl. We tail-tucked and went home glad no one was caught or hurt."

GNFAC forecasters visited the site on 1/11/21. We measured the maximum slope angle in the start zone at 35 degrees with an average slope angle of 33 degrees. The debris in each path was up to 2-3 meters deep. The avalanche broke on a layer of weak faceted snow 70 cm above the ground, and propagated almost 1000 feet wide. The crown was 2-3 feet deep.


More Avalanche Details

Photos- Northern Gallatin

Displaying 1 - 40
  • We looked at the avalanche in Hyalite that was triggered on Saturday 1/9/21. The slope angle was 33-35 degrees on the starting zone of the lookers right path. It broke 2-3’ deep on weak facets below a hard slab, 1000’ wide and the debris was 5-9’ deep. East aspect, 9,800’ elevation. Photo: GNFAC

  • We looked at the avalanche in Hyalite that was triggered on Saturday 1/9/21. The slope angle was 33-35 degrees. It broke 2-3’ deep on weak facets below a hard slab, 1000’ wide and the debris was 5-9’ deep. East aspect, 9,800’ elevation. Photo: GNFAC

  • We looked at the avalanche in Hyalite that was triggered on Saturday 1/9/21. It broke 2-3’ deep on weak facets below a hard slab, 1000’ wide. East aspect, 9,800’ elevation. Photo: GNFAC

  • Skiers triggered this avalanche on Flanders Mountain on 1/9/21. It was triggered out of the photo to the right on a seperate slope around the corner. It propagated over 1000' wide, and 2-4' deep. Photo: GNFAC

  • Skiers triggered this avalanche on Flanders Mountain on 1/9/21. It was triggered out of the photo to the right on a separate slope around the corner. It propagated over 1000' wide, and 2-4' deep. Photo: GNFAC

  • Skiers triggered this avalanche on Flanders Mountain on 1/9/21. It was triggered out of the photo to the right on a seperate slope around the corner. It propagated over 1000' wide, and looks to be 6' deep at deepest. Photo: A. Blackmer

  • Skiers triggered this avalanche on Flanders Mountain on 1/9/21. It propagated around the corner over 1000' wide into an adjacent path.

  • From obs: "We dug a pit and found a really weak snowpack! Regardless of the poor stability result, we proceeded to ski an East facing bowl south of Flanders Mountain knowing that the slope angle was low and only flirted with 30 degrees in some parts of the bowl.... My partner skied first, he skied practically all the way back to the skin track when the slope failed and the entire bowl released. He was pretty well out of the way of danger by the time the bowl began to move. From our perspective, the trigger happened at the bottom of the slope. The bowl was not the only slope that slid, the avalanche propagated around the ridge and released a slide on the more south-easterly facing aspect just south of the bowl. We tail-tucked and went home glad no one was caught or hurt."

  • From obs: "I went up Blackmore [1/9/21]... A pit on a south aspect at 9400’ had 100 cm, and failed at ECTP22 on large, loose facets underlying a crust about 50 cm down. A pit on a north aspect at 9400’ had 105 cm and failed at ECTP20 on the same layer, although the crust was close to nonexistent on this aspect. The snowpack overall was weaker and less consolidated here. A pit on an east aspect at 9400’ had 135 cm, and failed at ECTP25 on the same layer as the other two. I experienced a couple collapses while in shallower, treed areas on north and south aspects today. I did not observe any recent natural activity, but do not trust the snow very much."

  • A skier got a collapse and crack in Lick Creek. The collapse has sizeable displacement which is indicative of a very thick and unstable weak layer. Photo: W. Casper

  • A backcountry skier wrote, "...observed a fairly large, cornice-triggered avalanche on an east aspect at 9600’ that looked to be several hours old. The crown was 40-100 cm deep, and it looked like it failed about 20 cm into the facets that make up the lower half of the snowpack in this region."

  • A backcountry skier wrote, "...observed a fairly large, cornice-triggered avalanche on an east aspect at 9600’ that looked to be several hours old. The crown was 40-100 cm deep, and it looked like it failed about 20 cm into the facets that make up the lower half of the snowpack in this region."

  • From obs: "Skied Mt Blackmore this morning. Very windy up in the basin, but calm along the ridgeline. Lots of signs of wind-loading and drifting on most slopes. I felt/heard 3 collapses while ascending the trees up to the east ridge. Saw a debris pile on the N face, likely from a cornice fall in the last 24hrs." Photo: M. Lavery

  • From obs: "I did not observe any recent natural activity from the top of Flanders, save for one small slide that started right at a ridgeline. I did not experience any collapsing or cracking, although thinner snow near trees or rocks was weak and unsupportable."

  • From obs: "Skier triggered a 1.5' slide to his right while making a turn near a cliff band. The slide did not intersect with the skier's path. We did a ECT before choosing our line and were not able to get the soft slab, or anything else to propagate, but clearly, the slab is ready to go as it slid on rocks. We both skied out without incident."

  • From obs: "Skier Triggered a 1.5' slide to his right while making a turn near a cliff band. The slide did not intersect with the skier's path. We did a ECT before choosing our line and were not able to get the soft slab, or anything else to propagate, but clearly, the slab is ready to go as it slid on rocks. We both skied out without incident."

  • Crown of a skier triggered avalanche on the Football Field, out of bounds south of Bridger Bowl, on 12/25/2020.

  • Crown of a skier triggered avalanche on the Football Field, out of bounds south of Bridger Bowl, on 12/25/2020.

  • Large natural avalanche on an east face in the Divide Cirque. I suspect it failed during the storm on the 22nd as the crown and flanks were obscured. Photo: GNFAC

  • From email: "Noted one natural crown off Elephant, NW aspect, 9,600', D2 HS, estimated crown depth around 2 feet, appeared several days old." Photo: G. Antonioli

  • Strong wind over the weekend deposited fresh drifts, about 10" deep, over weak snow. Bridger Bowl ski patrol triggered a few of these drifts on Monday (12/21) during avalanche mitigation. Photo: BBSP

  • A skier kicked off a larger than expected cornice as they skinned up the ridge on the W side of Beehive basin on Sunday (12/20/20).

  • From obs.: "Kicked off a larger than expected cornice as we skinned up the ridge on the W side of Beehive basin. Wind was blowing 20-ish across the opening, cornice had grown pretty good-sized for so little snow. I was making a turn on skins to get back away from the edge when the cornice gave way, probably pulled 25 feet end to end and broke a good 5 feet back from the lee edge of the cornice. I was able to get off the cornice and avoid going over the edge. No activity on the slope below after cornice drop,... although there was a decent hard slab that pulled out just below the ridge when the cornice dropped onto it.... Hard slab on the edges was about 10" deep, some big chunks of cornice on the slope for any future riders..."

  • Natural slide off lower Hyalite Peak. Photo: H. Van Denburg

  • Small, loose snow avalanche in the Divide Cirque in Hyalite Canyon. These could push a skier into/ off obstacles such as trees and cliffs. Photo: GNFAC

  • Light wind created soft drifts of new, low density snow near the ridgeline in the Bridger Range. This wind slab easily cracked when touched with skis, 20 feet along the ridge and 5-10 feet down, but didn't slide. This is a sign drifts will be unstable as they grow with more snow and wind. Photo: GNFAC

  • A skier saw this avalanche get triggered at Bridger Bowl (Schlasmans Lift) this afternoon 12/2/2020. "...The toe of the slide was all of 6’ deep. There is about a foot of fresh sitting on top of faceted crust that is sitting on top of more facets and another crust,..." Photo: Anonymous

  • Watch the video HERE!

  • The BBWC (Bridger Bowl Wind Cloud) on Tuesday 10/27 accompanied 50-60 mph gusts. This strong wind drifted recent snow into slabs that could avalanche on steep slopes. Early season snow means we need to be thinking about and managing avalanche hazard when we travel in the mountains. Photo: GNFAC

  • Skier triggered slide on 10/26 at Bridger Bowl near the top of Pierre's Knob lift. Photo: @taitbigmoneyswan

  • Skier triggered slide on 10/26 at Bridger Bowl near the top of Pierre's Knob lift. Photo: @taitbigmoneyswan

  • Wind-drifted snow avalanched naturally in a few areas of the northern ranges yesterday (10/23). This photo was near Fairy Lake in the Bridger Range. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Wind in the last 36 hours left a fingerprint of ripples near Fairy Lake in the Bridger Range. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • A skier on Mt Blackmore "observed some natural loose dry sluffs on the N face and the E face off the N ridge. They look like they came down in the last 24 hours with this new snow and wind; they were still fairly defined when I saw them." Photo: Jeanine Dalimata

  • A panorama of the snow covered peaks in the northern Madison Range taken from Sphinx Mountain. Photo: GNFAC

  • The mountains are snowy in the northern Madison Range. This photo is of the south face of Lone Peak and the Yellowstone Club with Beehive Basin in the background. Photo: GNFAC

  • Winds were blowing at upper elevations (+9,000') and loading slopes that were cracking and avalanching. Photo: GNFAC

  • Approaching the north face of the Sphinx we got shooting cracks in the new, windblown snow. It was a definite heads-up! Photo: GNFAC

  • While skinning up a south face in Frazier Basin today, skiers got 2-3" wind slabs to release. Photo: Max Cohen

WebCams


Bozeman Pass, Looking SE

Weather Forecast Northern Gallatin

Extended Forecast for

14 Miles SE Gallatin Gateway MT

  • Today

    Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 26. West northwest wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.

    Mostly Sunny

    High: 26 °F

  • Tonight

    Tonight: A 30 percent chance of snow, mainly after 4am.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 17. West southwest wind 11 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Partly Cloudy
    then Chance
    Snow

    Low: 17 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: Snow.  Patchy blowing snow after noon. High near 28. West southwest wind 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

    Snow Likely
    then Snow and
    Patchy
    Blowing Snow

    High: 28 °F

  • Sunday
    Night

    Sunday Night: Snow.  Patchy blowing snow. Low around 19. West wind 15 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.

    Snow and
    Patchy
    Blowing Snow

    Low: 19 °F

  • M.L.King
    Day

    M.L.King Day: Snow.  High near 20. West wind around 14 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

    Snow

    High: 20 °F

  • Monday
    Night

    Monday Night: A 30 percent chance of snow before midnight.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 10. West wind 10 to 13 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow
    then Mostly
    Cloudy

    Low: 10 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: Sunny, with a high near 24. West southwest wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.

    Sunny

    High: 24 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: A chance of snow after midnight.  Partly cloudy, with a low around 16. Southwest wind 16 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.

    Partly Cloudy
    then Chance
    Snow

    Low: 16 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: A chance of snow, mainly before noon.  Partly sunny, with a high near 23.

    Chance Snow

    High: 23 °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