Regional Conditions for Northern Madison

as of 5:00 am
Today2″ | 15-30 W
Jan 15 0″ | 20-35 W
Jan 14 2″ | 20-50 W
9400′     1/16 at 9:00
15 ℉
W - 17 mph, Gusts 26
1 " New
8880′   01/16 at 10:00
23℉
31″ 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

Considerable
Thu Jan 14

Considerable
Fri Jan 15

Moderate
Today

Moderate

Avalanche Activity- Northern Madison

Northern Madison
Wilson Peak
Near Mt. Wilson -- shooting cracks, whumpfing
Wilson Peak
Coordinates: 45.2844, -111.3280
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

"Upside-down snowpack, with a ~1ft strong layer on top of a few inches of weak snow. Significant shooting cracks and whoomphing in areas with deep snow. There was comparatively little snow in the trees -- not enough to cause avalanche concerns. We stayed off high-angle slopes, because of the clear signs of avalanche danger, and the very warm temps."


More Avalanche Details
Northern Madison
Buck Ridge
Natural avalanche and wide cracks at Buck Ridge
Incident details include images
Buck Ridge
SS-N-O
Elevation: 9,000
Coordinates: 45.1719, -111.3800
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

A rider submitted photos of cracks he triggered as well as a suspected natural avalanche and wide shooting cracks, all observed on 1/9/21.


More Avalanche Details
Northern Madison
NORTHERN MADISON RANGE
Collapses and Whumph in N. Madison
NORTHERN MADISON RANGE
Coordinates: 45.2952, -111.4100
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

I skied in the Northern Madison range today. We had 3 big whumps/collapses on a NE aspect between 7600 and 8000 feet. Kept the slope angle low so nothing slid. The snowpack was about 80 to 90 cm deep outside of tree cover. The skiing was good quality powder skiing.

We dug a pit on that slope and got an ECTP 23. Not super clean shear quality as it was on the facet layer on the ground.


More Avalanche Details

Photos- Northern Madison

Displaying 1 - 40
  • 70 mph gusts on Wednesday (1/13) in the Taylor Fork stripped some slopes and loaded others with fresh drifts. 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

  • 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

  • Observed 1/9/21. Photo: R. Guenther

  • 1/9/2021. Photo: R. Guenther

  • 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

  • We saw these slides on Jan 8 2021, and they look to be one or two days old and broke naturally after recent new snow. Photo: GNFAC

  • We saw these natural avalanches on January 8, 2021, they are likely a couple days old. Photo: GNFAC

  • We saw this avalanche in the third Yellow Mule on Buck Ridge on Jan 8 2021. It likely broke a couple days prior. Photo: GNFAC

  • On 1/8/21 we saw this large snowmobile triggered avalanches that occurred on January 7, 2021. It broke on weak, sugary snow below hard wind drifted snow and recent new snow. Photo: GNFAC

  • We saw this relatively very large, full width avalanches that was triggered on January 7, 2021. It broke on weak, sugary snow below hard wind drifted snow and recent new snow.

  • We saw this relatively very large, full width avalanches that was triggered on January 7, 2021. It broke on weak, sugary snow below hard wind drifted snow and recent new snow. Photo: GNFAC

  • We saw this relatively very large, full width avalanches that was triggered on January 7, 2021. It broke on weak, sugary snow below hard wind drifted snow and recent new snow. Photo: GNFAC

  • On 1/8/21 we saw this snowmobile triggered avalanches that occurred on January 7, 2021. It broke on weak, sugary snow below hard wind drifted snow and recent new snow. Photo: GNFAC

  • From obs on 1/8/21: "Observed numerous natural avalanches that had slid before this most recent snow storm. All on n or ne aspects going on the basal facets. Up to D2ish"

    Photo: R. Griffiths

  • A sledder triggered this slide in Buck Ridge. Photo: M. Lennon

  • A large natural avalanche on Cedar Mountain was seen from the Yellowstone Club. Photo: N. Davies

  • "Big shooting crack across the south facing path from the skin track so expected the east bowl to remotely trigger and it did from 25m away on the ridge. R3D2 slide. Confirms all previous regional reports and the concerns of the day, typical in this specific area early season. Obsessive terrain management is the only way just now." Photo: Anon

  • "...a small natural slide in the trees on a steep slope at 8,000 feet. The snow broke down to the sugary ground layer with the added weight of yesterday’s storm. 
     
    The location is just under Buck Ridge, between Second Yellow Mule & Third Yellow Mule drainages." Photo B. Ciccotti
     
  • Several natural avalanches spotted from Big Sky Ski Resort on 5 January 2021. Photo: H. Claiborne

  • From obs; "After the four of us skied, transitioned, and started skinning back up, the fourth member of our party (who was the last person skinning) heard a loud "whumpf" and saw a shooting crack propagate from our skin track to the right and left of us, approximately 60-80' wide. The slope was around 25 degrees."

    Photo: L. Ippolito

  • Snowmobile triggered avalanche just off the trail into McAtee Basin from Buck Ridge. Appears to have been remotely triggered from below on Sunday, Dec 27th. Broke on weak snow at the ground.

    Photo: GNFAC

  • Snowmobile triggered avalanche in the Beaver Creek drainage off Buck Ridge. Appears to have been triggered on Sunday, Dec 27th. Broke on weak snow at the ground.

    Photo: GNFAC

  • Snowmobile triggered avalanche in the 3rd Yellowmule off Buck Ridge. Appears to have been triggered from low on the slope on Sunday, Dec 27th. Broke on weak snow at the ground.

    Photo: GNFAC

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • 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..."

  • Snow plow triggered slide near Big Sky on 12/18/20.

    Photo: A. Meng

  • We observed a cluster of relatively small, loose snow avalanches in the Tyler's Slide area of Beehive Basin. We don't have the recipe for slab avalanches... yet. Wind-loading and/ or new snow could tip the scales. Both are coming this week and next, so stay heads-up! 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

  • From IG post: "Weak and thin snowpack. A little sluff was all it took to entrain the whole season’s snowpack. S. Madison ~9000’ east facing" Photo: @vt.to.mt

  • From IG post: "Weak and thin snowpack. A little sluff was all it took to entrain the whole season’s snowpack. S. Madison ~9000’ east facing" Photo: @vt.to.mt

  • 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

  • Dave Zinn finds a thin snowpack on the east side of Beehive/Bear Basin divide. It consists of weak, sugary grains of facets, a potential problem when it snows again. Photo: GNFAC

  • Dave Zinn looks at weak snow on our skin up the west side of Beehive Basin. We found mostly sugary, faceted snow that will become a problem when it gets loaded with snowfall. Photo: GNFAC

  • From obs (11/30/2020): "The sugary surface snow is running in loose dry sluffs on steep slopes and I set off a small avalanche coming through a steep section, not a big slide but enough to knock you off your feet if you’re not paying attention. It broke about 1’ deep, 15’ wide, and ran probably 30’ before stopping as the slope lessened in steepness."

    Photo: J. Dalimata

  • The Gallatin Valley Snowmobile Association put up the Beacon Checker at the Buck Ridge Trailhead. Don't forget to test and practice with your beacon! Photo: GVSA

  • Watch the video HERE!

WebCams


8800 Camera, Lone Peak view

Golf Course

Yellowstone Club, Timberline Chair

Weather Forecast Northern Madison

Extended Forecast for

5 Miles NNW Big Sky MT

  • Today

    Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 21. West wind around 14 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph.

    Mostly Sunny

    High: 21 °F

  • Tonight

    Tonight: A 40 percent chance of snow, mainly after 3am.  Mostly cloudy, with a temperature rising to around 17 by 5am. Wind chill values as low as zero. West wind 11 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Mostly Cloudy
    then Chance
    Snow

    Low: 13 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: Snow, mainly after 11am.  Patchy blowing snow after 11am. High near 24. Wind chill values as low as zero. Breezy, with a west southwest wind 15 to 22 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

    Snow and
    Patchy
    Blowing Snow

    High: 24 °F

  • Sunday
    Night

    Sunday Night: Snow. The snow could be heavy at times.  Patchy blowing snow before 11pm. Low around 15. Wind chill values as low as zero. West wind 11 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 5 to 9 inches possible.

    Heavy Snow
    and Patchy
    Blowing Snow

    Low: 15 °F

  • M.L.King
    Day

    M.L.King Day: Snow.  Patchy blowing snow after 11am. High near 16. Northwest wind 13 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.

    Snow and
    Patchy
    Blowing Snow

    High: 16 °F

  • Monday
    Night

    Monday Night: A 40 percent chance of snow before 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 7. West wind 9 to 13 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

    Chance Snow
    then Mostly
    Cloudy

    Low: 7 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: Sunny, with a high near 19. Southwest wind 9 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.

    Sunny

    High: 19 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: A slight chance of snow after 11pm.  Partly cloudy, with a low around 12. Southwest wind around 16 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow

    Low: 12 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: A slight chance of snow.  Partly sunny, with a high near 19.

    Slight Chance
    Snow

    High: 19 °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