Regional Conditions for Southern Gallatin

as of 5:00 am
Today2″ | 5-30 WNW
Jan 15 0″ | 15-30 NW
Jan 14 3″ | 15-30 W
9460′     01/16 at 10:00
12.6℉
SW - 9mph
Gusts 14mph
9000′   01/16 at 10:00
18℉
49″ 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- Southern Gallatin

Southern Gallatin
SOUTHERN GALLATIN RANGE
Natural Avalanche in the S. Gallatin Range
Incident details include images
SOUTHERN GALLATIN RANGE
SS-N
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.0432, -110.9620
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From an email obervation:

...widespread avalanche activity.

...central Gallatin Range, a mid elevation easterly aspect.


More Avalanche Details
Southern Gallatin
SOUTHERN GALLATIN RANGE
Collapsing, cacking, whumpfs in S. Gallatin
Incident details include images
SOUTHERN GALLATIN RANGE
Coordinates: 45.0432, -110.9620
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

"Cracking, collapsing, wumphs in the Southern Gallatin. ECTP 22. West facing, 8200’ non windloaded, 80cm of snow. Broke 50cm deep on depth hoar. Barely a cohesive slab on top but still enough to cause unstable conditions."


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Northern Madison
Buck Ridge
Snowmobile triggered slides (2) on Buck Ridge
Incident details include images
Buck Ridge
HS-AMu-R3-D2-O
Elevation: 9,300
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 45.1719, -111.3800
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

We saw two large snowmobile triggered avalanches (and one very large, in separate record) that occurred on January 7, 2021. They broke on weak, sugary snow below hard wind drifted snow and recent new snow.


More Avalanche Details

Photos- Southern Gallatin

Displaying 1 - 23
  • Snowfall and strong wind triggered this avalanche on 1/13/2021. Photo: B. Fredlund

  • Cracking, collapsing, wumphs in the Southern Gallatin. ECTP 22. West facing, 8200’ non windloaded, 80cm of snow. Broke 50cm deep on depth hoar. Barely a cohesive slab on top but still enough to cause unstable conditions.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • One of four small natural avalanches along Gallatin River that broke during the avalanche warning on January 5th, 2021.

    Photo: GNFAC

  • "...the snowpack was talkative today. Tons of energetic rolling collapses that shook snow out of the trees 50 feet away, and shot powder up around aspens in a Colorado-esque way. Shooting cracks on low-angle test slopes, and isolated small natural slides on steeper, W-facing terrain." Photo: D. Pogge

  • From email: "Went for a tour today on specimen ridge in yellowstone park. Stuck to terrain well below 30 degrees. Widespread whumphs throughout the tour. Cracking and collapsing snowpack on small convexities. Observed multiple small avalanches on windloaded slopes." Photo: C. Way

  • 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).

  • Doug intentionally triggered this wind-loaded sidehill. Weak, faceted snow broke under a 1' deep soft slab of windblown snow. Small avalanches like this are indicators of instability on bigger slopes. These conditions can be found throughout the southern Gallatin, southern Madison, Lionhead and Centennial Ranges. Photo: GNFAC

  • We put up the Taylor Fork Weather station today. It measures wind direction and speed, RH, and temperature. Coupled with the Carrot Basin SNOTEL, this gives us a good idea on what is occurring in this range. 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

  • Obs from a skier in NW corner of Yellowstone NP: "Snowpack was 10-18” and all sugar / large facets. Surprisingly, on low angle meadow, making some turns turned-out to be pretty good. While faceted, there was a little denseness (word?) to the base. I suspect steeper terrain would be easier to hit the ground. All surfaces were covered with SH - as you would imagine." Photo: A. Crawford

     

  • 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

  • Backcountry.com did a social media survey and found that many of us could use an avalanche class. Don't hesitate to sign up for one. Even a one-hour avalanche awareness class is a great place to start. Check out our Education Calendar for an expanding list of classes being offered in southwest Montana. Many are free.

  • Wind was blowing and drifting recent snow in the Bridger Range the morning of October 15th. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Snow on Lone Mtn. on the morning of October 14th. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • By morning of October 11 most mountain ranges were white at the higher elevations. This picture of Saddle Peak was taken from Stone Creek up Bridger Canyon. About .6-.8" of precipitation fell throughout southwest Montana. The Fisher Creek Snotel outside of Cooke City shows 6" of snow fell at 9,100 feet. Only time will tell what melts and what sticks around, but it sure is a good sign! Photo: GNFAC

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Weather Forecast Southern Gallatin

Extended Forecast for

17 Miles SE Big Sky MT

  • Today

    Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 29. Southwest wind 6 to 9 mph.

    Mostly Sunny

    High: 29 °F

  • Tonight

    Tonight: A 30 percent chance of snow after 4am.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 14. South wind 7 to 9 mph.

    Partly Cloudy
    then Chance
    Snow

    Low: 14 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: Snow, mainly before 5pm.  High near 27. Wind chill values as low as zero. Southwest wind 10 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

    Snow

    High: 27 °F

  • Sunday
    Night

    Sunday Night: A chance of snow before 7pm, then a chance of snow showers after 7pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 17. West wind 8 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 17 °F

  • M.L.King
    Day

    M.L.King Day: A 50 percent chance of snow showers.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 24. North northwest wind 8 to 11 mph.  New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.

    Chance Snow
    Showers

    High: 24 °F

  • Monday
    Night

    Monday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 7. North wind 5 to 9 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 7 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: Sunny, with a high near 25. West wind 5 to 11 mph becoming south southwest in the morning.

    Sunny

    High: 25 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: A 20 percent chance of snow showers after 11pm.  Partly cloudy, with a low around 11.

    Slight Chance
    Snow Showers

    Low: 11 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: A 20 percent chance of snow showers.  Partly sunny, with a high near 24.

    Slight Chance
    Snow Showers

    High: 24 °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