Avalanche Incidents

Northern Madison
Beehive Basin
Skier triggered wind slab in Beehive
Incident details include images
Beehive Basin
SS-AS-R2-D1.5
Elevation: 10,000
Aspect: S
Coordinates: 45.352500, -111.4000000
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From e-mail: "We encountered very localized loading that easily fractured and propagated uphill on a south aspect (photos) then bailed on the E/NE facing run we had hoped to ski, due to a 12-18" slab at the top, obvious wind loading throughout the whole thing (9900'-10300'), and the aforementioned obvious signs of instability. When we turned around, another similar-sized (4-8" by 10-20') slide had occurred on the same aspect as the one we had triggered. Neither ran more than 100' or so."


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Northern Madison
Beehive Basin
Skier triggered loose snow in Beehive
Incident details include images
Beehive Basin
L-ASu-R1-D1-S
Elevation: 9,500
Aspect: SW
Coordinates: 45.344800, -111.3880000
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From e-mail: "triggered a small wet slide in the Going Home chute coming back into Beehive, and we observed another natural wet slide on a similar aspect that had occurred since we toured past in the morning. Wind was light or calm all day and wind effect was minimal even at ridgelines." 


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Northern Madison
Bear Basin
Skier triggered new snow avalanche
Incident details contain video
Bear Basin
SS-ASu-R2-D2-I
Coordinates: 45.349800, -111.3850000
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From e-mail: "Today while skiing Bat Ears Couloir in Bear Basin we encountered fast moving 12" deep wind loaded sluff however, it didn't step down."

Second e-mail: "Upon entering the couloir I performed a ski cut and released an 8 inch deep slab that was about 12 feet wide that ran about 700 vertical. Then we skied the slide path down and safely returned into beehive by exiting down bear basin. "


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Northern Gallatin
Mt. Bole
Skier triggered wet loose in Hyalite (Mt. Bole area)
Incident details include images
Mt. Bole
WL-ASu-I
Elevation: 9,500
Aspect: SE
Coordinates: 45.423700, -110.9960000
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From an email:

Today, at around 11am, my partner preformed a ski cut on the top of a gully. The area he cut was south facing and in direct sunlight. The slough from his cut gained momentum and formed a small avalanche that went down the entire gully and apron, taking all of the previous days snow with it. The avalanche went on the old snow sun-crust, and new snow interface. We ascended from the back and found very stable results in both our pits, although they were both high and north facing. No one was caught or injured.

I had already skied down part of the slope in another gully, that was entirely shaded, and produced no snow movement.


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Cooke City
Lulu Pass
Snowmobile triggered slide, Lulu Pass Cooke City
Incident details include images
Lulu Pass
SS-AMu-R1-D1-O
Elevation: 9,500
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.069900, -109.9580000
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

A snowmobiler triggered this small wind slab near Lulu pass outside of Cooke City. Wind loaded slopes are main avalanche concern across the advisory area. 


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Northern Gallatin
Flanders Creek
Climber triggered wind slab in Flanders
Incident details include images
Flanders Creek
SS-AFu-R0-D1-O
Elevation: 9,000
Aspect: SE
Coordinates: 45.442900, -110.9320000
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Climbers triggered this very small wind slab on the way to a climb up Flanders in Hyalite (11/11). A tiny slide to a skier can be bad news for a climber since losing one's balance or getting pushed off a cliff can be deadly. From an email (edited):

Hyalite Snow Conditions:...we dug two hasty pits on east facing slopes in Flanders....
8200'- isolated opening in trees in an area on rocks, shallower snow (~50cm). CT12 at the ground, again just tapping on the back of other hand, so not super legit, but did raise eyebrows.  
8450'- Opening below cliff bands on exposed traverse. Deeper snow (~80-90cm). No concerns other than storm snow and snow coming off of cliff bands.  Classic Hyalite shifty winds.  We released a small (10-15cm) storm slab on traverse into the climb .  
Weather: It was snowing and blowing all day.

Photo: S. Magro


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Northern Madison
Middle Basin
Snowboarder triggered wind slab in Middle Basin
Incident details include images
Middle Basin
SS-ARu
Coordinates: 45.336500, -111.3810000
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From Instagram @chartierk:

"Careful out there this year! While we are lucky enough to have a mostly stable snowpack here in Southwest Montana, we did just find this little wind slab well below the ridge line in Middle Basin. Slowboarder was fine"


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Northern Gallatin
Hyalite - main fork
Ice climber triggered small slab in Hyalite
Incident details include images
Hyalite - main fork
SS-AFu-R1-D1-S
Aspect: W
Coordinates: 45.439800, -110.9540000
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Ice climber triggered. From e-mail: "Was descending off of Zach Attack tonight and set off a small slab in the gully on the decent. This was about 100 meters below the start of pitch 1. Constant whipping winds and lots of new deposited snow likely caused the slab to form. Climber caused. Didn’t carry me as it was small. Would be wary of the mummy cooler gullies abover scepter as well."


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