Regional Conditions for Northern Gallatin

as of 5:00 am
Dec 240″ | 25-38 SW
Dec 5 0″ | 20-30 W
Dec 4 0″ | 15-30 W
9980′     01/16 at 22:00
17.5℉
SW - 18mph
Gusts 36mph
8100′   01/16 at 22:00
26℉
45″ Depth
Bottom Line: The combination of last night’s new snow and strong west winds make triggering an avalanche likely on wind loaded slopes. It also remains possible to trigger an avalanche on a non-wind loaded slope. Give this newly loaded weak layer the respect it deserves by avoiding fresh wind drifts and carefully assessing the snowpack before committing to other steep slopes.
Primary Problem: Wind-Drifted Snow

Past 5 Days

Mon Dec 3

Low
Tue Dec 4

Moderate
Wed Dec 5

Considerable
Wed Dec 12

Moderate
Mon Dec 24

Considerable

Avalanche Activity- Northern Gallatin

Photos- Northern Gallatin

Displaying 1 - 40 of 4.61168601843E+18
  • Small fresh wind slab crowns below ridgeline in the Northern Bridgers. Photo: G. Antonioli

  • Wind loads were easy to trigger. This one was triggered on purpose up Maid of the Mist in Hyalite. Photo: A. Peterson

  • Wind slabs were easily triggered. Although small in size, they indicate that larger slopes would have larger avalanches. Photo: A. Peterson

  • From some skiers: "We encountered veey localized loading that easily fractured and propagated uphill on a south aspect." Photo: S. Reinsel

  • From some skiers: "We encountered veey localized loading that easily fractured and propagated uphill on a south aspect." Photo: S. Reinsel

  • This picture is from Divide Basin in Hyalite Canyon. A skier writes, "Lots of blowing snow with multiple natural avalanches occurring during the morning." Photo: S. Wilson

  • 15-30 mph westerly winds were blowing snow up Hyalite and among the other ranges. Photo" S. Wilson

  • Hyalite got 8-10" of low density snow and there were widespread natural dry loose avalanches on Saturday. Photo: G. Antonioli

  • 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." Photo: C. Kussmaul

  • Skiers in Beehive on Sunday (12/2) reported lots of previous natural point releases. Photo: H. Copolillo

  • We observed this wind slab and debris on Sunday (12/2). It likely formed from the new snow and wind on Saturday morning. Photo: GNFAC

  • We observed this wind slab crown on Sunday (12/2). It likely formed from the new snow and wind the Saturday morning. Photo: GNFAC

  • Cracking of fresh drifts was a sign that avalanches were likely on steep, wind loaded slopes on Saddle Peak. Photo: GNFAC

  • A skier triggered this small wind slab along a wind loaded ridge in Hyalite. Although small, it's an obvious clue wind loaded slopes are unstable. Even small slides can have severe consequences if triggered in steep-exposed terrain or on slopes with terrain traps such as gullies, trees or rock bands. Photo: G. Antonioli 

  • The new snow and wind formed wind slabs on Mt. Blackmore that were cracking. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Winds blew the new snow around. Ripples on the snow surface are evidence of wind slabs. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Snow water equivalent at SNOTEL stations in the GNFAC advisory areas for the 18-19 season to date. Weak layers formed on the surface of the snowpack during the dry weather (flat section of lines), then they were buried by the recent 10-14" of snow (steep increase at end of graph). Image: GNFAC

  • Skiers saw this natural avalanche near Mt. Blackmore on Saturday (11/24). Almost a foot of new snow fell and buried weak snow that formed on the surface of the snowpack during cold and dry weather. Be cautious of avalanches breaking at this weak interface for a few days and with the next storm. Photo: M. Staples

  • Wind is moving snow creating wind slabs on the east face of Blackmore up Hyalite. This avalanche was seen on Thanksgiving. More snow and wind will create more wind drifting and more avalanches. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Plenty of traffic on Blackmore since the last storm. No signs of instability for now, but we did find near-surface facets and surface hoar on some slopes. This will be something to watch out for with the next storm, and they should be easy to identify in snow pits and stability tests. Photo: GNFAC

  • Winds during the snow storm on Friday rippled the snow surface up Hyalite. This is a clue that the snow drifted and loaded high elevation slopes. Photo: G. Antonioli

  • Feathery crystals of surface hoar are seen on Mt. Blackmore in Hyalite. These crystals can be notorious weak layers once buried, but only time will tell if they survive until the next snowstorm. Photo: Z. Tondre

  • 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

  • From an email:

    "By and large right side up snowpack. Some small facets below the 11/1 ice crust at the ground, but well bonded snowpack overall. Pit observations consistent with hand pits dug throughout the day touring north out of Bridger Bowl." Photo: M. Zia

  • From an email: "ECTP 5 at the top of a chute on the south face of the Texas Meadows knob. Propagated on a layer 15cm from the top of the snowpack." Photo: J. Zimmerer

  • From Instagram:

    "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" @chartierk

  • A skier found 80 cm of stable snow on an east facing slope at 9200' in Beehive Basin. Winds created these newborn cornices along the ridge. Photo: T. Allen

  • 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."

  • From e-mail: "Was descending off of Zach Attack tonight and set off a small lab 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."

  • From a tour up Miller Creek: "Good stability and structure found overall.  No collapsing nor cracking experienced, minor wind effect, and only some minor point release avalanche activity noted on the east aspect of Crown Butte." Photo: B. Fredlund

  • From Zack Keskinen:
     
    Noted multiple small crowns (15-20cms) on NE steep rocky terrain. Pit seemed reasonably consistent with a couple hand pits across the day in the "above treeline" zone.
  • From Zack Keskinen:
     
    Mt Blackmore 11/07
    HN24 - 20cm
    S1 - 8/8 - W (Light)
     
    Noted multiple small crowns (15-20cms) on NE steep rocky terrain.Pit seemed reasonably consistent with a couple hand pits across the day in the "above treeline" zone.
  •  From Zack Keskinen:
     
    Mt Blackmore 11/07
    HN24 - 20cm
    S1 - 8/8 - W (Light)
     
    Noted multiple small crowns (15-20cms) on NE steep rocky terrain.Pit seemed reasonably consistent with a couple hand pits across the day in the "above treeline" zone.
  • Natural wind slab that broke after 3-4 feet of new snow over 6 days. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Natural avalanche activity was widespread in Hyalite on Tuesday 11/6. Obs from e-mail: "The newest snow (about 18", I'd guess past 48hrs) is touchy soft slab. The top 8 inches also exhibit a storm slab-like quality.  There appears to be a very slight density change between the two.  Top 8" fracture and propagate cracks readily on gentle terrain, whereas in steeper terrain, the deeper slab (again, about 18" down) was propagating as I was skinning up the headwall in the steep creek drainages and steeper features nearby. Lots of natural activity on steeper terrain, but vis was limited. Photo: G. Antonioli

  • Natural avalanche activity was widespread in Hyalite on Tuesday 11/6. Obs from e-mail: "The newest snow (about 18", I'd guess past 48hrs) is touchy soft slab. The top 8 inches also exhibit a storm slab-like quality.  There appears to be a very slight density change between the two.  Top 8" fracture and propagate cracks readily on gentle terrain, whereas in steeper terrain, the deeper slab (again, about 18" down) was propagating as I was skinning up the headwall in the steep creek drainages and steeper features nearby. Lots of natural activity on steeper terrain, but vis was limited. Photo: G. Antonioli

  • The Bridgers got 30-40” of new snow in the past week. It came in warm and dense, and it is bonding well to the old snow. Natural Avalanches broke 6-8” deep in the new snow today. This instability will heal in a day or two. Wind loaded slopes, where new snow is drifted into fresh thick slabs, will be the most likely place to trigger avalanches the next few days. Photo: GNFAC

  • From the MSU Backcountry Club Instagram page:

    Warning! This is a current, fresh, crown in the northern Bridgers! Every aspect had a visible crown and avi debris! This crown was 56cm at it deepest and over 8 meters long. ECTP21@53 and CT24@54 on the overlying slab. Photo: @msubackcountryclub More Details.

  • This avalanche was observed on the morning of Friday 11/2. It broke from a natural trigger in the Big Couloir at Big Sky Resort. New snow fell and was drifted into slabs overlying older, hard layers of snow from October. The resort is not open and no people were in the area of the avalanche at that time. Photo: Big Sky Resort More details

     

Videos- Northern Gallatin

Weather Forecast Northern Gallatin

Extended Forecast for

14 Miles SE Gallatin Gateway MT

Winter Weather Advisory January 17, 05:00am until January 17, 11:00pm
Click here for hazard details and duration
Winter Weather Advisory
  • Tonight

    Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 20. South southwest wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 20 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: Snow likely, mainly after 11am.  Increasing clouds, with a high near 31. South southwest wind around 16 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

    Snow Likely

    High: 31 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: Snow likely, mainly after 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 22. Southwest wind 11 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.

    Snow Likely

    Low: 22 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: Snow likely.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 28. West wind 11 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

    Snow Likely

    High: 28 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: A 40 percent chance of snow, mainly before 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 21. South southwest wind 11 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 21 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: A 30 percent chance of snow, mainly after 11am.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 29. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    High: 29 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: A 40 percent chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 26. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 26 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: A chance of snow.  Cloudy, with a high near 30.

    Chance Snow

    High: 30 °F

  • Sunday
    Night

    Sunday Night: Snow likely, mainly after 11pm.  Cloudy, with a low around 21.

    Snow Likely

    Low: 21 °F

The Last Word

Check out our new “Avalanches and Snowpits” menu item where we list all the reported avalanche activity.


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