Regional Conditions for Southern Madison

as of 5:00 am
Dec 241″ | 15-20 S
Dec 5 0″ | N/A
Dec 4 2″ | N/A
9460′     03/25 at 01:00
20.0℉
SW - 15mph
Gusts 24mph
9000′   03/25 at 1:00
24℉
81″ Depth
Bottom Line: bl
Primary Problem: Persistent Weak Layer

Past 5 Days

Tue Dec 4

Moderate
Wed Dec 5

Moderate
Wed Dec 12

Moderate
Mon Dec 24

Considerable
Fri Jan 18

High

Avalanche Activity- Southern Madison

Photos- Southern Madison

Displaying 1 - 40 of 4.61168601843E+18
  • Cracking of fresh drifts was a sign that avalanches were likely on steep, wind loaded slopes on Saddle Peak. Photo: GNFAC

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

     

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  • Wet slab avalanche in the Centennial range. Multiple days without freezing created widespread wet slides last week (5/6-5/11). Photo: @waxeman

  • Wet slab avalanche in the Centennial range. Multiple days without freezing created widespread wet slides last week (5/6-5/11). Photo: @waxeman

  • Wet slide carnage observed off of Skyline Ridge near Cabin Creek May 11/12. Many days of above freezing temperatures created widespread wet slide activity over the previous week. Photo: B. Lukens

  • Wet slide carnage observed off of Skyline Ridge near Cabin Creek May 11/12. Many days of above freezing temperatures created widespread wet slide activity over the previous week. Photo: B. Lukens

  • Massive cornices create a few hazards as they warm and weaken under the spring heat. They become easier to trigger, can break naturally, and form dangerous, deep cracks along ridgelines. From e-mail: "The crack was up to 30' deep, and had pulled large pieces of vegetation from the ridgeline it used to be attached to." Photo: S. Reinsel

  • Many days with above freezing temperatures created widespread wet slide activity in southwest Montana the week of May 7-11. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Extended above freezing temperatures created widespread wet slide activity in southwest Montana the week of May 7-11. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Extended above freezing temperatures created widespread wet slide activity in southwest Montana the week of May 7-11. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Extended above freezing temperatures created widespread wet slide activity in southwest Montana the week of May 7-11. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Extended above freezing temperatures created widespread wet slide activity in southwest Montana the week of May 7-11. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • From e-mail: "Photo of a couple of recent wet slab avalanches, just north of Silver Gate (on Mineral Mtn.). On a south aspect, around 9100'. The one on looker's left ran on April 23rd I think, and the one on looker's right April 27 or 28th. That's all the slab avalanches I've observed with these warm temps. Not a ton of wet loose activity to be seen either. Snowpack is holding in there!" Photo: B. Fredlund

  • Natural wet loose avalanches that slid during multiple days of well above freezing temperatures. Wet loose slides like this can run long distances and carry a lot of force. Multiple days with high temperatures of 50-60 F and overnight lows in the mid-30s to 40 F created a wet snowpack and wet slab and wet loose avalanches slid naturally. Photo: GNFAC

  • This small wet slab avalanches slid during multiple days of well above freezing temperatures. Though small, it is large enough to bury a person and would carry a lot of force. Multiple days with high temperatures of 50-60 F and overnight lows in the mid-30s to 40 F created a wet snowpack, and wet slab and wet loose avalanches slid naturally. Photo: GNFAC

  • Natural wet slab avalanche that ran during multiple days of well above freezing temperatures (4/26-4/28). Multiple days with high temperatures of 50-60 F and overnight lows in the mid-30s to 40 F created a wet snowpack and wet slab and wet loose avalanches slid naturally. Photo: GNFAC

  • Wet avalanches ran naturally last week during above freezing temperatures and sunshine after the last storm. Slides like this will be possible when the snowpack softens in the afternoon and will become more likely if the snowpack doesn't freeze overnight. Wet slides can run long distance and carry a lot of force. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Recent snowfall followed by spring sunshine and above freezing temperatures created natural wet slab and wet loose activity. More slides like this are possible if temperatures do not freeze overnight, during heavy rain, or after the next snowfall. Photo: B. VandenBos

     

  • Cornices are massive and will break naturally with above freezing temperatures and hot, spring sun. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Cornices are massive through the advisory area and will break naturally with above freezing temperatures and hot, spring sun. Photo: B. VandenBos

  • Cornices are a significant hazard this time of year. As temps warm above freezing, these overhanging masses of snow will become increasingly unstable. They can break farther back than you might expect and trigger large avalanches on the slopes below. They can fail naturally or with human triggers. 

  • This slide was triggered by the first skier of day off Saddle Peak. The skier was caught and carried 1,500 vertical feet. He was buried with his hand sticking out of snow. Unfortunately, he did not have a partner and was buried for over an hour. He did not survive. Photo: R. Gregoire   

  • This slide on Saddle Peak resulted in a fatality. It was triggered by a solo skier who was caught and buried. The slope was heavily wind loaded and the slide failed on a thin ice crust. Photo: R. Gregoire

Videos- Southern Madison

Weather Forecast Southern Madison

Extended Forecast for

20 Miles S Big Sky MT

  • Overnight

    Overnight: A 50 percent chance of snow.  Cloudy, with a low around 23. South southwest wind 10 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.  Total nighttime snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 23 °F

  • Monday

    Monday: Partly sunny, with a high near 29. South southwest wind 9 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph.

    Partly Sunny

    High: 29 °F

  • Monday
    Night

    Monday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 24. South wind 13 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 24 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: A 20 percent chance of snow after noon.  Partly sunny, with a high near 41. Breezy, with a south wind 13 to 22 mph, with gusts as high as 36 mph.

    Partly Sunny
    then Slight
    Chance Snow
    and Breezy

    High: 41 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: A 50 percent chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 27. South wind 16 to 21 mph decreasing to 9 to 14 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 33 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 27 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: Snow likely. Some thunder is also possible.  Cloudy, with a high near 39. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

    Snow Likely

    High: 39 °F

  • Wednesday
    Night

    Wednesday Night: Snow.  Low around 25. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.

    Snow

    Low: 25 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: Snow.  Cloudy, with a high near 31.

    Snow

    High: 31 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: Snow likely, mainly before midnight.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 17.

    Snow Likely

    Low: 17 °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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