This is Dave Zinn with pre-season avalanche, weather and event information from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center on Tuesday, November 15th. This information is sponsored by The Friends of the Avalanche Center and Uphill Pursuits. Join them in supporting free and low-cost avalanche education, community outreach and avalanche center operations during the 2022 Powder Blast Fundraiser.
*Note: Bridger Bowl Ski Area is closed and there is no avalanche control or ski patrol services. Backcountry conditions exist. Please don’t ski over hoses and power cords, they are high-pressure and high voltage. Be sure to give snowcats and snowmobiles plenty of room.
On Tuesday morning, mountain temperatures are in the single digits to teens F with 10-20 mph winds from the west to northwest. The mountains received 1-3” of new snow except in the Big Sky and Hyalite Canyon where 4-6” fell.
High temperatures for the next couple of days will be in the 20s F with 5-15 mph winds from the west to northwest. Flurries will continue today around Big Sky and Cooke City with an inch of accumulation. A storm arriving Wednesday will bring 5-6” to the mountains around Cooke City, Big Sky and Bozeman and a trace to 1” near West Yellowstone.
The mountains around Big Sky and Hyalite Canyon received 4-6” of low-density snow equaling 0.2 to 0.3” of snow water equivalent (SWE) with 1-3” (0.1-0.2” SWE) elsewhere. During and immediately following last week’s storm, skiers and riders reported avalanches from Bradley’s Meadow to Hyalite Peak to Tepee Basin. See the entire list of avalanche activity and photos on the website.
With new snow today, avoid the new drifts deposited by 15-30 mph winds from the northwest in Cooke City. Across the entire advisory area, loose snow avalanches and fresh drifts breaking as slabs are possible today. Watch for signs of instability, remembering that technical terrain amplifies the consequence of even small avalanches, and pull out your shovel to test for instabilities deeper in the snowpack. Alex and I noted generally stable conditions on Sunday in Beehive Basin. However, we recognize that we have limited data on this season’s snowpack and uncertainty warrants continued assessment (Beehive Basin Video).
We are grateful for all the observations that our community is sending in this season. You can read these on the new Snow Observations Page and contribute to our understanding of this season’s snowpack by submitting your observations.
Enjoy the new snow and remember the fundamentals whether you are skiing, hunting, riding or building snow forts: 1) Consider the avalanche potential of your intended terrain. 2) Carry and practice with avalanche rescue gear (beacon, shovel, and probe). 3) Assess the snowpack for unstable conditions before going onto steep slopes.
If you get out, please share avalanche, snowpack or weather observations via our website, email (email@example.com), phone (406-587-6984), or Instagram (#gnfacobs).
On Tuesday, two inches of lightweight snow fell in the mountains around Island Park. Loose snow avalanches and fresh drifts breaking as thin slabs are possible today. Watch for signs of instability remembering that technical terrain amplifies the consequence of even small avalanches and pull out your shovel to test for instabilities deeper in the snowpack before going on to steep slopes.
Upcoming Avalanche Education and Events
Our education calendar is full of awareness lectures and field courses. Check it out: Events and Education Calendar.
We offer an Avalanche Fundamentals with Field Session course for skiers in December and January, and snowmobilers in early January. Sign up early before they fill up.
Friends of GNFAC Powder Blast Fundraiser
The Friends of the Avalanche Center are hosting the Powder Blast Fundraiser. Your donations support free and low-cost avalanche education, beacon checkers at trailheads, beacon parks, weather stations, and GNFAC programs! The Friends of GNFAC launched an online GoFundMe campaign. Please consider a donation, and we look forward to having an in-person event again in the future.