Trip Planning for Cooke City Area

as of 5:00 am
Dec 63″ | 15-35 W
Dec 5 10″ | 5-35 SW
Dec 4 0″ | 5-10 WSW
10,000′     12/07 at 00:00
8.3℉
SW - 13mph
Gusts 28mph
9100′     12/07 at 01:00
16℉
55″ Depth
Bottom Line: The southern mountains, including the area around Cooke City and West Yellowstone have gotten 2-3 feet of snow in the last week. Although the snowfall has tapered off, the wind has not. Wind redistributes snow and creates new loading. As far as the snowpack is concerned, it is still snowing out. The snowpack needs time to adjust to this new load and it is not advisable to get into avalanche terrain. Avalanches can break 2-4 feet deep. They can be large and deadly.
Primary Problem: Persistent Weak Layer

Past 5 Days

Fri Dec 2

Considerable
Sat Dec 3

Considerable
Sun Dec 4

Moderate
Mon Dec 5

Considerable
Tue Dec 6

Considerable

Relevant Avalanche Activity

Cooke City
Henderson Mountain
Avalanche Henderson Bench (likely snowmobile triggered)
Incident details include images
Henderson Mountain
HS-AM-R4-D2
Elevation: 9,500
Aspect: SE
Coordinates: 45.0437, -109.9180
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Small avalanche below Henderson Bench. SE aspect. Likley Snowmobile-trigger did not confirm. 70-90’wide, 1-3’ crown, ran 40’


More Avalanche Details
Cooke City
Republic Creek
Collapsing in Republic Creek
Republic Creek
AS
Elevation: 8,900
Aspect: SW
Coordinates: 44.9855, -109.9410
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

We dug a pit on a W/WNW slope at around 9100 ft in the republic creek drainage. CT 18 and ECTN34 (ECTX then we hit it extra hard 4 more times) on the weak layer about 70 cm down. But overall snowpack was upright and it seemed to be settling down more than we thought. But then as we approached the ridge we triggered 5 separate large collapses ("Whumphs"), all on WSW/SW slopes (between 8700 and 9200 ft). Pole probes revealed a light crust about 12 inches down. 


More Avalanche Details
Cooke City
COOKE CITY
Collapses North of Cooke City
COOKE CITY
AS
Elevation: 9,500
Aspect: SE
Coordinates: 45.0202, -109.9380
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Obs 12/3/22:

"Large collapses on primarily solar aspects (S/SE, ~9,500’)."

"Lots of whumphing but not much (if any) cracking...:"


More Avalanche Details

Relevant Photos

Displaying 1 - 21
  • "Here’s an avalanche we saw on December 2nd 2022 in cooke city on the north side of Henderson mountain just above lulu road." Photo: G. Kalkowski

  • from IG: @coldfear

  • Small avalanche below Henderson Bench. SE aspect. Likley Snowmobile-trigger did not confirm. 70-90’wide, 1-3’ crown, ran 40’ Photo: R. Youngbar

  • Observed 12/3, likely slid 12/2. Photo: GNFAC

  • Observed 12/3, likely slid 12/2. Photo: GNFAC

  • Photo: GNFAC

  • Large natural avalanche on Republic Mtn. likely broke early 12/2. Photo: GNFAC

  • Large natural avalanche on Republic Mtn. likely broke early 12/2. Photo: GNFAC

  • Observed 12/3/22. Photo: Z. Peterson

  • From IG 12/3: "...Most notable was this massive slide on fox, looks to have broke 2-6’ deep and over 1000’ wide. Couldn’t quite see the toe from our tour but it looked to have run over 1000’ vertical. Never have seen one so large on Fox…" Photo: M. Cohen

  • Natural avalanche on Republic Mtn. 12/2/22 Photo: Z. Peterson

  • Near Cooke City (12/2/22) We saw multiple large natural avalanches that broke last night or early this morning. Photo: GNFAC

  • Near Cooke City (12/2/22) We saw multiple large natural avalanches that broke last night or early this morning. Photo: GNFAC

  • Near Cooke City (12/2/22) We saw multiple large natural avalanches that broke last night or early this morning. Photo: GNFAC

  • On Dec 1, 2022 we found 21" new snow = 1.2"SWE that fell since the morning of 11/30. We had an ECT break and propagate 6-8" below the new snow on top of a crust that formed last week. With more snow on the way we might see avalanches break on this layer. Photo: GNFAC

  • From obs: "Well developed surface hoar was widespread this morning near Cooke City (11/25). The strong sun burned it off on aspects that received sun, but it was preserved in shaded areas." Photo: N. Salsburg

  • Big Sky ski patrol triggered these slides with explosives on 11/22 during routine avalanche mitigation work. The avalanches were hard slabs that averaged 12" deep and broke on a weak layer above a crust on top of snow that fell in October. Photo: BSSP

  • Big Sky ski patrol triggered these slides with explosives on 11/22 during routine avalanche mitigation work. The avalanches were hard slabs that averaged 12" deep and broke on a weak layer above a crust on top of snow that fell in October. Photo: BSSP

  • From email: "Saw a recent slab avalanche today on a NE aspect of Mt. Henderson, around 10,000.  We were skiing nearby on Nov. 11-12 and did not notice this slide, but that may have simply missed it (that slope becomes shaded by about noon this time of year and there was lots of wind affected snow in that area.)" Photo: B. Fredlund

  • A 6 a.m. image of the snow that fell last night in Cooke City.

  • Evidence of wind-loading creating the conditions for avalanches in the Bridger Range. Cracking is an indicator of instability. The observer noted this was "Nothing consequential," but this shows that unstable drifts are forming. They will be more consequential where there is more snow and as the wind creates larger drifts. Photo: E Smith

WebCams


Soda Butte Lodge, looking West

Soda Butte Lodge, looking East

Snowpit Profiles- Cooke City Area

 

Select a snowpit on the map to view the profile image

Weather Forecast Cooke City Area

Extended Forecast for

2 Miles NNE Cooke City MT

  • Overnight

    Overnight: A 20 percent chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a steady temperature around 15. Wind chill values as low as -5. West southwest wind 13 to 17 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow

    Low: 15 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 19. Wind chill values as low as zero. Southwest wind 10 to 13 mph.

    Partly Sunny

    High: 19 °F

  • Wednesday
    Night

    Wednesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 4. Wind chill values as low as -5. West southwest wind around 11 mph.

    Mostly Clear

    Low: 4 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: Partly sunny, with a high near 18. Wind chill values as low as -10. West southwest wind 13 to 18 mph.

    Partly Sunny

    High: 18 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a steady temperature around 11. West southwest wind around 18 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 11 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: Snow likely, mainly after 11am.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 20. Southwest wind 8 to 13 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Snow Likely

    High: 20 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: A 20 percent chance of snow before 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 6. West southwest wind around 11 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow then
    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 6 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: A 20 percent chance of snow after 11am.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 21. Southwest wind 9 to 14 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow

    High: 21 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: A 30 percent chance of snow, mainly after 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a temperature rising to around 19 by 2am. South southwest wind around 10 mph.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 16 °F⇑

The Last Word

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12 / 5 / 22  <<  
 
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