Trip Planning for Northern Gallatin

as of 5:00 am
Dec 60″ | 25-45 W
Dec 5 5″ | 10-30 SW
Dec 4 0″ | 15-30 SW
9980′     12/07 at 03:00
10.5℉
W - 15mph
Gusts 26mph
8100′     12/07 at 03:00
19℉
33″ Depth
Bottom Line: Yesterday, in Hyalite, a skier kicked a cornice and triggered a 12-18” deep wind-drifted slope in Lick Creek. Further in the range, Dave and his partner toured into Divide Peak and had concerns with new, wind-blown snow. Further south around Big Sky the story is similar: without widespread weak layers our primary concern is triggering thick drifts of wind-blown snow.
Primary Problem: Wind-Drifted Snow

Past 5 Days

Fri Dec 2

Moderate
Sat Dec 3

Moderate
Sun Dec 4

Moderate
Mon Dec 5

Moderate
Tue Dec 6

Moderate

Relevant Avalanche Activity

Northern Gallatin
Lick Creek
Skier triggered wind-load
Incident details include images
Lick Creek
SS-ASc-R1-D1-O
Elevation: 9,000
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.5243, -110.9560
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Observed active windloading on the eastern side of Lick Creek today.

12-18 inch slab broke easily when ski cut and a small but very reactive cornice was rapidly building.


More Avalanche Details
Bridger Range
Ross Peak
Two skiers caught in avalanche on Ross Peak
Incident details include images
Ross Peak
SS-ASu-R2-D1.5
Elevation: 8,500
Aspect: SE
Coordinates: 45.8586, -110.9560
Caught: 2 ; Buried: 2

Two skiers triggered an avalanche while ascending the Banana Couloir on Ross Peak on the morning of 12/5/22. The skiers were approximately 150 ft from the top of the couloir. The avalanche broke 20 ft above the upper skier. The slide broke in wind drifted snow 6 inches deep and approximately 30 ft wide, across most of the couloir. The lower skier was waiting in a "safe spot on the side" but was also caught by the slide. The slide ran ~600 vertical feet, pulling out a deeper pocket of snow (1.5-2 ft deep) midway down the path. Both skiers were fully submerged as they were carried, but ended up partially buried near the toe of the debris. One skier had snow packed into his mouth and underneath his eyelids. They returned to the trailhead under their own power. 


More Avalanche Details
Northern Gallatin
Mt Blackmore
Small windslabs on Mt. Blackmore
Incident details include images
Mt Blackmore
SS-ASc-R1-D1
Coordinates: 45.4444, -111.0040
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From obs on Mt Blackmore 12/2: " we were able to easily trigger shallow, short running windslabs by knocking down small cornices."


More Avalanche Details

Relevant Photos

Displaying 1 - 25
  • Observed active windloading on the eastern side of Lick Creek today.

    12-18 inch slab broke easily when ski cut and a small but very reactive cornice was rapidly building.

    Photo: N. Roe

  • There was 6" of new snow in Hyalite Canyon with increasing winds throughout the day. Our primary concern is avalanches within the new and wind-drifted snow. Photo: GNFAC

  • From obs on Mt Blackmore 12/2: " we were able to easily trigger shallow, short running windslabs by knocking down small cornices." Photo: C. Kussmaul

  • Toured up to the NE shoulder on Mt. Blackmore yesterday. Winds were strong and variable, but mostly gusting from the S-SW. A lot of snow was moving around, skin tracks were filled in very quickly, and you could actively see small cornices starting to build on the lee side of the ridge. Photo: H. Darby

  • On the descent, I intentionally triggered a small wind pocket in one of the chutes in the cliffs near the trail at 8700 ft. I included a video. It was D1 and about 5 inches deep at the crown. I think just a good reminder that even in the trees, the tops of those chutes get wind loaded and can definitely slide. Photo: H. Darby

  • Saw a group of skiers trigger a small wind slab avalanche on an eastern aspect at around 8,300' in the main fork of Hyalite in "Candy Land" just south of the climb Big League Chew at 2:00pm on Saturday (11/26). Crown looked to be around 2" to 1' and 90' wide. The slide ran maybe 100'. No skiers were caught. Photo: Anon

  • Saw a group of skiers trigger a small wind slab avalanche on an eastern aspect at around 8,300' in the main fork of Hyalite in "Candy Land" just south of the climb Big League Chew at 2:00pm on Saturday (11/26). Crown looked to be around 2" to 1' and 90' wide. The slide ran maybe 100'. No skiers were caught. Photo: Anon.

  • Crown of skier triggered slide at Bridger on 11/27: "NE face. Rollover around 35 degrees mellowing throughout the run. The face had tracks from earlier today before i triggered the slide. I was able to self arrest and stop myself before being carried. The crown was around 20-25 ft wide and the slide ran roughly 100ft downhill before stopping. Both myself and my partner skied away unharmed."

  • At 1:30pm on 11/23 I intentionally triggered a fresh drift of snow in a narrow avalanche path along the edge of the north bowl at Bridger. Northeast aspect at 7,600’ elevation. The crown was 6-8” deep consisting of snow that fell today, 20’ wide and ran 250’ vertical. SS-ASc-R2-D1.5-I. Photo: GNFAC

  • At 1:30pm on 11/23 I intentionally triggered a fresh drift of snow in a narrow avalanche path along the edge of the north bowl at Bridger. Northeast aspect at 7,600’ elevation. The crown was 6-8” deep consisting of snow that fell today, 20’ wide and ran 250’ vertical. SS-ASc-R2-D1.5-I. Photo: GNFAC

  • 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

  • During our trek up to Narcolepsy and the Champagne climbs, we observed a large amount of surface hoar atop the snow. There were large (1/4-1/2”) flat crystals growing from the snow sitting on a small icy faceted layer. It seemed to be widespread and was found throughout most of the canyon. We figured this may cause instability during the next snow accumulation

  • Toured into divide basin on Friday. Looking at the north face of hyalite peak we saw a slide that went to the ground, and was about 150 feet wide. It possible this slide propagated further, but severe wind loading was actively occurring and it was hard to tell if the crown had been filled back in. We dug a pit at 9300 feet on a SÉ aspect and found a 80-100 cm HS and right side up snow pack with minor faceting below a crust 30 cm from the bottom. 

  • This natural avalanche of wind blown snow narrowly missed hitting two skiers.

    Photo: Anonymous

  • From obs: "We observed lots of well developed surface hoar on Chestnut Mountain on top of approximately 12” - 15” of snow."

  • Surface hoar forming near grotto falls parking lot, on a tree but still indicative of area surface hoar. Photo: E. Jeannette

  • From obs: "Skied Hyalite Peak today and found a wind slab ~10cm deep. Ski cut a small cornice below the main face and broke a small slide that carried ~20’ with little energy with a ~25’ wide crown" Photo: C. Crowe

  • From obs: "Photos of a small wind slab avalanche (R1 D1)  from yesterday at approximately 7800 feet on the northern end of bradleys meadow. The slide was initiated by the second skier and although the rest of the slope was <30 degrees the starting zone was a NE facing steep cross loaded wind pillow just below the ridge. 

    As my friend was skiing down he saw a crack propagate up and to his left and was able to stop on the side of the path as the snow ran past him. The  crown was approximately 30-40 feet and ran about 100 feet." Photo: G. Roe

  • From IG: "Remotely skier trigger wind slab up on white worm near sac bowl". Photo: C. Howell

  • A skier remotely triggered an avalanche on Mt Blackmore (11/9/22).

    From email: "I ski cut the top of the face and remote triggered a hard slab from 50’ above the crown. It broke full width of the couloir feature, 150’ wide and 10-18” deep. Broke on new snow/old snow interface which was another hard wind slab. The avalanche ran the length of the East face and stopped just below the last set of cliffs."

     

  • A skier remotely triggered an avalanche on Mt Blackmore (11/9/22).

    From email: "I ski cut the top of the face and remote triggered a hard slab from 50’ above the crown. It broke full width of the couloir feature, 150’ wide and 10-18” deep. Broke on new snow/old snow interface which was another hard wind slab. The avalanche ran the length of the East face and stopped just below the last set of cliffs."

     

  • While traveling up the Fairy Lake road, we observed the aftermath of an avalanche in October Bowl. The avalanche was D2-D3, start zone was at approximately 9000 ft, north east aspect, crown depth and width is unknown. Photo: H. Bigos-Lowe

  • Skiers found a thin snowpack that is beginning to weaken (facet). Read observation here. Photo: T McCutcheon.

  • 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


Bozeman Pass, Looking SE

Snowpit Profiles- Northern Gallatin

 

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Weather Forecast Northern Gallatin

Extended Forecast for

14 Miles SE Gallatin Gateway MT

  • Today

    Today: Sunny, with a high near 23. Wind chill values as low as zero. Southwest wind 13 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.

    Sunny

    High: 23 °F

  • Tonight

    Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 12. Wind chill values as low as -5. Southwest wind around 14 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.

    Mostly Clear

    Low: 12 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: Patchy blowing snow after 11am. Sunny, with a high near 20. Wind chill values as low as -5. Breezy, with a south southwest wind 16 to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 36 mph.

    Patchy
    Blowing Snow
    and Breezy

    High: 20 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 12. Wind chill values as low as -10. Breezy, with a south wind 22 to 26 mph, with gusts as high as 41 mph.

    Partly Cloudy
    and Breezy

    Low: 12 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: A 50 percent chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 20. West southwest wind 14 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    High: 20 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: A 20 percent chance of snow before 11pm.  Partly cloudy, with a low around 9. South southwest wind 13 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow then
    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 9 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: A 20 percent chance of snow after 11am.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 22. South wind 18 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow

    High: 22 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: A chance of snow, mainly after 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 19. South wind around 14 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 19 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: Snow likely, mainly after 11am.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 26.

    Snow Likely

    High: 26 °F

The Last Word

Watch our playlist of YouTube videos to get caught up on our avalanche concerns this season.

12 / 5 / 22  <<  
 
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