Trip Planning for Cooke City Area

as of 5:00 am
Mar 241″ | 10-20 SW
Mar 23 0″ | 5-20 NW
Mar 22 1″ | 5-10 NE
10,000′     03/24 at 23:00
5.0℉
NW - 9mph
Gusts 12mph
9100′     03/24 at 23:00
13℉
105″ Depth
Bottom Line: There are two major avalanche concerns today - avalanches breaking in the new and windblown snow and huge deep slab avalanches. Be wary once more than a couple inches of new snow have accumulated. The larger and much more dangerous concern is deep slab avalanches. Everytime it has snowed in the last month we’ve seen a deep slab avalanche break somewhere in our advisory area. This makes us nervous of even the relatively small snowfall amounts we’re expecting today.
Primary Problem: Persistent Weak Layer

Past 5 Days

Mon Mar 20

Moderate
Tue Mar 21

Considerable
Wed Mar 22

Moderate
Thu Mar 23

Moderate
Fri Mar 24

Moderate

Relevant Avalanche Activity

Cooke City
Daisy Pass
Snowmobiler triggered, caught and injured, Daisy Pass
Incident details include images
Daisy Pass
HS-AMu-R3-D2-O
Elevation: 10,000
Aspect: SW
Coordinates: 45.0550, -109.9530
Caught: 2 ; Buried: 0

On the morning of March 23, 2023 near Daisy Pass, two snowmobilers were stuck on a slope and a third was snowmobiling up to help when a large avalanche was triggered. The two stuck riders were caught and carried, and one of them sustained potentially life-threatening leg injuries. The third rider was able to safely ride off the slope and was not caught by the avalanche.

One rider in the group rode into Cooke City to contact Search and Rescue. Cooke City/Park County Search and Rescue transported the injured rider back to Cooke City where he was transferred to an air ambulance.

The avalanche was on a southwest facing slope at 10,000’, it broke up to 4’ deep and 150’ wide, and is classified HS-AMu-R3-D2-O.

 


More Avalanche Details
Cooke City
Woody Ridge
Small wind slabs on Woody Ridge
Incident details include images
Woody Ridge
SS-N-R0-D1
Elevation: 9,700
Aspect: W
Coordinates: 44.9739, -109.9240
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Skied on west and east sides of Woody Ridge.  Observed a few small soft wind slab avalanches involving only new snow around the submarine. Dug a pit about a meter deep on west aspect about 9,700 feet.  HS was 290cm. No result on extended column test. Fist to 265, 4F to 245, 1f to 200 where there is a crust layer, back to 1f below that.


More Avalanche Details
Cooke City
Henderson Mountain
Large snowmobile triggered slide on Henderson
Incident details include images
Incident details contain video
Henderson Mountain
HS-AMu-R4-D3-O
Elevation: 10,000
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 45.0576, -109.9520
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From obs 3/18/23: "Watched two riders on the north side of Henderson / Daisy pass high marking. One triggered an large avalanche and got stuck at the crown. Crown was taller than him. Guessing 8-10’ deep and 200+ yards wide. His friend had his back turned to the slide and didn’t see it happen. We were across around the sheep mtn/ Scotch Bonnet area and watched the whole thing happen. We boogied over there as fast as possible to help."

More media and story: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cp8qvlfO4sM/ (Credit: C. Diffley)

 


More Avalanche Details

Relevant Photos

Displaying 1 - 40
  • On the morning of March 23, 2023 near Daisy Pass, two snowmobilers were stuck on a slope and a third was snowmobiling up to help when a large avalanche was triggered. The two stuck riders were caught and carried, and one of them sustained potentially life-threatening leg injuries. The third rider was able to safely ride off the slope and was not caught by the avalanche. Photo: B. Zavora

  • On the morning of March 23, 2023 near Daisy Pass, two snowmobilers were stuck on a slope and a third was snowmobiling up to help when a large avalanche was triggered. The two stuck riders were caught and carried, and one of them sustained potentially life-threatening leg injuries. The third rider was able to safely ride off the slope and was not caught by the avalanche. Photo: B. Zavora

  • On the morning of March 23, 2023 near Daisy Pass, two snowmobilers were stuck on a slope and a third was snowmobiling up to help when a large avalanche was triggered. The two stuck riders were caught and carried, and one of them sustained potentially life-threatening leg injuries. The third rider was able to safely ride off the slope and was not caught by the avalanche. Photo: B. Zavora

  • On the morning of March 23, 2023 near Daisy Pass, two snowmobilers were stuck on a slope and a third was snowmobiling up to help when a large avalanche was triggered. The two stuck riders were caught and carried, and one of them sustained potentially life-threatening leg injuries. The third rider was able to safely ride off the slope and was not caught by the avalanche. Photo: B. Zavora

  • Skied on west and east sides of Woody Ridge.  Observed a few small soft wind slab avalanches involving only new snow around the submarine. Dug a pit about a meter deep on west aspect about 9,700 feet.  HS was 290cm. No result on extended column test. Fist to 265, 4F to 245, 1f to 200 where there is a crust layer, back to 1f below that.

  • "Attached are a few photos of old deep slab avalanches north of town... the south face of scotch bonnet. Hard to tell the depth of the crown but it’s very visible from the lulu road, so probably pretty deep." Photo: Z. Peterson

  • Attached are a few photos of old deep slab avalanches north of town... a south face north of round lake above 10,000’. The crown was mostly filled in but the deepest exposed part was 2-3’ deep. Photo: Z. Peterson

  • From 3/18/23: "Watched two riders on the north side of Henderson / Daisy pass high marking. One triggered a large avalanche and got stuck at the crown. Crown was taller than him. Guessing 8-10’ deep and 200+ yards wide.... We were across around the sheep mtn/ Scotch Bonnet area and watched the whole thing happen. We boogied over there as fast as possible to help." Photo: C. Diffley

  • From 3/18/23: "Watched two riders on the north side of Henderson / Daisy pass high marking. One triggered a large avalanche and got stuck at the crown. Crown was taller than him. Guessing 8-10’ deep and 200+ yards wide.... We were across around the sheep mtn/ Scotch Bonnet area and watched the whole thing happen. We boogied over there as fast as possible to help." Photo: C. Diffley

  • A few recent slides were visible today on south, east and west aspect around goose lake zone. Looked like mostly wind slabs in the new snow. Photo: P. Hinmon

  • A few recent slides were visible today on south, east and west aspect around goose lake zone. Looked like mostly wind slabs in the new snow. Photo: P. Hinmon

  • Saw this natural D2 soft slab off the east aspect of Miller Ridge. The crown looks shallow, so I’m guessing it ran at the storm interface. 3/16/23. Photo: N. Hance

  • From Obs: "Heard tree breakage, saw plumes of snow and sliding snow at the bottom of the slide path. Our group spoke with the sledders and skiers that were on the slope and confirmed none were caught. Skiers reported feeling slide tremble and backed down the mountain. The main breakage was near top of the third shoot from the lookers right." Photo: N. Repphun

  • From obs: "I triggered an avalanche on the way back down the mountain. I'm unsure of the exact location but a buddy said it was under bear tooth butte. I was able to outrun the avalanche, and there were no injuries."

  • From obs: "I triggered an avalanche on the way back down the mountain. I'm unsure of the exact location but a buddy said it was under bear tooth butte. I was able to outrun the avalanche, and there were no injuries."

  • From obs: "Large avalanche with small tree and branch debris. Located on the lower NE bench face of Mt Abundance, near Lake Abundance. There were snowmobile tracks near the slide but could not determine if that was the cause. Approx 2000 feet across. Possibly 4-6 feet deep but couldn't tell from the bottom of the hill." Photo: D Green

     

  • From obs: "Large avalanche with small tree and branch debris. Located on the lower NE bench face of Mt Abundance, near Lake Abundance. There were snowmobile tracks near the slide but could not determine if that was the cause. Approx 2000 feet across. Possibly 4-6 feet deep but couldn't tell from the bottom of the hill." Photo: D Green

  • Snowmobile triggered on a path called "Marty's" above Daisy Pass road. This was similar aspect as the slide on Crown Butte yesterday, and likely had a similar snowpack structure. We checked the debris for a beacon signal to be sure no one was caught, and did not find one. This may have been triggered today (3/12). Photo: GNFAC

  • Snowmobile triggered on a path called "Marty's" above Daisy Pass road. This was similar aspect as the slide on Crown Butte yesterday, and likely had a similar snowpack structure. We checked the debris for a beacon signal to be sure no one was caught, and did not find one. This may have been triggered today (3/12). Photo: GNFAC

  • Snowmobile triggered on a path called "Marty's" above Daisy Pass road. This was similar aspect as the slide on Crown Butte yesterday, and likely had a similar snowpack structure. We checked the debris for a beacon signal to be sure no one was caught, and did not find one. This may have been triggered today (3/12). Photo: GNFAC

  • Slide on Crown Butte that was triggered by a snowmobiler yesterday (3/11/23). This was on a SW aspect at 9,600'. It was 1-3 feet deep and broke on a layer of surface hoar and large facets below a hard slab of wind-drifted snow. Photo: GNFAC

  • Natural on the east side of Sheep Mtn. that was a hard slab of wind-drifted snow on a heavily wind loaded slope near the high ridgeline at 10,500', East aspect. Photo: GNFAC

  • This slide on Fisher Mtn. was a very large natural that broke the night of 3/10-3/11, and appeared up to 10 feet deep. 10,200', E aspect. Photo: GNFAC

  • This slide on Fisher Mtn. was a very large natural that broke the night of 3/10-3/11, and appeared up to 10 feet deep. 10,200', E aspect. Photo: GNFAC

  • This slide on Fisher Mtn. was a very large natural that broke the night of 3/10-3/11, and appeared up to 10 feet deep. 10,200' E aspect. Photo: GNFAC

  • From FB message: "triggered this today (3/11/23) in Cooke City south side of Crown Butte."

  • Large natural avalanche on Fisher Mtn. observed 3/11/23 (screenshots from IG story, A. Mulkey)

  • Large natural avalanche on Fisher Mtn. observed 3/11/23 (screenshots from IG story, A. Mulkey)

  • From obs 3/11/23: "Saw a deep crown today in Republic Valley. This is peak 10383 (just north east of republic peak). Crown looks about 100 feet wide and probably 5 feet deep. Couldn’t see debris or how far it ran." Photo: J. Mundt

  • On the afternoon of 3/11/23 there was a large avalanche in the main gully on Town Hill (southerly aspect) above Cooke. Photo: GNFAC

  • Several avalanches observed D2-D2.5.
    Crown depth 80-120cm
    SSW @ 8800’

    Photo: B. Hoiness

  • Several avalanches observed D2-D2.5.
    Crown depth 80-120cm
    E @ 9700’
    Photo: B. Hoiness

  • Several avalanches observed D2-D2.5.
    Crown depth 80-120cm
    ENE @ 10,000’
    Photo: B. Hoiness

  • Observed 3/11/23: E aspect, around 9,000'. Photo: B. Fredlund

  • Seen 3/11/23, NW aspect, around 10,000'. (This starting zone also avalanched in a similar way around Feb. 21). Photo: B. Fredlund

  • Photo attached of a recent avalanche near Cooke, on the north face of Mt. Republic.  Steep, rocky, north facing.  Everything that I have been seeing the last 2 days has been similar:  steep, rocky north faces above tree line, often associated with wind loading, and cornices.  We observed 4 other similar avalanches yesterday, like the photo attached.

  • A group of snowmobilers captured an image of what we believe was a skier-triggered avalanche on Miller Mountain from 3/2. Photo: R. Stacy

  • From obs. "Around 4 or 5 pm today we rode out of Sheep Creek into the Miller Mountain area. When we looked at Miller there was a large avalanche that appeared to have occurred naturally (to our knowledge). It looked like the crown was 12-24'' and a few hundred feet wide. The debris looked fresh and must have occurred today. Given the depth we assumed it was windslab that had built up sometime in the last few days; however, hard to tell from so far away." Photo: R. Stacy

  • From obs. "Around 4 or 5 pm today we rode out of Sheep Creek into the Miller Mountain area. When we looked at Miller there was a large avalanche that appeared to have occurred naturally (to our knowledge). It looked like the crown was 12-24'' and a few hundred feet wide. The debris looked fresh and must have occurred today. Given the depth we assumed it was windslab that had built up sometime in the last few days; however, hard to tell from so far away." Photo: R. Stacy

  • On Buck Ridge today (3/5/23) we found fresh, unstable drifts. This fresh slab was 4-6" deep. Cracking like this is a sign that wind slabs will avalanche on steeper slopes. Photo: GNFAC

Videos- Cooke City Area

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

Winter Storm Warning until March 27, 12:00pmClick here for hazard details and duration Winter Storm Warning
  •  Winter Storm Warning until March 27, 12:00pm

    NOW until
    12:00pm Mon

    Winter Storm Warning

  • Overnight

    Overnight: Snow showers.  Low around 12. Wind chill values as low as zero. West northwest wind 9 to 14 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total nighttime snow accumulation of around 3 inches.

    Snow Showers

    Low: 12 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: Snow.  High near 25. Wind chill values as low as -5. North wind 14 to 16 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.

    Snow

    High: 25 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: Snow.  Low around 8. Wind chill values as low as -5. North wind 9 to 15 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of around 2 inches.

    Snow

    Low: 8 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: Snow.  High near 22. Wind chill values as low as -5. North northeast wind 9 to 15 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of around 3 inches.

    Snow

    High: 22 °F

  • Sunday
    Night

    Sunday Night: Snow likely, mainly before midnight.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 3. North northeast wind 9 to 15 mph becoming northwest after midnight.  Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.

    Snow Likely
    then Chance
    Snow

    Low: 3 °F

  • Monday

    Monday: Snow likely, mainly after noon.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 21. West southwest wind 9 to 11 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow
    then Snow
    Likely

    High: 21 °F

  • Monday
    Night

    Monday Night: A 20 percent chance of snow before midnight.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 4. Southwest wind 10 to 13 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow then
    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 4 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: A 30 percent chance of snow after noon.  Partly sunny, with a high near 26. Southwest wind 10 to 13 mph.

    Partly Sunny
    then Chance
    Snow

    High: 26 °F

The Last Word

On Wednesday, March 22nd, a snowmobiler was killed in an avalanche in central Idaho. This brings the total number of avalanche fatalities in March to 7 people across the U.S.

More info on each event is available at the Avalanche.org Accidents Page.

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