Trip Planning for Lionhead Range

as of 5:00 am
Today0″ | 20-25 SW
Jan 30 0″ | 15-35 NW
Jan 29 0″ | 10-21 NNE
9420′     01/31 at 18:00
-9.3℉
SW - 25mph
Gusts Unknown mph
7750′     01/31 at 18:00
1℉
59″ Depth
Bottom Line: West to northwest winds averaging 15-25 mph continue to drift recent snow into thick slabs that are likely to avalanche under the weight of a skier or rider today. Avoid slopes with active wind-loading or signs of recent wind-loading, such as drifts, a stiffening of the snow surface or a hollow, drum-like feel. After last week’s significant snowfall, approach any non-wind-loaded slopes with skepticism due to buried weak layers. Dig down and carefully assess for instability, carry rescue gear and travel one at a time in avalanche terrain.
Primary Problem: Persistent Weak Layer

Past 5 Days

Fri Jan 27

Considerable
Sat Jan 28

Considerable
Sun Jan 29

Considerable
Mon Jan 30

Considerable
Today

Considerable

Relevant Avalanche Activity

Lionhead Range
Lionhead Ridge
Natural avalanches in Lionhead
Incident details include images
Lionhead Ridge
SS-N-R1-D1.5-O
Coordinates: 44.7145, -111.3180
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Observed two recent natural avalanches on 1/25/23 that broke 1-2 feet deep, presumably on a surface hoar layer. There was a couple of inches of snow on each of these slides, so I would place them between three and five days old. The slides were R1-D1.5 in size - 75-100' wide, 1-2' deep, and 100' vertical fall. Photo: GNFAC


More Avalanche Details
Lionhead Range
Two Top
Small avalanche off Two Top
Incident details include images
Two Top
SS-AMu-R1-D1-I
Coordinates: 44.6249, -111.2590
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Small avalanche broke while descending to less exposed areas.  Approximately 80 yards wide, 18” deep.  Slid for approximately 90 yards from crown. 


More Avalanche Details
Lionhead Range
LIONHEAD AREA
Natural and sledder triggered slides, Lionhead
Incident details include images
Incident details contain video
LIONHEAD AREA
Coordinates: 44.7292, -111.3230
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Dave and Doug rode around and saw multiple natural and 1 sledder triggered slide on Lionhead. Some were thin and just involved news snow and others were deeper and broke on the buried surface hoar layer.


More Avalanche Details

Relevant Photos

Displaying 1 - 40
  • Observed two recent natural avalanches on 1/25/23 that broke 1-2 feet deep, presumably on a surface hoar layer. There was a couple of inches of snow on each of these slides, so I would place them between three and five days old. The slides were R1-D1.5 in size - 75-100' wide, 1-2' deep, and 100' vertical fall. Photo: GNFAC

  • Observed two recent natural avalanches on 1/25/23 that broke 1-2 feet deep, presumably on a surface hoar layer. There was a couple of inches of snow on each of these slides, so I would place them between three and five days old. The slides were R1-D1.5 in size - 75-100' wide, 1-2' deep, and 100' vertical fall. Photo: GNFAC

  • Surface hoar can often be seen as a grey stripe on the wall of your snowpit as was the case at Bacon Rind in the Southern Madison Range on 1/23. Photo: GNFAC

  • A natural slide in the back bowls of Lionhead.

  • Dave and Doug rode around and saw multiple natural and 1 sledder triggered slide on Lionhead. Some were thin and just involved news snow and others were deeper and broke on the buried surface hoar layer.

  • Dave and Doug rode around and saw multiple natural and 1 sledder triggered slide on Lionhead. Some were thin and just involved news snow and others were deeper and broke on the buried surface hoar layer.

  • Small avalanche broke while descending to less exposed areas.  Approximately 80 yards wide, 18” deep.  Slid for approximately 90 yards from crown. 
     

  • Small avalanche broke while descending to less exposed areas.  Approximately 80 yards wide, 18” deep.  Slid for approximately 90 yards from crown. 

  • Small avalanche broke while descending to less exposed areas.  Approximately 80 yards wide, 18” deep.  Slid for approximately 90 yards from crown. 
     

     

  • On a Jan. 16 tour into Beehive, we found the concerning layer of feathery surface hoar buried under 6" of snow. It is widespread from Big Sky through West Yellowstone and Cooke City. It has produced avalanches near Hebgen Lake, with more snow, it will likely produce avalanches in Beehive too. Photo: GNFAC

  • Skinned up to the ridge and when we were almost to the top my partner was out front and triggered a noticeable whumpf.    ESE aspect, 8950 ft.

    HS = 135

    SH at 105 cm, ECTP3

    DH at 45 cm, ECTP23

  • Skier unintentionally triggered and was caught in wind slab avalanche on the Y couloir in Sheep Creek Drainage. Skier was carried 10m before self arresting. The slide ran ~250m down and broke across the entire width of the couloir. There were no injuries and skied away. 

  • The snow rangers from the Hebgen Lake Distract standing on the debris of a large avalanche near the Airplane Bowl at Lionhead Area. Photo: GNFAC

     

  • We observed several recent storm and wind slab avalanches from Lionhead Ridge. Photo: GNFAC

     

  • We observed several recent storm and wind slab avalanches from Lionhead Ridge. Photo: GNFAC

     

  • We looked at the avalanche that killed a snowmobiler yesterday (12/31/22) on Crown Butte near Cooke City. Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the victim, and those involved with the rescue and recovery. Photo: GNFAC

  • On the way back to Lionhead.  Came upon this recent avalanche.  Rushed up to the group of 4 guys.  They were fine, not the guys who set it off.  The group of 6 we passed going there set it off.  The group of 4 said they saw these guys ... all on the hill at same time, stuck and climbing around the stuck guy.  All were okay but I hear one guy was shaken up. 4-5ft deep at break by 200-300ft wide, ran 400+ft. Photo: T. Anafarta

  • On the way back to Lionhead.  Came upon this recent avalanche.  Rushed up to the group of 4 guys.  They were fine, not the guys who set it off.  The group of 6 we passed going there set it off.  The group of 4 said they saw these guys ... all on the hill at same time, stuck and climbing around the stuck guy.  All were okay but I hear one guy was shaken up. 4-5ft deep at break by 200-300ft wide, ran 400+ft. Photo: T. Anafarta

  • On December 31, 2022 a snowmobiler was killed in a very large avalanche north of Cooke City, MT. The avalanche occurred near Daisy Pass on Crown Butte on a southeast facing slope at 9,800’. The avalanche appeared to be 2-4' deep, 500' wide, 600' vertical, and broke on weak snow near the bottom of the snowpack. Photo: GNFAC

  • Many slick roofs shed this winter's snow with the above-freezing temperatures. There are some impressive fracture lines at the ice rink in Bogert Park in Bozeman. Photo: GNFAC

  • Alex Marienthal cuts a column for his stability test on Ski Hill in Lionhead. Photo: GNFAC

  • Alex Marienthal points a 5 cm thick weak layer of faceted snow that broke with an ECTP10. Photo: GNFAC

  • This Beacon Checker was installed by the Hebgen District FS snow rangers at the trailhead to Denny Creek and Lionhead Ridge. It was made possible by the family of Bradie Becker in partnership with The Friends of GNFAC. Bradie was killed in an avalanche on Lionhead Ridge on February 6th, 2022. Photo: J. Norlander

  • We dug a pit at 9,000 feet on a SE facing slope above Hebgen Lake. We found weak snow under a slab that broke with an ECTP26. Photo: GNFAC

  • Participants in the West Yellowstone Avalanche Fundamentals Field Session found unstable conditions near "Ski Hill" in the Lionhead area on December 6, indicating that large, human-triggered avalanches are possible. Photo: GNFAC

  • From IG 12/3: "It was natural. Happened last night or this morning. It hadn't slid when we left yesterday. We were first tracks in today, and there were no tracks above or below this slide. Crown at the peak was around 6'. Average 2-3' crown. 10' debris piles at least." Photo: R. Malmstrom

  • From IG 12/3: "It was natural. Happened last night or this morning. It hadn't slid when we left yesterday. We were first tracks in today, and there were no tracks above or below this slide. Crown at the peak was around 6'. Average 2-3' crown. 10' debris piles at least." Photo: R. Malmstrom

  • Photo: R. Malmstrom

  • Lots of avalanche activity. Lots of cracking and propagation from the skis. Photo: R. Malmstrom

  • Lots of avalanche activity. Lots of cracking and propagation from the skis. Photo: R. Malmstrom

  • Lots of avalanche activity. Lots of cracking and propagation from the skis. Photo: R. Malmstrom

  • Lots of avalanche activity. Lots of cracking and propagation from the skis. Photo: R. Malmstrom

  • Lots of avalanche activity. Lots of cracking and propagation from the skis. Photo: R. Malmstrom

  • A snowmobiler noted cracking of the snow surface on the south face of Reas Peak out of Island Park. The wind crust was 3-4" thick and had facets underneath which aided the propagation. Photo: Anonymous

  • 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

  • Observer reported "A number of Avalanche Crowns on an east aspect at 9500 ft." in Tepee Basin.

  • An observer reported "A number of Avalanche Crowns on an east aspect at 9500 ft." in Tepee Basin

  • 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

  • We completed the setup of a SNOdar snow depth sensor on Sawtelle Peak in the Centennials on Wednesday 10/19. Forecaster Ian Hoyer for scale.

    Located at 8800 feet elevation. The sensor will record total snow depth and 24 hr snowfall. Data will be displayed on our website soon at: http://www.mtavalanche.com/weather/stations/sawtelle-snow.

WebCams


Rendezvous Ski Trail, W. Yellowstone

Snowpit Profiles- Lionhead Range

 

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Weather Forecast Lionhead Range

Extended Forecast for

10 Miles WNW West Yellowstone MT

  • Tonight

    Tonight: A 30 percent chance of snow, mainly between 11pm and 3am.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around -4. Wind chill values as low as -25. Southwest wind 10 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.  Total nighttime snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

    Chance Snow

    Low: -4 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 12. Wind chill values as low as -15. Southwest wind 9 to 13 mph.

    Partly Sunny

    High: 12 °F

  • Wednesday
    Night

    Wednesday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 0. Wind chill values as low as -10. Southwest wind around 9 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 0 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 19. Wind chill values as low as -15. South wind 6 to 10 mph.

    Mostly Sunny

    High: 19 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 7. South wind 8 to 10 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 7 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: A 20 percent chance of snow after 11am.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 22. Breezy, with a south southwest wind 10 to 15 mph increasing to 17 to 22 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 28 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow and
    Breezy

    High: 22 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: A 30 percent chance of snow, mainly before 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 12. Southwest wind 10 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.  Little or no snow accumulation expected.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 12 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: A slight chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 19. South southwest wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow

    High: 19 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: A slight chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 14.

    Slight Chance
    Snow

    Low: 14 °F

The Last Word

Check out the weather and avalanche log for a rundown of recent weather and avalanche conditions.

01 / 30 / 23  <<  
 
this forecast
 
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