Trip Planning for Northern Gallatin

as of 5:00 am
Today0″ | 20-40 W
Jan 30 0″ | 15-27 W
Jan 29 0″ | 0-0 E
9980′     01/31 at 18:00
9.2℉
W - 24mph
Gusts 38mph
8100′     01/31 at 18:00
17℉
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

High
Sat Jan 28

High
Sun Jan 29

Considerable
Mon Jan 30

Considerable
Today

Considerable

Relevant Avalanche Activity

Northern Gallatin
Flanders Creek
Large Cracks near Ice climb in Hyalite
Incident details include images
Flanders Creek
N
Elevation: 8,000
Coordinates: 45.4402, -110.9310
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From text: "went up to Champagne Sherbet to ice climb but then there was a big fracture on the approach! Got to a safe spot and dug to see - a strange drifted wind slab over the old belay area has created a scary snow cave trap! We bailed out of there..."


More Avalanche Details
Northern Gallatin
Natural avalanche up Little Bear
Incident details include images
SS-N-R3-D1
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

While snowmobiling up Little Bear we witnessed this natural avalanche. There was 2-3' of new snow. 


More Avalanche Details
Northern Gallatin
Mt Blackmore
Avalanche debris and crowns On blackmore
Incident details include images
Mt Blackmore
SS-N-R3-D2
Elevation: 9,000
Aspect: N
Coordinates: 45.4444, -111.0040
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

There were numerous debris piles, point releases, and crowns on the north face of Elephant and the northeast face of Blackmore this morning.  Most of them appeared to have run during the storm (1/27) and had been covered by at least 6 inches of new snow. 


More Avalanche Details

Relevant Photos

Displaying 1 - 40
  • From text: "went up to Champagne Sherbet to ice climb but then there was a big fracture on the approach! Got to a safe spot and dug to see - a strange drifted wind slab over the old belay area has created a scary snow cave trap! We bailed out of there..."

  • From IG message: "Another one today. Back of buck creek. Triggered 100 yards above where I crossed below it in the safe zone, after I went by. No burials."

  • From obs 1/28/23: "While snowmobiling up Little Bear we witnessed this natural avalanche. There was 2-3' of new snow." Photo: J. Otis

  • From obs 1/28/23: "There were numerous debris piles, point releases, and crowns on the north face of Elephant and the northeast face of Blackmore this morning.  Most of them appeared to have run during the storm (1/27) and had been covered by at least 6 inches of new snow." Photo. S. Regnerus

  • From IG: Shooting crack on east facing slope in Goose Creek. Photo. O. Desroches

  • From IG:

    Fairy lake today (1/27/23), remote trigger from top of the ridge

    About 2-2.5ft deep about 75-100 ft wide

     

  • Skiers near Mt Blackmore noted loose snow avalanches with ski cuts. This one slid for about 50 feet on a 34 degree slope. This location did not present any signs of significant wind loading. Photo: E. Schreier

  • From Big Sky Ski Patrol 1/21/23: "skier triggered a surface wind slab in Wyoming Bowl that broke 8-12” deep. It propagated to an estimated 150’ wide- SS, R1/D1.5... The slide was small, no one was hurt, and the avalanche was reported (which we appreciate), with no further public involvement other than the trigger."

  • Bad quality but a D2, R3 natural in Flanders cirque. Looked like it was just the new snow, but hard to say.... on a NW aspect around 9,500 feet. Photo: O. Desroches

  • Today we toured up Storm Castle Ridge with hopes of skiing the 19th Street Couloir. On the approach we were able to trigger small (2-4") wind slabs on most lee aspects, these slides ran fast and far for their size.

     

  • From obs: "Toured into Alex Lowe basin today and noticed lots of point release slides. Most started as spindrift in the cliff bands along the ridge and gained more snow as they fell into the aprons. Skied a north and south-facing couloir, ski cut at the top of both runs and got the new snow to sluff most of the way down. Didn't encounter any cohesive slabs, just lots of sluff sliding down." Photo: S. Lipsteuer

  • Darren Johnson was a passionate skier, patroller, and wildland firefighter and this fund helps his memory live on. During the week of January 16, 2023, there are two events happening to help spread awareness about the DJ Fund and generate donations for the next recipients to attend National Avalanche School in October 2024. The first event is at the Independent Theatre on Tuesday, January 17. This charity event has a $10 entry fee which includes a raffle ticket to a silent auction. On Thursday, January 19, join us at Beehive Basin Brewery for a raffle and pint night in which $1 from every pint sold goes into the DJ Memorial Fund.

    To donate to the Darren Johnson Avalanche Education Memorial Fund visit djmemorialfund.org, or join us at these two exciting events hosted by Yellowstone Club Ski Patrol. Huge thanks to all who have sponsored and donated to these events.

  • From obs:

    While skiing down 'Fat Maid' I triggered a shallow wind slab, after I was about 3/4ths of the way down the couloir. The slide broke to my left as I entered a wider section of the run, that holds a small perched bowl feature (which is what ripped out). The slide didn't propagate out into the main couloir, so the debris never impacted me. Even if it had, I don't think it would've been big enough to knock myself or any other skier off their feet. The slide was about 1/2 the width of the couloir and ran out to about 3/4ths of the apron's length (R2 D1?). The crown was 1-3" deep and maybe 30-40' wide. 

    Photo: C. Kussmaul

  • From Obs: "Observed recent small wind slab avalanches under the ridgeline as well as one larger slide that broke on weak snow near the ground, likely cause by cornice fall."

  • On Jan 2, a natural avalanche released in the gully above Bobo Like in the Flanders Drainage and washed over a pair of climbers. No one was caught or injured. 

  • Jan 3, 2023: Dug a pit and found weak and unstable snow. We backtracked to the ridge. A recent avalanche from 2 days ago involved new, windblown snow. 

  • Natural avalanche on 1/1/23 on Saddle Peak. Appeared to involve the new, wind-drifted snow. Photo: BBSP

  • 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 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

  • From email: Dug a pit on a NW aspect near the bottom of Lick Creek. Saw sugary facets 50 cm down from the surface of the snow. Perfromed an ECT and got ECTX. 

  • Toured up to the east face of Mt. Blackmore today. We observed two small natural loose dry avalanches occurring right around noon on the new/old snow interface at about 9700' on the E aspect. The largest one ran about 200 feet down into the bowl. 

    We observed a hollow snowpack on our ascent and dug a pit at 9600' just below the northeast ridge. We found several weak layers that were fracturing beneath two well-defined crusts. We got a CT2 @ 135cm, CT11 @ 130cm, CT13 @ 118cm, and CT15 @ 115cm; in our extended column test we got ECTP15 Q2 @ 130cm.

  • 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

  • Today we toured up Beehive Basin to Prayer Flags and down into Bear Basin. We found moderate winds transporting snow at Prayer Flags. We also observed a recent small natural avalanche that broke just below the cornice at prayer flags (9200'). It was unclear if a cornice collapse triggered the avalanche. We did not go to the crown, but estimated it to be about 20-30 feet wide, 6-8 inches deep, and running less than 100 feet. Photo: J. Breen

  • From email: "This was in a wind-protected area with soft surface snow and no obvious prior wind loading.  By this time it had gotten considerably colder, so we did not spend much time there. The total snow depth was about 115 cm, and the faceted layer went from 50 cm to the ground. ECTP23, and broke clean and smooth.  There were also a couple of ECTNs in the upper snowpack above the ECTP." Photo K Birkeland

     

  • From 12/17: "We observed numerous recent wind slabs that released naturally in the past 24 hours on NE and E aspects with some crowns starting to get covered up throughout the day. Judging from afar, I would estimate these crowns to be 6 inches to 1.5 feet deep." Photo: Tommy S.

  • Obs 12/17: "Saturday afternoon on the way back into town snow was moving in the Spanish peaks. Nice light" 

  • From obs: 12/16: "I thought this would be interesting to share but while driving around Gallatin gateway today I noticed multiple small wind pockets that released in steep draws in the gateway foothills area." Photo: M. Gaffney

  • "Large slough or slide in Hyalite today. Taken from Lick Creek. Looks like either land of the lost or avalanche gulch" - J. Johnson

  • Small slide from the cliff bands at about 9500’, on a NE facing slope on Blackmore - looked like it broke pretty shallow sometime after the snow yesterday. Photo: S.K. 

  • I dug a pit above Silken Falls in the gulley. I found a weak layer of facets breaking about 10" under a wind slab (ECTP15). We did not get any cracking, but the terrain is very serious and even a small slide could be deadly. We did not feel comfortable center punching up the gully. Given how much traffic the gullies are getting, I do not think it is widespread, but it's out there and could avalanche.

    Wind and snow this weekend may make this layer more unstable, so it's important to be careful crossing exposed terrain. Either rope up or tun around if it is suspect.

     

  • I dug a pit above Silken Falls in the gulley. I found a weak layer of facets breaking about 10" under a wind slab (ECTP15). We did not get any cracking, but the terrain is very serious and even a small slide could be deadly. We did not feel comfortable center punching up the gully. Given how much traffic the gullies are getting, I do not think it is widespread, but it's out there and could avalanche.

    Wind and snow this weekend may make this layer more unstable, so it's important to be careful crossing exposed terrain. Either rope up or tun around if it is suspect.

     

  • 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."

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

  • Tonight

    Tonight: A 50 percent chance of snow, mainly before 2am.  Areas of blowing snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 9. Wind chill values as low as -10. Breezy, with a west southwest wind 18 to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 38 mph.  Total nighttime snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

    Chance Snow
    and Areas
    Blowing Snow

    Low: 9 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: Patchy blowing snow before 3pm, then patchy blowing snow after 5pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 24. Wind chill values as low as -10. Breezy, with a west southwest wind 17 to 22 mph, with gusts as high as 36 mph.

    Patchy
    Blowing Snow
    and Breezy

    High: 24 °F

  • Wednesday
    Night

    Wednesday Night: Patchy blowing snow between 8pm and 9pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 12. Wind chill values as low as -5. South wind 16 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.

    Patchy
    Blowing Snow
    then Mostly
    Cloudy

    Low: 12 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 30. Wind chill values as low as -5. South southwest wind around 14 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.

    Mostly Sunny

    High: 30 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 18. South wind 14 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 18 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: Partly sunny, with a high near 31. Breezy, with a south southwest wind around 22 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph.

    Partly Sunny
    and Breezy

    High: 31 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 17. Southwest wind 15 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 17 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 28. South southwest wind around 17 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy

    High: 28 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 17.

    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 17 °F

The Last Word

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

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