Trip Planning for Cooke City Area

as of 5:00 am
Today2″ | 10-24 SW
Feb 28 1″ | 13-34 W
Feb 27 7″ | 20-60 N
10020′     02/29 at 07:00
14.1℉
SW - 11mph
Gusts 22 mph
9100′     02/29 at 07:00
19℉
63″ Depth
Primary Problem: Wind-Drifted Snow
Bottom Line: Wind is blowing at all elevations and scraping away the fresh snow into thick drifts which are dangerous and could be triggered. The weight of recent wind drifts are making slopes unstable. A person is likely to trigger a slide if they get into avalanche terrain. Even small slopes can avalanche and these point to instability that can be found on bigger slopes.

Past 5 Days

Sun Feb 25

Considerable
Mon Feb 26

High
Tue Feb 27

High
Wed Feb 28

Considerable
Today

Considerable

Relevant Avalanche Activity

Cooke City
COOKE CITY
Avalanches North of Cooke City
Incident details include images
COOKE CITY
N
Coordinates: 45.0202, -109.9380
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From email: "We didn't see any avalanches on E Henderson or E Sheep with decent vis on the ride in. One large avalanche on a heavily wind loaded slope below a huge cornice north of Scotch Bonnet. That one looked like it broke deeper/in the old snow, about 100' wide. Also saw one wind slab on a small slope north of Long Lake. 14-16" deep, 20' wide, and within the fresh wind slab. "


More Avalanche Details
Cooke City
Miller Ridge
Avalanches on Miller Ridge
Incident details include images
Miller Ridge
N-R2-D2-O
Aspect: N
Coordinates: 45.0423, -109.9650
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From IG message: “These are on the ridge between Miller Mtn and Sunset Peak on North aspect. All of the North facing ridge of Miller Creek up to Miller Mountain had similar slides too. The crowns filled back in overnight… The North facing ridge on Sheep Mtn slid as well, not sure on the trigger but a rider from another group send the following image of the Sheep slide


More Avalanche Details
Cooke City
Woody Ridge
Wind Slab South of Cooke City
Incident details include images
Woody Ridge
HS-AS-R1-D1-I
Elevation: 9,900
Aspect: W
Coordinates: 44.9739, -109.9240
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From Obs: "Toured up the west side of Woody via Central Park approach. Moderate to high wind gusts at the ridge line. Skied a couple laps in variable conditions on Sub bowl and then returned to the West aspect for a lap down South Central . 

Traversed into the tube at tree-line roughly 9900’ and triggered a small wind slab. Crown was around ~1 foot deep and maybe 40 feet wide. Possibly stepped down a bit once in the tube and then ran for about 300 feet. 

HS-AS-D1-R1"


More Avalanche Details

Relevant Photos

Displaying 1 - 40
  • Riders N. of Cooke City saw a recent avalanche north of Scotch Bonnet that broke 100' and several feet deep. Photo: A. Marienthal

  • Riders north of Cooke City saw a recent windslab that broke 14-16" deep, and 20' wide. Photo: A. Marienthal

  • A group reported many avalanches on the northern aspect of Miller Ridge. Some had filled back in from wind drifted snow. Other crowns were crisp. Photo: J. Padilla

  • Skiers on West Woody Ridge triggered a wind-slab avalanche that failed 1 foot deep and 40 feet wide. The avalanche ran 300 feet. Photo: N. Dogg

  • Skiers on West Woody Ridge triggered a wind-slab avalanche that failed 1 foot deep and 40 feet wide. The avalanche ran 300 feet. Photo: N. Dogg

  • On 2/24/24: We saw a slide on the north end of Sheep Mtn. on a slope above the steep chute where people climb out of Goose Creek. This slide had not been reported previously and looked similar in age to the two triggered yesterday, so maybe broke naturally or human-triggered in last 24 hours. It broke near a scoured north facing ridgeline, 1-1.5' deep, 175' wide. HS-R3-D2-O. Photo: GNFAC

  • On 2/24/24: We saw a slide on the north end of Sheep Mtn. on a slope above the steep chute where people climb out of Goose Creek. This slide had not been reported previously and looked similar in age to the two triggered yesterday, so maybe broke naturally or human-triggered in last 24 hours. It broke near a scoured north facing ridgeline, 1-1.5' deep, 175' wide. HS-R3-D2-O. Photo: GNFAC

  • On 2/24/24: We saw another slide on the north end of Sheep Mtn. on a slope above the steep chute where people climb out of Goose Creek. This slide had not been reported previously and looked similar in age to the two triggered yesterday, so maybe broke naturally or human-triggered in last 24 hours. It broke near a scoured north facing ridgeline, 1-1.5' deep, 175' wide. HS-R3-D2-O. Photo: GNFAC

     

  • On 2/24/23 we got a pretty good look at the slides on Fisher Mtn. that were triggered yesterday. They appeared 2-3 feet deep, and the debris was very hard. Crowns were already at least half drifted in. Photo: GNFAC

  • Riders on 02/23/2024 saw an avalanche that appeared to of broken naturally. However, a rider on 02/23/2024 triggered a steep slope around the corner and could likely have remotely triggered this avalanche as well. Photo: D.Shelley

  • A snowmobiler triggered a large avalanche on the north side of Fisher Mountain on 02/23/2024. He was caught and carried downhill but luckily was not buried. Photo: D.Shelley

  • A snowmobiler triggered a large avalanche on the north side of Fisher Mountain on 02/23/2024. He was caught and carried downhill but luckily was not buried. Photo: D.Shelley

  • From obs: "Photo of an avalanche observed yesterday (2/21) on the SW face of Sawtooth Mountain at about 10,600’. Looks to be a few days old, but hard to tell since all skier traffic from the weekend has been erased with Tuesday’s wind/precip. If you look closely, you can see the crown extends across the entire face." Photo: A. Joy

  • Riders on 02/18/2024 saw an avalanche that was triggered a few days prior on 02/16/2024. 

  • Riders saw recently triggered slides that were likely triggered by snowmobilers on 02/17/2024. 

  • A rider on 02/18/2024 saw a recent avalanche that was likely remotely triggered by a snowmobiler the day before on 02/17/2024. 

  • Close to the ridge and the starting zones of nearby avalanche paths, we triggered a large collapse that sent shooting cracks out a couple hundred feet. If the slope had been any steeper, we would have triggered an avalanche. Photo: GNFAC

  • Close to the ridge and the starting zones of nearby avalanche paths, we triggered a large collapse that sent shooting cracks out a couple hundred feet. Photo: GNFAC

  • We triggered a large collapse that shot cracks across an avalanche starting zone. If it had been any steeper, we would have triggered a slide. Photo: GNFAC

  • From email: "A large avalanche. crown propogated through the cliffs and looked to be about 200' wide and 1 1/2-2 ft. deep. Debris was no longer visible so I suspect this ran sometime during or shortly after the storm. (02/15)." Photo: G. Roe

  • From email: "A large avalanche. crown propogated through the cliffs and looked to be about 200' wide and 1 1/2-2 ft. deep. Debris was no longer visible so I suspect this ran sometime during or shortly after the storm. (02/15)." Photo: G. Roe

  • A rider triggered a small avalanche on a steep rollover. Photo: GNFAC

  • From ob on 02/17/2024: "From woody ridge, we observed a large avalanche across the republic creek drainage (not sure what the peak is called but see the coordinates). I heard it first since it sounded like thunder or a plane, and then saw a huge cloud of snow moving down the mountain across the drainage.  We do not know if it was natural or triggered by someone." Photo: B. Huyard

     

     

  • From email on 02/18/2024: "Photo natural avalanche on a NW aspect at 9000', taken north of Cooke City today. It likely happened right around Feb. 15th."

  • Riders north of Cooke City observed a recent avlanche that appeared to be triggered by snowmobilers on the east side of Henderson Mountain. Photo: Z. Peterson

  • Riders north of Cooke City observed a recent avlanche that appeared to be triggered by snowmobilers on the east side of Henderson Mountain. Photo: Z. Peterson

  • Riders triggered a large avalanche on 02/16/2024 on the north side of Scotch Bonnet Mountain. Photo: Z. Peterson

  • A natural avalanche on the north side of Chimney Rock happened early in the morning on 02/16/2024. Photo Z. Peterson

  • A natural avalanche on the east side of Wolverine Peak was observed on 02/16/2024 and happened at the start of or during a recent storm on 02/15/2024. Photo: Z. Peterson

  • A snowmobiler on 02/16/2024 triggered a large avalanche on the north side of Scotch Bonnet Mountain. Photo: D. Green

  • Natural avlanche observed on 02/16/2024 that happened either early in the morning on the 16th or the night before on the 15th. Photo: J. Mundt

  • A recent avalanche on the east side of Henderson Moutain. This avalanche likely happened a few days ago around 02/11/2024. Photo: B. Zavora 

  • Photo: A. Mulkey

  • Photo: A. Mulkey 

  • From email: "Natural avalanche from yesterday evening or last night.  

    North facing aspect, with an interesting 3 tiered crown beginning around 8900'." Photo: B. Fredlund

  • From email: "Natural avalanche from yesterday evening or last night.  

    North facing aspect, with an interesting 3 tiered crown beginning around 8900'." Photo: B. Fredlund 

  • From obs: "We observed three similar avalanches on Mt Abundance today (2/11). All were at about 9,900' and on NE-NW aspects. We were able to safely look at the crown of the first one, which was ~150' wide, 55cm deep, and with an HS of 145. It failed on 1-2 cm buried surface hoar. The other avalanches were on shallow unsupported rocky terrain. All were remote triggered from low angle terrain above, 20-50' away. One of the avalanches sympathetically released a gully and ran 800'." Photo: A.

  • From obs: "We observed three similar avalanches on Mt Abundance today (2/11). All were at about 9,900' and on NE-NW aspects. We were able to safely look at the crown of the first one, which was ~150' wide, 55cm deep, and with an HS of 145. It failed on 1-2 cm buried surface hoar. The other avalanches were on shallow unsupported rocky terrain. All were remote triggered from low angle terrain above, 20-50' away. One of the avalanches sympathetically released a gully and ran 800'." Photo: A.

  • From obs: "We observed three similar avalanches on Mt Abundance today (2/11). All were at about 9,900' and on NE-NW aspects. We were able to safely look at the crown of the first one, which was ~150' wide, 55cm deep, and with an HS of 145. It failed on 1-2 cm buried surface hoar. The other avalanches were on shallow unsupported rocky terrain. All were remote triggered from low angle terrain above, 20-50' away. One of the avalanches sympathetically released a gully and ran 800'." Photo: A.

  • From obs: "We observed three similar avalanches on Mt Abundance today (2/11). All were at about 9,900' and on NE-NW aspects. We were able to safely look at the crown of the first one, which was ~150' wide, 55cm deep, and with an HS of 145. It failed on 1-2 cm buried surface hoar. The other avalanches were on shallow unsupported rocky terrain. All were remote triggered from low angle terrain above, 20-50' away. One of the avalanches sympathetically released a gully and ran 800'." Photo: A.

Videos- Cooke City Area

WebCams


Soda Butte Lodge, looking West

Soda Butte Lodge, looking East

Snowpit Profiles- Cooke City Area

 

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Weather Forecast Cooke City Area

Extended Forecast for

2 Miles NNE Cooke City MT

Winter Storm Warning February 29, 06:00pm until March 2, 06:00pmClick here for hazard details and duration Winter Storm Warning
  • Today

    Today: A 20 percent chance of snow after 11am.  Increasing clouds, with a high near 31. West southwest wind 18 to 23 mph increasing to 24 to 29 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 49 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow

    High: 31 °F

  • Tonight

    Tonight: Snow, mainly after 2am. The snow could be heavy at times.  Steady temperature around 27. Southwest wind 30 to 35 mph increasing to 36 to 41 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 60 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of around 4 inches.

    Heavy Snow

    Low: 27 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: Snow.  Widespread blowing snow. High near 25. West southwest wind 33 to 38 mph decreasing to 25 to 30 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 60 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

    Snow and
    Blowing Snow

    High: 25 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: Snow likely.  Widespread blowing snow, mainly before 8pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 12. Wind chill values as low as zero. South wind 17 to 22 mph decreasing to 10 to 15 mph in the evening. Winds could gust as high as 41 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Snow Likely
    and Blowing
    Snow

    Low: 12 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: Snow.  Patchy blowing snow after 11am. High near 26. Southwest wind 14 to 19 mph increasing to 20 to 25 mph in the morning.  Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of around 4 inches.

    Snow and
    Patchy
    Blowing Snow

    High: 26 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: Snow.  Patchy blowing snow before 8pm. Low around 4. Southwest wind 25 to 30 mph decreasing to 17 to 22 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 44 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.

    Snow and
    Patchy
    Blowing Snow

    Low: 4 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: Snow.  High near 16. Southwest wind 13 to 17 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of around 2 inches.

    Snow

    High: 16 °F

  • Sunday
    Night

    Sunday Night: Snow likely, mainly before 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 3. West wind 13 to 18 mph becoming south southwest after midnight.  Chance of precipitation is 70%.

    Snow Likely
    then Chance
    Snow

    Low: 3 °F

  • Monday

    Monday: Snow likely, mainly after 11am.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 16. Southwest wind 13 to 18 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 60%.

    Snow Likely

    High: 16 °F

The Last Word

Clear weather and temperature fluctuations can make a weak layer in the top few cm of the snowpack called near-surface faceting. There are 3 dominant types which are explained in Bruce Jamieson’s new video featuring Karl Birkeland, Doug Chabot, Ed Adams, Mike Cooperstein, Ethan Greene and Mark Staples.

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