Snow Observations List

Island Park
Sawtelle Peak
Snow assessment sawtell

Rode Sawtell past two days. Very wide spread stout slab formed under the new snow that’s fallen. Heavy winds have scoured new snow away in places and deposited pillows in other aspects. Dug a pit with ECTX results but did not two layers of concern. One thin buried facet layer about 60cm down and the thick melt freeze about 80cm down. HS was 160 on a SE aspect about 8300. 

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S. Jonas
Northern Gallatin
Hyalite - main fork
Whumphs in Hyalite
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Skiing some dog pow across Hyalite reservoir between 7200-7800’ on a NE pitch I got lots of whumphs and shooting cracks while braking trail. This was a shallower snowpack than most other areas, it was still easy to break into basil facets with skis on.

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D. Zinn
Bridger Range
Saddle Peak
Wind Slab Avalanche on Quarter Saddle
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I was skiing inbound at Bridger Bowl today and noticed a small wind slab avalanche that failed on quarter saddle. I estimate comparing the photo to Google Earth that the slide ran 250 vertical feet and broke 100+ feet wide. Ongoing wind-loading and obvious instability. 

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Anonymous
Northern Gallatin
Mt Blackmore
Natural Avalanche off Blackmore Trail
Snow Obsdrvation includes images
Snow Obs contain video

From IG: This avalanche was from this morning (02/28). It was windy and the gully was likely wind-loaded. One video shows the debris and crown. The pin on the map (below) shows the location of the debris.

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GNFAC
Bridger Range
The Ramp
Strong winds, but hopeful snowpit
Snow Obsdrvation includes images
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We exited Bridger Bowl ski area via the gate at the top of the Alpine Lift, ascended Bradley's Meadow and The Ramp and dug in one of the Refrigerator Chutes on a NE aspect at ~8000 ft. We found a snowpack that made us pretty hopeful about the direction things are headed in the Bridger Range. Snow depth was 160 cm and we got ECTX results. At least in this location, the weak layers are starting to heal. The early January weak layer was 1Finger hardness. We are not at all confident yet about how widespread this is, but nonetheless, it is nice to see things getting better somewhere.

Winds were calm below the ridgeline, but we could see big plumes transporting in Wolverine Bowl. Yesterday's skin track was completed drifted in in some places.

Around a foot of new snow from the last couple days made for good riding conditions.

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Felt MODERATE on non-windloaded slopes. CONSIDERABLE appropriate for the windload.

N. Hance
Cooke City
COOKE CITY
Cooke City Observations 02/27
Snow Obsdrvation includes images

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. "

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GNFAC
Southern Madison
Taylor Fork
New Snow and Wind in Taylor Fork
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We rode up Taylor Fork around Skyline Ridge towards Cabin Creek. We found 12" of new snow had fallen over the last 24 hours. With poor visibility, we were unable to see any recent avalanche activity except for a small recent avalanche that happened near Beaver Slide. This was right next to a much larger slide that Doug and Ian had seen on 02/14/2024. While riding back we had a good view of the backside of Skyline Ridge above us and again saw no recent avalanche activity. However, many slopes had been stripped by recent winds. Strong winds and a foot of new snow that fell onto a weak snowpack kept us off of and out from underneath steep slopes, and recent snow made for pleasant riding conditions. 

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J. Padilla
Cooke City
Miller Ridge
Avalanches on Miller Ridge
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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“

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N. Dogg
Cooke City
Woody Ridge
Wind Slab South of Cooke City
Snow Obsdrvation includes images

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

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J. Alford
Northern Madison
Bear Basin
Windslab avalanche in bear basin
Snow Obsdrvation includes images

Went up to the prayer flags today. On the ridge about 100yards below the flags I went to the end of the cornice and gave it a stomp. Triggered a windslab that propagated about 50 to the left. 
HS-ASc- D1-R1-I

The crown was roughly 1-1.5 ft deep in the most wind loaded area. 
Multiple slides have went on this slope already this year, some running a good distance down through the trees. 

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GNFAC
Cooke City
Henderson Bench
More wind, and poor snowpack structure
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We rode up the road to Henderson Bench and dug on a northeast facing slope at 9,670'. While digging it was clear how poor the snowpack structure was. It was difficult to dig through a 2 foot thick hard slab, but once through the slab I sunk to the ground through 1.5 feet of weak sugary facets. We had an ECTX. After some extra hits, removing 2/3 of the slab, and a few more hard hits, we got a dramatic collapse and propagation. The facets were F+ in hardness below a P+ hard slab. Although the weak layer was difficult to affect in this spot, finding the right spot on a slope to collapse the weak layer would produce a big avalanche, as shown by a rider triggered slide two days ago on Fisher Mtn.

We also rode up to Daisy Pass. Visibility was good enough to see most slopes, but in flat light. We didn't notice any new avalanches.

Snow was falling lightly (S -1). Overcast skies. Wind was moderate with frequent strong gusts out of the west-southwest, forming drifts along road cuts and convexities.

 

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Moving into a trickier snowpack. Tracks on many steep slopes, "stable" test scores, and less obvious signs, but the weak layer is still weak as ever. The snowpit today was a very similar structure to what I saw in the Bridgers the year of the wet slab cycle. A thick pile of depth hoar on the ground with a solid slab above... The depth hopar was worse in 2011-12, but not much. Oh yea, and the surface hoar is on top of the basal facets, just in case.

Despite a lack of activity, considerable feels right. It seems like a wind-loaded slope should break naturally even before this storm really gets going.

Northern Madison
Buck Ridge
Multiple slides on buck

Saw multiple large slides around the McAtte drainage N/NE aspects. Some were larger than others but all ran on what looked like a persistent grain or even to the ground in some. Probably natural released over last few days.

During our time out the wind was hammering the ridge and clearing transporting and forming slabs. 

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M. Zia
Northern Gallatin
Hyalite - main fork
Avalanches above Cleos
Snow Obsdrvation includes images

Several small slabs pulled out above The Shimmy, left of Cleo's. Observed from across the valley while climbing the Dribbles. Did not observe them run, only saw the crowns. Unknown date of avalanches, but crowns were quite distinct from across the way.

Lots of wind transport all day.

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GNFAC
Cooke City
Scotch Bonnet
Wind drifting snow and recent avalanches
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We rode to the south shoulder of Scotch Bonnet, then over Lulu Pass, towards Round Lake behind the north end of Sheep Mtn., and back to Lulu Pass. It was snowing very lightly and wind was blowing strong. Wind was blowing snow into drifts 6-8" thick on the leeward side of trees and convexities. We had intermittent ok visibility and could see old debris from last weekend on east Henderson, and 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.

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 (photos attached). 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.

We dug a pit on the south facing shoulder of Scotch Bonnet and had an ECTP24, down 1.5 feet, not on the previous layers of concern which were lower down (pit attached).

Regardless of stability test results or which layer slides are breaking on, recent avalanche activity and more wind-loading is enough evidence to avoid avalanche terrain.

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Danger felt considerable with the stormy conditions and wind-loading. The place definitely got hammered by people last weekend. Many tracks in the Rastas and on the southeast bowl of Scotch Bonnet. Without the current loading it probably would have felt moderate, but we didn't quite make it there or missed it... I expect an easy HIGH on Monday or Tuesday if forecast snowfall plays out.

Anonymous
Northern Madison
Fan Mountain
Large slide north east basin of Fan

Large slide in the north basin of fan mountain. The flies is below the north, north east couloir and the crown runs all the way around the basin. It went to the ground below the couloir and a few other places. 10ft crown probably at the biggest point below the couloir. 
 

no photos due to poor camera

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K. Stahl
Lionhead Range
LIONHEAD AREA
Avalanche between Bald Peak and Lionhead
Snow Obsdrvation includes images

Observed signs of a large avalanche along West aspect of Lionhead.  I am not sure when it occured.  At this distance and my experience level I can only estimate the crown at 3-4' and 1000'+ feet wide.  It appears to have run about 650' vertical feet and the runout zone goes all the way to Targhee creek into several terrain traps. 

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W. Hubbard
Northern Gallatin
Lick Creek
Variable in Hyalite

We noticed that a widespread crust had formed at lower elevations from the recent warm spell, especially in areas without consistent shade. The snow that remained available for transport was easily being picked up by moderate to strong SW winds at treeline. Many tracks had been filled in by the wind transported snow, and a dense, hollow windslab was found in isolated spots.

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K. Marvinney
Bridger Range
Naya Nuki Bowl
Wind in the Bridgers
Snow Obsdrvation includes images

The snow ranger crew was out in the Bridgers today, mostly lower down in the Throne and Naya Nuki areas.  The wind was very strong all day long and even in the woods our tracks were filling lightly from wind transported snow.  We could see a fair amount of snow blowing over the ridge top and some very textured looking snow higher up.  We did not see any recent avalanches.  

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M. Rolfson
Northern Madison
Buck Ridge
Remote triggers - McAtee
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North facing aspect above McAtee creek.  Triggered one remotely while traversing below, ~150 yards away, and likely triggered the second one from below as well but cannot confirm. 4-6 foot crowns, 50-100 yards wide, ran 75-100 yards

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D.Shelley
Cooke City
Lulu Pass
Two slides near top of lulu pass
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One slide seems to be natural.

just around the ridge, lookers right, a snowmobile triggered slide

rider in photo. Rider was carried downhill, not buried. Very very lucky

the two slide seem to have happened at the same time

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