Trip Planning for Cooke City Area

as of 5:00 am
Jan 222″ | 10-20 WNW
Jan 21 2″ | 10-20 NW
Jan 20 0″ | 10-30 NW
10,000′     01/23 at 01:00
16.2℉
NW - 8mph
Gusts 13mph
9100′   01/23 at 01:00
18℉
64″ Depth
Bottom Line: The recent storm dropped 3-4” of new snow. This is minimal weight added to a generally stable snowpack, and without much wind to create thicker unstable slabs, large avalanches are unlikely today. Watch out for loose snow avalanches or isolated drifts in very steep terrain, above cliffs, or slopes where getting knocked off your feet by a small avalanche would have high consequences.
Primary Problem: Wind-Drifted Snow

Past 5 Days

Tue Jan 18

Low
Wed Jan 19

Low
Thu Jan 20

Low
Fri Jan 21

Low
Sat Jan 22

Low

Relevant Avalanche Activity

Cooke City
Republic Mountain
Skier triggered on north face of Republic
Incident details include images
Republic Mountain
SS-ASu-R2-D1.5-O
Elevation: 10,000
Aspect: N
Coordinates: 45.0066, -109.9600
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From email 1/22/22: "This morning (20220122) I was ascending a steep North facing couloir up the N summit of Republic Mountain and on ascent (boot packing) about 1/2 way up the line I triggered a small soft slab from that propagated around the rock I was tucked behind, 40M above me and and 20M across. Luckily, my ascent line was sheltered from any above exposure and I was not caught or carried in anyway. The crown ranged from 8cm where I triggered it to an estimated 25cm at its deepest. The avalanche ran an estimated 200M. I believe the windslab ran on 1-3mm NSF's (evident on the bed surface) formed in the high pressure before the recent light precip."


More Avalanche Details
Cooke City
COOKE CITY
Many small, loose avalanches in Cooke City
Incident details include images
COOKE CITY
L-N-R0-D1-S
Elevation: 9,800
Coordinates: 45.0202, -109.9380
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From obs: "Slides on north and northeast sides of Crown Butte. Also what appears to be ski/ snowboarder triggered small slides under Chimney Rock, west-facing slope." 


More Avalanche Details
Cooke City
Sheep Creek
A few natural new snow/wind-slabs
Sheep Creek
SS-N
Elevation: 9,700
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 45.0344, -109.9840
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From skiers in Cooke 1/9/21:

"Observed a couple of recent, new snow, wind slab avalanches that appeared to occur during the storm.  Upper elevation, N-E aspects, all very steep, wind loaded terrain.  Most appeared to be triggered by cornice falls, and nothing propagated very wide from what I could tell."

"Wind slab on East face of Sheep mountain today. D1.5,mid slope".

 


More Avalanche Details

Relevant Photos

Displaying 1 - 40
  • From email on 1/22/22: "This morning (20220122) I was ascending a steep North facing couloir up the N summit of Republic Mountain and on ascent (boot packing) about 1/2 way up the line I triggered a small soft slab from that propagated around the rock I was tucked behind, 40M above me and and 20M across. Luckily, my ascent line was sheltered from any above exposure and I was not caught or carried in anyway. The crown ranged from 8cm where I triggered it to an estimated 25cm at its deepest. The avalanche ran an estimated 200M. I believe the windslab ran on 1-3mm NSF's (evident on the bed surface) formed in the high pressure before the recent light precip."

  • Snowmobilers observed several small, dry loose avalanches in the new snow on Crown Butte on 1/21/22. Photo: R. DeSilva

  • Snowmobilers observed small, naturally triggered avalanches on Crown Butte. This avalanche occurred in the new snow on a wind-loaded slope. Photo: R. DeSilva

  • Observers noted very small, skier-triggered avalanches in the new snow on Chimney Rock. Photo: R. DeSilva

  • On January 18, 2022 a weak layer of surface hoar was buried by 1-2" of new snow near Cooke City. As more snow builds a slab over this weak layer it will cause avalanches. Photo: GNFAC

  • On January 18, 2022 a weak layer of surface hoar was buried by 1-2" of new snow near Cooke City. As more snow builds a slab over this weak layer it will cause avalanches. Photo: GNFAC

  • We saw surface hoar on all aspects near Cooke City on January 16, 2022. Photo: GNFAC

  • Settlement rings around the base of trees near Cooke City, January 15, 2022. Photo: B. Fredlund

  • A cornice collapse likely triggered this large natural avalanche on 27 Dec 2021. The crown was 4-6' deep. Photo: S. Culotta

  • From obs: 1/8/22: "...One minor avalanche observed in Republic Creek.  It was on a steep and rocky E, NE aspect around 9700'..." Photo: B. Fredlund

  • From obs: 1/8/22: "Observed natural north Scotch Bonnet". Ran during storm 1/6-1/8. Photo: D. Wycoff

  • Large, deep avalanche on East face of Mt. Abundance. Photo from 1/2/22: S. Strenge

  • Large, deep avalanche on East face of Mt. Abundance. Photo from 1/2/22: S. Strenge

  • Large, deep avalanche on East face of Mt. Abundance. Photo from 1/2/22: S. Strenge

  • Snomobilers observed this natural avalanche on a NE aspect on Sheep Mountain on 1/1/22. It appeared to be more than 48 hours old. Photo: J. Fritz

  • This photo shows where people and their machines were buried. Photo: S. Strenge

  • Upper portion of the fatal avalanche on Scotch Bonnet. 12/28/21

    Photo: GNFAC

  • Crown of the fatal avalanche on Scotch Bonnet. 12/28/21.

    Photo: GNFAC

  • GNFAC Forecasters Ian Hoyer and Doug Chabot at the crown of the fatal avalanche on Scotch Bonnet. 12/28/21 

    Photo: GNFAC

  • Snowmobilers riding near Mount Abundance north of Cooke City triggered two avalanches on Dec. 27th. No one was caught or injured. Photo: Anonymous

  • Snowmobilers riding near Mount Abundance north of Cooke City triggered two avalanches on Dec. 27th. No one was caught or injured. Photo: Anonymous

  • A sled was recovered uphill of the 2 avalanche victims in the same area it was stuck. The sled was found with a probe line and is buried 3-4 feet deep. The avalanche crown can be seen in the upper slopes above them. Photo: GNFAC

  • The crown of the avalanche that killed two snowmobilers on December 27, 2021 was 300 feet wide and 4-5 feet deep. Photo: GNFAC

  • These are the two sites where the 2 snowmobilers were recovered. They were buried 4-5 feet deep in debris piles that measured 9 feet deep. Photo: GNFAC

  • Ian Hoyer stands next to the crown where we dug a snowpit and investigated the snow structure. The crown averaged 4-5 feet deep. Near his right knee is the layer of weak faceted snow that broke 40 cm above the ground. Above this layer was a thick slab of windblown snow. Photo: GNFAC

  • Skiers reported this natural avalanche on a wind-loaded slope on Henderson Mountain. They estimated the maximum crown depth to be 4-6' likely triggered by a cornice fall. Photo: W. Miller

  • We are sad to report that on December 27th, two snowmobilers were caught and killed in an avalanche on Scotch Bonnet Mountain to the north of Cooke City. The avalanche broke 5’ deep and approximately 300’ wide on a southeast-facing slope.

    Members of Park County Sheriff Search and Rescue arrived to assist with rescue and recovery efforts. 

    Our deepest condolences go out to the victim’s friends and family, members of the group, and the search and rescue community. We will release further details as they become available.

    Photo: B. Zavora

  • We are sad to report that on December 27th, two snowmobilers were caught and killed in an avalanche on Scotch Bonnet Mountain to the north of Cooke City. The avalanche broke 5’ deep and approximately 300’ wide on a southeast-facing slope.

    Members of Park County Sheriff Search and Rescue arrived to assist with rescue and recovery efforts. 

    Our deepest condolences go out to the victim’s friends and family, members of the group, and the search and rescue community. We will release further details as they become available.

    Photo: B. Zavora

  • We are sad to report that on December 27th, two snowmobilers were caught and killed in an avalanche on Scotch Bonnet Mountain to the north of Cooke City. The avalanche broke 5’ deep and approximately 300’ wide on a southeast-facing slope.

    Members of Park County Sheriff Search and Rescue arrived to assist with rescue and recovery efforts. 

    Our deepest condolences go out to the victim’s friends and family, members of the group, and the search and rescue community. We will release further details as they become available.

    Photo: B. Zavora

  • We are sad to report that on December 27th, two snowmobilers were caught and killed in an avalanche on Scotch Bonnet Mountain to the north of Cooke City. The avalanche broke 5’ deep and approximately 300’ wide on a southeast-facing slope.

    Members of Park County Sheriff Search and Rescue arrived to assist with rescue and recovery efforts. 

    Our deepest condolences go out to the victim’s friends and family, members of the group, and the search and rescue community. We will release further details as they become available.

    Photo: B. Zavora

  • From Beartooth Powder Guides: Saw this small natural avalanche today while coming back from the yurt. While being small on the relativity scale, it seems to have broke fairly deep.

  • We generally stayed away from wind-loaded slopes today in Cooke City; however, we triggered this crack while crossing through a large drift of snow on Scotch Bonnet. This is an indicator of issues we will find on wind-loaded slopes right now. Photo: GNFAC

  • New snow in Cooke City on December 20th. Photo: GNFAC

  • In shallow areas near rock bands and wind-scoured slopes, we found a more developed weak layer of depth hoar. These shallow areas will be areas of concern when they get loaded by a larger storm or wind event. Photo: GNFAC

  • Cooke City Beacon Checker.

    Photo: R. Youngbar

  • New snow was blown into thick drifts that can be triggered by skiers or riders. Cracking like this is a sign that drifts are unstable and could slide on steeper slopes. Photo: GNFAC

  • This small natural wind slab was observed north of Cooke City on 12/7/21. Photo: GNFAC

  • From email (12/5/21) : "Small avalanche triggered while approaching ice climb in East fork of Hyalite basin. 

    Another D1 natural avalanche was observed later in the day similar aspect/elevation

    NE @7600’
    SS-AFu-D0.5-I"

    Photo: A. Schoening

  • Skiers on Mount Blackmore observed cracking within the freshly wind-loaded snow on a southeast-facing slope just below the ridge (11/24/21). Photo: J Schack

  • From e-mail 11/15/21: "east Henderson had a fresh slab avalanche- on a NE aspect around 10,000'.  It appeared to have failed on a weak layer near the ground, and I'd guess it was about 2-3' deep and 300'+ wide." Photo: B. Fredlund

WebCams


Soda Butte Lodge, looking East

Soda Butte Lodge, looking West

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

  • Overnight

    Overnight: Mostly clear, with a steady temperature around 20. West wind around 11 mph.

    Mostly Clear

    Low: 20 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 29. West wind 10 to 16 mph.

    Mostly Sunny

    High: 29 °F

  • Sunday
    Night

    Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 12. West wind 9 to 13 mph.

    Mostly Clear

    Low: 12 °F

  • Monday

    Monday: A 40 percent chance of snow after 11am.  Partly sunny, with a high near 23. West wind 7 to 11 mph.  New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    High: 23 °F

  • Monday
    Night

    Monday Night: A 50 percent chance of snow, mainly before 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 7. West northwest wind 8 to 10 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

    Chance Snow
    then Slight
    Chance Snow

    Low: 7 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 22. West southwest wind 7 to 11 mph.

    Mostly Sunny

    High: 22 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a steady temperature around 13. Southwest wind around 11 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 13 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 23. West wind around 11 mph.

    Partly Sunny

    High: 23 °F

  • Wednesday
    Night

    Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 8. West wind around 10 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 8 °F

The Last Word

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle ran a story on a-day-in-the-life of an avalanche forecaster that highlighted Dave Zinn.


  <<  This is the most recent forecast.