Trip Planning for Southern Madison

as of 5:00 am
Jan 220″ | 10-18 NNW
Jan 21 8″ | 20-35 NW
Jan 20 0″ | 10-20 NW
9460′     01/23 at 02:00
25.0℉
NW - 6mph
Gusts 12mph
9000′   01/23 at 02:00
22℉
Depth
Bottom Line: Avalanches are possible to trigger where recent snow is drifted into slabs up to 1-2 feet thick. Be cautious of steep, wind-loaded slopes, especially if you see wind transporting snow today, or other signs of instability like cracking across the snow surface or fresh avalanches. Before riding steep slopes dig and do a quick stability test to look for unstable weak layers buried below the recent snow. Although unlikely, a much larger avalanche breaking on weak snow near the bottom of the snowpack could be triggered by a smaller wind slab or cornice fall.
Primary Problem: Wind-Drifted Snow

Past 5 Days

Tue Jan 18

Low
Wed Jan 19

Low
Thu Jan 20

Low
Fri Jan 21

Moderate
Sat Jan 22

Moderate

Relevant Avalanche Activity

Northern Madison
Beehive Basin
Skier triggered cornice beehive basin
Incident details include images
Beehive Basin
SS-NCu-R3-D2-O
Elevation: 9,300
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.3379, -111.3990
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From email 1/9/21: "Skier triggered cornice failure avalanche. Broke at skis 10-12 feet from the lip. No one caught or injured."


More Avalanche Details
Southern Madison
Taylor Fork
Natural avalanches in southern Madison
Incident details include images
Taylor Fork
SS-N-R3-D2-I
Elevation: 10,000
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.0607, -111.2720
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0
More Avalanche Details
Southern Madison
Red Mountain
Natural Avalanches Red Mountain
Incident details include images
Red Mountain
HS-N-R2-D2
Coordinates: 44.9474, -111.1560
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Several natural avalanches were observed on Red Mountain. These avalanches were seen on 1/13/22, but likely occurred around 1/8/22. 


More Avalanche Details

Relevant Photos

Displaying 1 - 32
  • A group at Ernie Miller Ridge had an unstable test score in their second snowpit of the day (1/16/22). Lingering instabilities are isolated but it is an excellent idea to dig down and test the snowpack before getting into avalanche terrain. Photo: T Dumbrovsky

  • Riders reported on 1/15/22: "Some surface hoar is forming on nearly every aspect at all elevations. over 1 cm thick in some areas." Photo: B. Rasmussen

  • Riders reported on 1/15/22: "Some surface hoar is forming on nearly every aspect at all elevations. over 1 cm thick in some areas." Photo: B. Rasmussen

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

  • Seen 1/14/22, R1-D2 on west aspect at 9,500'. Photo: GNFAC

  • Avalanche that is likely 5-7 days old in Sunlight Basin, Taylor Fork, southern Madison Range. Photo taken 1/14/22 by GNFAC

  • Avalanche that is likely 5-7 days old in Sunlight Basin, southern Madison Range. Photo taken 1/14/22 by GNFAC

  • Avalanche that is likely 5-7 days old in Taylor Fork, southern Madison Range. Photo taken 1/14/22 by GNFAC

  • Avalanches on Red Mountain. Photo taken 1/13/22. Likely broke around 1/8/22. Photo: M. Standal

  • A group in Cabin Creek saw a very large crown from an avalanche that occurred on the east aspect of Sage Peak last weekend (1/7 or 1/8). Photo: Anonymous

  • From email 1/9/22: "Skier triggered cornice failure avalanche. Broke at skis 10-12 feet from the lip. No one caught or injured."

  • From email 1/9/22: "Skier triggered cornice failure avalanche. Broke at skis 10-12 feet from the lip. No one caught or injured."

  • 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

  • Dave Zinn of the GNFAC gets 3 layers breaking in his Extended Column Test. About 3 feet of snow fell in the last 4 days which got blown into wind slabs. The weight of the new snow is also creating instability on a weak layer of sugary facets near the ground. Photo: GNFAC

  • Bare ground on the ridge between Tepee Basin and Bacon Rind Creek. Nearby we found 4 ft deep drifts. 12/22/21. Photo: GNFAC

  • An avalanche in Tepee Basin appears to have failed within or under the new snow around 12/15/21. Photo taken 12/22/21.

    Photo: GNFAC

  • An avalanche in Tepee Basin that broke under new snow on facets near the ground. Likely occurred on 12/15/21. Photo taken 12/22/21.

    Photo: GNFAC

  • Digging a snowpit in 4 feet of drifted snow in Tepee Basin (12/22/21). Photo: GNFAC

  • Natural avalanche in Taylor Fork that broke 100ft wide, 2-3 ft deep, beneath the recent storm snow. Appears to have failed towards the end of the storm (likely 12/15/21). Photo: GNFAC

  • This avalanche was remotely triggered by snowmobilers from over 100 ft away on 12/15. It broke beneath the recent storm snow, 1-2 ft deep.

    Photo: GNFAC

  • A skier in the Southern Madison Range remotely triggered this avalanche in the Bacon Rind area from a flat bench above the slope. It broke over 50-75' away where the slope got steeper. Human-triggered avalanches are likely. Avoid steep terrain until the snowpack stabilizes. Photo: Anonymous 

  • From obs: 12/12/21: "Heavy wind loading from gusty SW winds and recent snowfall. Made for some touchy conditions. This was at 9100’ between Sage and Sunlight basins." Photo: JR Mooney

  • 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

  • From obs (12/5/21): "Went poking around in the Taylor Hilgard today looking for snow. As expected, found a thin and faceted snowpack at lower elevations. Snowpack improved considerably above 8500', often .5-1m. I dug a quick pit to the ground on a N-NE facing slope at around 9300'. Pit measuded 1.1m, and to my surprise consisted of a relatively compacted and consolidated snowpack, almost entirely 4f hardness. I was expecting to find layers of facets near the base of the snowpack, and between crusts in the middle, but did not."

    Photo: L. Heine

  • 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 11/7/21: "...Once in airplane bowl we saw multiple large slides that ran last night, syn-storm. Most of which came down from the East face of Sac. A few 200-300’ wide and running the length of the bowl.,,, attached is a grainy cell phone pic of the slides in Airplane Bowl." -Anonymous.

  • From email 11/4/21: "...noticed two small wet loose avalanches in the east facing bowl between Pomp and Hardscrabble Peaks." Photo: H. Darby

  • From e-mail 11/4/21: "Hiking up in the Bridger Range from Sacagawea Pass and noticed no faceting of the current snowpack. The snow near the pass and on the ridge is very wind affected as is to be expected and dropping into the bowl on the east side of the Pass the snowpack there has a distinct sun crust. Dug around a little bit at 8600 ft on a NE aspect and found a sun crust of about two inches with what felt like rounded grains below that. Even in the direct sun, the crust was taking a long time to rewarm and was pretty slippery..." Photo: H. Darby

WebCams


Raynolds Pass, Looking N

Snowpit Profiles- Southern Madison

 

Select a snowpit on the map to view the profile image

Weather Forecast Southern Madison

Extended Forecast for

20 Miles S Big Sky MT

  • Overnight

    Overnight: Partly cloudy, with a steady temperature around 20. West wind around 11 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 20 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 31. West wind 11 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.

    Mostly Sunny

    High: 31 °F

  • Sunday
    Night

    Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 12. West wind 14 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.

    Mostly Clear

    Low: 12 °F

  • Monday

    Monday: A 30 percent chance of snow after 11am.  Partly sunny, with a high near 23. West wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    High: 23 °F

  • Monday
    Night

    Monday Night: A 30 percent chance of snow before 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 8. Northwest wind 13 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.  New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

    Chance Snow
    then Partly
    Cloudy

    Low: 8 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 23. Southwest wind 11 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph.

    Mostly Sunny

    High: 23 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 8. South wind 14 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 8 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 23. South wind 14 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.

    Partly Sunny

    High: 23 °F

  • Wednesday
    Night

    Wednesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 7.

    Mostly Clear

    Low: 7 °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.