Trip Planning for Bridgers

as of 5:00 am
Today0″ | 10-40 W
Dec 7 7″ | 15-30 W
Dec 6 0″ | 15-30 W
8100′     12/08 at 8:00
25℉
0″New
8500′   12/07 at 12:00
22℉
W - 2mph
Gusts 24mph
Bottom Line: New snow and very strong westerly wind has increased the chances of triggering an avalanche, especially in gullies or near ridges. Retreat as soon as you see cracks shooting out in front of you and be extra careful around smooth wind pillows. Small avalanches are indicative that more, possibly bigger ones are possible. Ice climbers triggered a slide in Hyalite on Sunday and yesterday a small avalanche was seen near Lulu Pass outside Cooke City, both involving wind-loaded slopes. These unstable conditions are widespread and you need to assess steep slopes, especially those with wind drifts.
Primary Problem: Wind-Drifted Snow

Past 5 Days

Fri Nov 26

None
Mon Nov 29

None
Fri Dec 3

None
Mon Dec 6

None
Today

None

Relevant Avalanche Activity

Northern Gallatin
Hyalite - East Fork
Ice climbers triggered small avalanches in E. Fork Hyalite
Incident details include images
Hyalite - East Fork
SS-AFu-R1-D1-S
Elevation: 7,600
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 45.4539, -110.9210
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

The slide was on the ice climb in Comet Alley.

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"


More Avalanche Details
Out of Advisory Area
Livingston
Natural avalanche and powder cloud on Black Mtn
Incident details include images
Livingston
U-N
Elevation: 10,000
Aspect: N
Coordinates: 45.4712, -110.4670
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

This powder cloud from a large avalanche was seen on Black Mountain, up Pine Creek outside Livingston. Located outside our advisory area it is a sign of unstable snow, likely from wind-loading, that can be found throughout southwest Montana.


More Avalanche Details

Relevant Photos

Displaying 1 - 16
  • Monday night's new snow formed wind slabs from the strong wind on Tuesday. We are finding these throughout southwest Montana. Photo: D. Britt

  • 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 post and picture was on the FB ice climbers page. This is from Comet Alley, a steep gully off the East Fork Road:

    Today we found that this gully has some significant loading. We triggered a few wind slab slides on the approach. We managed to get a quick lap on the route and got out before it got loaded more. TBH with more unconsolidated snow I’d reconsider going there.

  • 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 near Bridger Bowl reported a thin snowpack with "a distinct crust at around 21 cm with a loose, semi-sugary layer of snow just above it from 21-27cm above the ground." Photo: H. Darby

  • 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

  • This powder cloud from a large avalanche was seen on Black Mountain, up Pine Creek outside Livingston. Located outside our advisory area it is a sign of unstable snow, likely from wind-loading, that can be found throughout southwest Montana. Photo: Anon

  • Skiers found a shallow snowpack and very windy conditions today. Snow was moving and loading slopes. Photo: H. Darby

  • From an obsevation: Skied up towards Arrowhead Bowl from Fairy Lake road. Snowpack is still very thin in the trees as you ascend towards the ridge. Strong westerly winds and exposed rocks deterred us from skiing the bowl itself. Down low we found variable conditions ranging from a few cm of graupel to a few cm of windboard and ice in places. We dug a pit at 8140 feet, 143º SE. The snowpack is 55 cm deep with a very distinct knife hard crust layer from 0-20cm above the ground, we were thinking that could be due to a rain on snow event that fell on top of the October snow. There is also a distinct knife crust 40 cm above the ground with new snow/wind blown snow on top of that. Weather today was mostly clear with a few scattered clouds and consistent winds, with very strong gusts from the west. Photo: H. Darby

  • From obs 11/11/21: "Dug a snow pit at 8,280ft adjacent to a chute. It was NW aspect. We found a ~35cm 1 finger windslab sitting on top of a ~25cm knife hard slab. We got CT 12 on the first slab and CT 15 on the deeper slab. On the ECT, we got a slight fracture at 15 taps and a full fracture at 17 (ECTP+2). This layer seemed to be on all aspects we looked at above tree line on NW faces. Bellow treeline, the snowpack was shallower and seem to lack these slabs." Photo: J. Krause

  • Snow cover on the southern end of the Bridger Range on 11/11/21. Photo: T. Tumolo

  • A natural avalanche on Saddle Peak on 11/10/21. Strong winds drifted recent snow into thick slabs near the ridge. This slide was probably one of those wind slabs breaking and/or being triggered by a cornice fall. Photo: P. Hinz

  • 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

  • Snow at the base of Bridger Bowl on the evening of October 11th. Photo: B. VandenBos

WebCams


Bridger Base Area

Ridge, Looking North

Alpine Apron

Snowpit Profiles- Bridgers

 

Select a snowpit on the map to view the profile image

Weather Forecast Bridgers

Extended Forecast for

10 Miles NNE Bozeman MT

  • Today

    Today: Snow likely, mainly after 5pm.  Increasing clouds, with a high near 36. Breezy, with a west southwest wind 21 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

    Breezy.
    Mostly Sunny
    then Snow
    Likely

    High: 36 °F

  • Tonight

    Tonight: Snow likely, mainly before 11pm.  Patchy blowing snow before 11pm. Cloudy, then gradually becoming partly cloudy, with a low around 13. Wind chill values as low as zero. Breezy, with a west wind 18 to 22 mph, with gusts as high as 37 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

    Snow Likely
    and Patchy
    Blowing Snow
    then Partly
    Cloudy

    Low: 13 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 20. Wind chill values as low as zero. West wind around 17 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph.

    Mostly Sunny

    High: 20 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: A 10 percent chance of snow before 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 10. Wind chill values as low as -5. West southwest wind around 17 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow then
    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 10 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: A 20 percent chance of snow before 11am.  Mostly sunny, with a high near 20. West southwest wind 16 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow then
    Mostly Sunny

    High: 20 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 14. Breezy, with a southwest wind 23 to 26 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph.

    Partly Cloudy
    and Breezy

    Low: 14 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: Partly sunny, with a high near 28. Breezy, with a southwest wind 24 to 26 mph, with gusts as high as 37 mph.

    Partly Sunny
    and Breezy

    High: 28 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 22. Breezy, with a south southwest wind 24 to 29 mph, with gusts as high as 36 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy
    and Breezy

    Low: 22 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: A chance of snow.  Partly sunny, with a high near 33. Breezy.

    Chance Snow
    and Breezy

    High: 33 °F

The Last Word

Bruce Jamieson of Snowline has posted avalanche science and training videos for backcountry travelers. These are worth checking out as we wait for more snow to fall.