Trip Planning for Centennial Range

as of 5:00 am
Today0″ | 30-50 SW
Dec 7 0″ | 15-30 W
Dec 6 0″ | 20-35 SW
8775′  12/08 at 09:08
20℉
W - 24mph
Gusts 39mph
7750′   12/08 at 9:00
27℉
11″ Depth
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

Snow Observations- Centennial Range & Lionhead

Centennial Range
Sawtelle Peak
Sawtelle Peak Snowpack

I drove up the Sawtelle Peak road and dug a pit at the snow marker at 8,800'. There was 1.5 feet (60 cm) of snow on the ground. Around 7,000' the snow was on all aspects, but below that there were melted patches. The snow was supportable and there was no cracking or collapsing. A layer of weak, sugary snow 1 foot off the ground broke clean in stability tests (ECTP 18, 21) and I anticipate this layer will get weaker with time. On the surface there is a thin layer of snow that is faceting and getting weaker. Photos and snowpit are on this page. 

Full Snow Observation Report

Relevant Photos

Displaying 1 - 9
  • 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 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

  • The snow was breaking 1 foot off the ground in the layer at the blue crystal card. Weak, sugary snow broke and propagated in the extended column test with 18 and 21 taps. We anticipate this weakness to get worse in the coming weeks. Photo: GNFAC

  • There was almost 2 feet of snow (60 cm) at 8800' on NE aspect of Sawtelle Peak. Weak snow (facets) is forming a foot off the ground and were breaking consistently in stability tests. Photo: GNFAC

  • Snowcover on Lionhead ridge begins at about 7,000' in elevation on 11/16. Snowmobiling or skiing from Targhee Pass looks very thin and patchy. Photo: GNFAC

  • Taken on 11/16, consistent snow on all aspects begins around 7,000 feet. 1.5-2 feet of snow is found above 8.500'. Photo: GNFAC

  • 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

Snowpit Profiles- Centennial Range

 

Select a snowpit on the map to view the profile image

Place- Centennial Range

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Weather Forecast- Centennial Range

Extended Forecast for

10 Miles ESE Lakeview MT

  • Today

    Today: Snow likely, mainly between 3pm and 4pm. The snow could be heavy at times.  Patchy blowing snow after 1pm. Cloudy, with a high near 25. Breezy, with a south southwest wind 21 to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 38 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

    Heavy Snow
    and Patchy
    Blowing Snow

    High: 25 °F

  • Tonight

    Tonight: A 50 percent chance of snow before 11pm.  Patchy blowing snow before 7pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 11. Wind chill values as low as zero. Southwest wind 11 to 18 mph becoming west northwest in the evening. Winds could gust as high as 28 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

    Chance Snow
    and Patchy
    Blowing Snow
    then Mostly
    Cloudy

    Low: 11 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: A 30 percent chance of snow, mainly before 11am.  Partly sunny, with a high near 18. Wind chill values as low as -5. West southwest wind 10 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    High: 18 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: A 40 percent chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 5. Wind chill values as low as -10. West southwest wind around 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 5 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: A 40 percent chance of snow.  Partly sunny, with a high near 13. West southwest wind 10 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph.  Little or no snow accumulation expected.

    Chance Snow

    High: 13 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 5. South southwest wind 14 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 5 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: A 30 percent chance of snow, mainly before 11am.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 15. Breezy, with a south southwest wind 16 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 37 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow
    and Breezy

    High: 15 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: A chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 14. Breezy, with a south wind 17 to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph.

    Chance Snow
    and Breezy

    Low: 14 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: Snow likely.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 22. Breezy.

    Snow Likely
    and Breezy

    High: 22 °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.