Trip Planning for Cooke City Area

as of 5:00 am
Today1″ | 10-30 SW
Dec 7 7″ | 15-30 W
Dec 6 0″ | 15-25 W
10,000′     12/08 at 10:00
17.0℉
SW - 12mph
Gusts 25mph
9100′   12/08 at 9:00
24℉
24″ 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

Past 5 Days

Fri Nov 26

None
Mon Nov 29

None
Fri Dec 3

None
Mon Dec 6

None
Today

None

Relevant Avalanche Activity

Cooke City
Scotch Bonnet
Small (very small) natural wind slab near Lulu Pass
Incident details include images
Scotch Bonnet
SS-N-R1-D1-S
Elevation: 10,100
Aspect: S
Coordinates: 45.0566, -109.9510
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

GNFAC forecasters witnessed this very small wind slab on 12/7/21 near Lulu Pass outside Cooke City.


More Avalanche Details

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

  • 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

  • From e-mail 11/10/21: "an east aspect around 9900'.  HS 63cms.  ECTV on facets at 19cms." In this snowpit the slab collapsed above the weak layer when the observer isolated the column to perform an extended column test (ECT), hence the score ECTV (ECT-very easily collapsed and propagated). Photo: B. Fredlund

     

  • From email 11/10: "Wind effect: significant in most upper elevation exposed locations.  Westerly winds were moving a lot of snow off the high peaks all day today." Photo: B. Fredlund

  • 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

WebCams


Soda Butte Lodge, looking East

Soda Butte Lodge, looking East

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

  • Today

    Today: Snow showers likely, mainly after 5pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 33. Wind chill values as low as -5. West wind 23 to 32 mph, with gusts as high as 45 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. Total daytime snow accumulation of around an inch possible.

    Partly Sunny
    then Snow
    Showers
    Likely

    High: 33 °F

  • Tonight

    Tonight: Snow showers, mainly before midnight.  Low around 11. West wind 14 to 17 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of around 2 inches.

    Snow Showers
    then Chance
    Snow Showers

    Low: 11 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: A 20 percent chance of snow showers.  Partly sunny, with a high near 17. Wind chill values as low as -5. West wind 11 to 16 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow Showers

    High: 17 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: A 30 percent chance of snow showers, mainly before midnight.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 0. Wind chill values as low as -15. West wind around 11 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow
    Showers

    Low: 0 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: A 30 percent chance of snow showers.  Partly sunny and cold, with a high near 11. West wind 8 to 16 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow
    Showers

    High: 11 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a temperature rising to around 11 by 3am. West southwest wind around 14 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 6 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: Partly sunny, with a high near 18. West southwest wind 15 to 18 mph.

    Partly Sunny

    High: 18 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: A 20 percent chance of snow showers after midnight.  Mostly cloudy, with a temperature rising to around 20 by 4am. Southwest wind around 17 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy
    then Slight
    Chance Snow
    Showers

    Low: 15 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: A 30 percent chance of snow showers.  Partly sunny, with a high near 26. Southwest wind 16 to 20 mph.

    Chance Snow
    Showers

    High: 26 °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.