Trip Planning for Southern Madison

as of 5:00 am
Today0″ |
Dec 7 4″ |
Dec 6 0″ | NA
9460′     at
- mph
Gusts mph
9000′   12/08 at 7:00
22℉
29″ 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 Photos

Displaying 1 - 7
  • 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

 

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Weather Forecast Southern Madison

Extended Forecast for

20 Miles S Big Sky MT

  • Today

    Today: Snow likely, mainly after 2pm.  Patchy blowing snow after 4pm. Increasing clouds, with a high near 26. Breezy, with a south southwest wind 25 to 29 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

    Snow Likely
    and Patchy
    Blowing Snow

    High: 26 °F

  • Tonight

    Tonight: Snow likely, mainly before 11pm.  Patchy blowing snow before 10pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 6. Wind chill values as low as -10. Breezy, with a west wind 16 to 22 mph, with gusts as high as 32 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

    Snow Likely
    and Patchy
    Blowing Snow
    then Slight
    Chance Snow

    Low: 6 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 16. Wind chill values as low as -10. West southwest wind around 16 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.

    Mostly Sunny

    High: 16 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: A 20 percent chance of snow before 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 2. Wind chill values as low as -10. West southwest wind 11 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow then
    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 2 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: A 20 percent chance of snow.  Partly sunny, with a high near 13. West southwest wind 14 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow

    High: 13 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 5. South southwest wind 18 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 5 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: Partly sunny, with a high near 15. Breezy, with a south southwest wind 23 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph.

    Partly Sunny
    and Breezy

    High: 15 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: A slight chance of snow after 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 14. Windy, with a south wind 24 to 33 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow and
    Windy

    Low: 14 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: A chance of snow.  Partly sunny, with a high near 22. Windy.

    Chance Snow
    and Windy

    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.