Trip Planning for Bridgers

as of 5:00 am
Feb 110″ | 20-50 W
Feb 10 0″ | 30-53 W
Feb 9 0″ | 30-50 W
8100′     at :00
New
8500′   11/13 at 17:00
29℉
W - 13mph
Gusts 36mph
Bottom Line:

Past 5 Days

Tue Feb 8

Low
Wed Feb 9

Low
Thu Feb 10

Low
Fri Feb 11

Low
Thu Apr 21

None

Relevant Avalanche Activity

Cooke City
Goose Lake
Partial Burial on Sawtooth Mountain near Goose Lake
Incident details include images
Goose Lake
SS-ASu-R2-D2-O
Elevation: 10,800
Aspect: SE
Coordinates: 45.1437, -109.9040
Caught: 1 ; Buried: 1; Killed: 0

This morning while ascending a line on Sawtooth Mountain (Lower Novocain) we triggered an avalanche (ASu-SS-R2-D2-O)  that caught and carried my partner an estimated 180M and partially buried him. His leg and hand were unburied and excavation of the head was done in less than 2 minutes of the incident. The avalanche only involved new snow from the last 48hrs and was triggered on a MF crust/facet combo 30cm down(formed 1/30/22). The avalanche was 30cm at its deepest and 20-30M wide and ran 250M. We were lucky to find both skis and poles a little ways downslope. No injuries were sustained.

We both agree that we were trying to outsmart the instability that was present on steeper S facing terrain and should have turned around much sooner, we were very lucky. There was 30+cm HST in favored areas and the high winds from 1/31/22 formed some sensitive windslabs in specific areas. 

 


More Avalanche Details
Bridger Range
Argentina Bowl
Small skier triggered and natural dry loose Bridgers
Incident details include images
Argentina Bowl
L-ASc-R1-D1-I
Elevation: 8,700
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.7869, -110.9350
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

We triggered small dry loose avalanches and some ran naturally. They involved 1-2" of new low density snow and ran far on weak faceted snow underneath.


More Avalanche Details
Bridger Range
Saddle Peak
Natural on Saddle Peak
Incident details include images
Incident details contain video
Saddle Peak
HS-N-R1-D2-O
Elevation: 8,970
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.7943, -110.9360
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

GNFAC forecasters looked at the crown of this slide on 1/27/22. It broke on the night of 1/25 or earlier. It was a 6-8" deep P+ hard slab that broke on a layer of weak facets over a hard bed surface .

Approx. 1,100' wide, measured as on GoogleEarth


More Avalanche Details

Relevant Photos

Displaying 1 - 40
  • test fiddle pic

  • Chris Hericks, snow ranger on Beaverhead Deerlodge NF, points to the lower of two surface hoar layers. We are finding similar layering throughout our entire forecast area. The top 18" of the snowpack is weak and will quickly become unstable when it snows. Photo: GNFAC

  • The crown is not visible (it is down and right) but the X marks the approximate spot the rider was found. Photo: GNFAC

  • The crown was measured 4-11 inches deep and 75 feet wide. Photo: GNFAC

  • Looking at a weak layer of facets that the avalanche propagated on. Photo: GNFAC

  • Looking at the crown from below. Photo: GNFAC

  • On Sunday, February 6, Gallatin Country Sheriff Search and Rescue and the GNFAC responded to a avalanche in Lionhead. A snowmobiler was killed on a small steep slope when a shallow avalanche carried him into a terrain trap of trees. Photo: GNFAC

  • From obs 2/5/22: "We were planning on skiing ainger basin area. Snow seemed safe while we were skinning, but we dug 3 pits because the wind was so strong. got semi-unstable results each time, ect 12 to 18 with clean propagation around 4 to 9 inches down, depending on the slope."

  • This morning while ascending a line on Sawtooth Mountain (Lower Novocain) we triggered an avalanche (ASu-SS-R2-D2-O)  that caught and carried my partner an estimated 180M and partially buried him. His leg and hand were unburied and excavation of the head was done in less than 2 minutes of the incident. The avalanche only involved new snow from the last 48hrs and was triggered on a MF crust/facet combo 30cm down(formed 1/30/22). The avalanche was 30cm at its deepest and 20-30M wide and ran 250M. We were lucky to find both skis and poles a little ways downslope. No injuries were sustained.

    We both agree that we were trying to outsmart the instability that was present on steeper S facing terrain and should have turned around much sooner, we were very lucky. There was 30+cm HST in favored areas and the high winds from 1/31/22 formed some sensitive windslabs in specific areas. 

     

  • Graph of Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) at SNOTEL sites in the GNFAC forecast area from October 1, 2021 to January 30, 2022. It highlights the extended dry conditions in January that contributed to weak layers forming at the top of the snowpack. GNFAC

  • Natural and skier triggered 2" deep loose snow avalanches in Argentina Bowl south of Saddle Peak on 1/27/22. There is also an older cornice break visible that gouged the slope below 1-2' deep, but did not break out a wider avalanche. Photo: GNFAC

  • Old debris from an avalanche that broke on the night of 1/25 or earlier. The crown is obscured by clouds and drifted in. Our tracks are visible crossing the bed surface up high. Photo: GNFAC

  • Snowpit in the crown of an avalanche on the south summit of Saddle Peak. It broke on 1/25/22 or earlier, 6-8" deep, 1,000' wide, hard slab on weak faceted snow. Photo: GNFAC

  • We saw this avalanche on 1/26/22 on the south summit of Saddle, and extending across the bowl Between the Peaks. Photo: GNFAC

  • This is the location where the skier came to a stop after being caught and carried by a small avalanche in the Bridger Range.

    From Obs: "While skiing the playground, a northeast aspect off the Bridgers, my friends and I released a wind slab. The slab released on a rollover and was approximately 20 ft wide and 6-12" deep at the top. The slide carried my friend about 150 ft." Photo: Anonymous

  • The crown of a small avalanche that caught and carried a skier in the Bridger Range on Sunday. 

    From Obs: "While skiing the playground, a northeast aspect off the Bridgers, my friends and I released a wind slab. The slab released on a rollover and was approximately 20 ft wide and 6-12" deep at the top. The slide carried my friend about 150 ft." Photo: Anonymous

  • The track of a small avalanche that caught and carried a skier in the Bridger Range on Sunday. 

    From Obs: "While skiing the playground, a northeast aspect in the Bridgers, my friends and I released a wind slab. The slab released on a rollover and was approximately 20 ft wide and 6-12" deep at the top. The slide carried my friend about 150 ft." Photo: Anonymous

  • A snowmobile triggered wind slab on small slope in the northern Bridgers on 1/22/22. 

  • A group in the Wolverine Cirque noted several small wet loose avalanches that occurred during recent warm weather. 

  • A view of Sacajewea Peak from the Fairy Lake road. Evidence of winds are seen on the right shoulder of the peak. Photo: GNFAC

  • Slopes on Hardscabble Peak in the northern Bridger Range show bare slopes that got blown clean by wind. Photo: GNFAC

  • In the northern Bridger Range we dug a pit at 8700 feet on a north facing slope before skiing the chute into the basin. Our stability tests did not break and all evidence pointed to a LOW danger. Photo: GNFAC

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

  • Natural avalanche near Fairy Lake. Observed 1/13/22, likely broke several days prior. Photo: N. Crews

  • Looking up at the Fat Maid from Maid of the Mist basin. Strong winds over the last week have scoured the alpine, exposing lots of rock. Photo: GNFAC

  • Strong wind over the last week created this surface texture in the Bridger Range. Photo: T. Allen

  • 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."

  • It was easy to crack the thin wind slabs that formed from strong wind the last 2 days. They were not propagating, but cracking indicated potential instability on wind drifts. Photo: GNFAC

  • Strong wind in the previous 2 days sculpted the snow surface into waves of sastrugi. Photo: GNFAC

  • Wind in the last 2 days gusted 45-70 mph and stripped some starting zones down to dirt in Beehive Basin. Photo: GNFAC

  • A small skier triggered storm slab on the west side of the Bridgers. 1/6/22

    Photo: P. Hinz

  • From email (1/6/22): "Skied the Throne today. New snow instabilities. Higher density snow falling on colder snow. Saw a hand full of naturals all running on the new snow old snow interface."

    Photo: E. Knoff

  • From email (1/6/22): "Skied the Throne today. New snow instabilities. Higher density snow falling on colder snow. Saw a hand full of naturals all running on the new snow old snow interface."

    Photo: E. Knoff

  • From obs: 01/01/22: "Saw a small slide come off the ridge. We dug a pit and the wind slab was 8 inches to a foot and a half. During our snow tests it consistently broke on the week layer around a foot deep." Photo: B. Paulson

  • From obs 1/1/22: "While skinning towards the ramp we witnessed what looked like a natural slide that started right around Pete’s Pinnacle which ran down along the boundary line about 1000 feet. Unknown trigger."

  • Strong ridgetop winds transported snow onto Saddle Peak creating unstable slabs on January 1st. Photo: GNFAC

  • Strong winds on 1/1/2022 formed fresh, soft drifts. These drifts broke and cracked easily, and slid on steep slopes. Photo: GNFAC

  • We saw this natural avalanche on the north summit of Saddle Peak on 1/1/2022. It is one of at least 4 natural avalanches that broke on wind-loaded slopes on Saddle Peak in the past 3-4 days. Recent snow and wind formed slabs over weak facets which makes large avalanches possible to trigger. Photo: BBSP

  • We saw this fresh natural avalanches near Saddle Peak on 1/1/2022. Recent snow and wind formed slabs over weak facets which makes large avalanches possible to trigger. Photo: GNFAC

WebCams


Bridger Base Area

Ridge, Looking North

Alpine Apron

Snow Observations- Bridgers

Bridger Range
Northern Bridgers
Northern Bridger (Ainger basin
Incident details include images

We were planning on skiing ainger basin area. Snow seemed safe while we were skinning, but we dug 3 pits because the wind was so strong. got semi-unstable results each time, ect 12 to 18 with clean propagation around 4 to 9 inches down, depending on the slope. 
 

anyway , just submitting because I was surprised. 

Full Snow Observation Report
Bridger Range
Texas Meadow
Graupel in the Bridgers

On and off graupel falling through the morning. 2-3mm particles. Never more than <1cm/hr

Winds picked up significantly ~1430, predominately NW

Full Snow Observation Report

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

  • Tonight

    Tonight: A 30 percent chance of showers, mainly between 3am and 5am.  Mostly cloudy, with a steady temperature around 48. South wind 9 to 13 mph becoming west after midnight.

    Chance
    Showers

    Low: 48 °F

  • Monday

    Monday: A chance of rain and thunderstorms, then showers and possibly a thunderstorm after 4pm.  High near 64. West wind 7 to 10 mph becoming south southwest in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 80%.

    Slight Chance
    Showers then
    Showers

    High: 64 °F

  • Monday
    Night

    Monday Night: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm, mainly before 1am, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1am.  Low around 39. West wind around 10 mph becoming north in the evening.  Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

    Showers

    Low: 39 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 7am.  Mostly sunny, with a high near 60. West wind 8 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.

    Chance
    Showers then
    Sunny

    High: 60 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 38. West northwest wind 7 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 38 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 60. West southwest wind 7 to 12 mph increasing to 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 31 mph.

    Partly Sunny

    High: 60 °F

  • Wednesday
    Night

    Wednesday Night: Rain between 7pm and 4am, then snow after 4am.  Low around 31. West southwest wind 18 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Rain Likely
    then
    Rain/Snow

    Low: 31 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: Snow, mainly before 1pm, then snow showers likely after 1pm. Some thunder is also possible.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 40. Breezy, with a west wind 18 to 26 mph, with gusts as high as 37 mph.

    Snow and
    Breezy

    High: 40 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: Snow showers likely before 7pm, then snow, mainly after 7pm. Some thunder is also possible.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 27. Breezy.

    Snow and
    Breezy

    Low: 27 °F

The Last Word

We completed our investigation of the avalanche fatality at Ski Hill in Lionhead. A detailed report is HERE, the field video is on our YouTube channel and the incident is recorded on our Accident Reports page.


  <<  This is the most recent forecast.