Trip Planning for Cooke City Area

as of 5:00 am
Feb 110″ | 35-60 NW
Feb 10 1″ | 15-25 NW
Feb 9 0″ | 10-20 NW
10,000′     05/15 at 22:00
42.6℉
S - 12mph
Gusts 25mph
9100′   05/15 at 22:00
35℉
94″ Depth
Bottom Line:

Past 5 Days

Tue Feb 8

Moderate
Wed Feb 9

Moderate
Thu Feb 10

Moderate
Fri Feb 11

Moderate
Thu Apr 21

None

Relevant Avalanche Activity

Cooke City
Wyoming Creek
Large whumpfs and collapses near Cooke
Wyoming Creek
Elevation: 9,242
Coordinates: 44.9899, -109.9650
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

I was touring on the west side of Wyoming creek today. Got some large whoomfs and collapses on the Ridgeline and a poor test score of ectp11 q1 sp 22cm deep on on buried surface hoar on top of facets on an E/SE facing slope at 9242' hs-163cm, slope angle 26°  The same layer was easily identifiable in hand shears throughout the day. 


More Avalanche Details
Cooke City
Pebble Creek - YNP
Naturals in Pebble Creek
Incident details include images
Pebble Creek - YNP
SS-N-R1-D1.5-O
Elevation: 8,800
Coordinates: 45.0254, -110.0310
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From obs: "Naturals from Pebble today. Appeared to be failing on the SH 20cm down. I dug at 8800’, SE, HS150, ECTP11, failing on 2mm SH that’s sitting on top of 20-30 cm of small grain facets. Multiple hand pits failed during isolation on same layer."


More Avalanche Details
Cooke City
Scotch Bonnet
Natural avalanche on Scotch Bonnet
Incident details include images
Scotch Bonnet
SS-NC-R2-D2-I
Elevation: 10,000
Aspect: SE
Coordinates: 45.0733, -109.9480
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

We saw a natural avalanche on 2/7 that appeared to occur late on 2/6 or early 2/7, on the southeast side of Scotch Bonnet Mtn. - GNFAC


More Avalanche Details

Relevant Photos

Displaying 1 - 40
  • 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

  • Skiers observed natural avalanche activity just outside the Cooke City advisory area in Yellowstone National Park on Monday. Photo: S Gill

  • Skiers observed natural avalanche activity just outside the Cooke City advisory area in Yellowstone National Park on Monday. Photo: S Gill

  • A group of riders snapped a photo of this avalanche on Sunday. The slide isn't huge but it would be highly consequential in the treed terrain were trauma is a real possibility. Photo: A. Bertolino

  • A group of snowmobilers reported triggering this small avalanche from the backside of the rollover on Sunday. Triggering an avalanche from a long distance away is a clear sign of an unstable snowpack. Photo: A. Bertolino

  • This natural avalanche occurred late on 2/6 or early 2/7, on the southeast side of Scotch Bonnet Mtn. 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

  • From Obs: "On the morning of Sunday February 6, a snowmobiler triggered a slide in new snow on the SW face of Sheep Mountain. The slide triggered remotely while the rider was lower on the slope and he was not caught (the visible track is not from the rider who triggered the slide, his track was buried in the debris field). The crown was about 18" deep and 75 feet wide and the slide and the slide ran about 250 feet." Photo: C Mozol

  • Skiers observed several slab avalanches on the east face of Woody Ridge. They broke about 12" deep on a weak layer buried by recent snow. Photo: B Zavora

  • Skiers observed several slab avalanches on the east face of Woody Ridge. They broke about 12" deep on a weak layer buried by recent snow. Photo: B Zavora

  • 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

  • Small natural slides on 2/6/22 near Cooke City. @coldfear

  • From obs 2/6/22: "Small natural soft slab avalanche on a SE aspect at 8737'... Crown was 20cm deep and  approximately 15m wide... Around 10am"

  • We saw this natural avalanche on Feb 6, 2022 on the north side of Miller Mtn. near Cooke City. It appears to have broke near the end of the 10-14" snow storm that fell the prior day (2/5). Photo: GNFAC

  • On Feb 6, 2022 we rode north of Cooke City and found 10-14" of new snow and a layer of buried weak facets that created unstable conditions. This setup makes avalanches possible to trigger on steep slopes. In this pit we had an ECTP13 break on weak facets a couple inches below the new snow. Photo: GNFAC

  • From obs (2/4/22): "…the last 2 days was finding buried surface hoar in many locations, up to 10'000'..... And we also observed a fresh avalanche yesterday on the NW aspect of Meridian Peak.  I couldn't discern a crown, due to our vantage point and a low cloud, but the debris pile looked relatively deep, and 12-48 hours fresh. Also, we had one significant collapse today on a mid elevation east aspect.  A slope with just a touch of wind deposit. (first collapse I've had in months!) The snow that collapsed appeared to be about 30-40' wide.  And a hasty pit showed the layer of concern to be buried SH." Photo: B. Fredlund

  • 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

  • From email on 1/22/22: "This morning (20220122) I was ascending a steep North facing couloir up the N summit of Republic Mountain and on ascent (boot packing) about 1/2 way up the line I triggered a small soft slab from that propagated around the rock I was tucked behind, 40M above me and and 20M across. Luckily, my ascent line was sheltered from any above exposure and I was not caught or carried in anyway. The crown ranged from 8cm where I triggered it to an estimated 25cm at its deepest. The avalanche ran an estimated 200M. I believe the windslab ran on 1-3mm NSF's (evident on the bed surface) formed in the high pressure before the recent light precip."

  • From email 1/22/22: "Several dry loose naturals on Climax in steep terrain. Perhaps from Thursday or Friday?" Photo: N. Hance

  • Snowmobilers observed several small, dry loose avalanches in the new snow on Crown Butte on 1/21/22. Photo: R. DeSilva

  • Snowmobilers observed small, naturally triggered avalanches on Crown Butte. This avalanche occurred in the new snow on a wind-loaded slope. Photo: R. DeSilva

  • Observers noted very small, skier-triggered avalanches in the new snow on Chimney Rock. Photo: R. DeSilva

  • On January 18, 2022 a weak layer of surface hoar was buried by 1-2" of new snow near Cooke City. As more snow builds a slab over this weak layer it will cause avalanches. Photo: GNFAC

  • On January 18, 2022 a weak layer of surface hoar was buried by 1-2" of new snow near Cooke City. As more snow builds a slab over this weak layer it will cause avalanches. Photo: GNFAC

  • We saw surface hoar on all aspects near Cooke City on January 16, 2022. Photo: GNFAC

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

  • A cornice collapse likely triggered this large natural avalanche on 27 Dec 2021. The crown was 4-6' deep. Photo: S. Culotta

  • From obs: 1/8/22: "...One minor avalanche observed in Republic Creek.  It was on a steep and rocky E, NE aspect around 9700'..." Photo: B. Fredlund

  • From obs: 1/8/22: "Observed natural north Scotch Bonnet". Ran during storm 1/6-1/8. Photo: D. Wycoff

  • Large, deep avalanche on East face of Mt. Abundance. Photo from 1/2/22: S. Strenge

  • Large, deep avalanche on East face of Mt. Abundance. Photo from 1/2/22: S. Strenge

  • Large, deep avalanche on East face of Mt. Abundance. Photo from 1/2/22: S. Strenge

  • Snomobilers observed this natural avalanche on a NE aspect on Sheep Mountain on 1/1/22. It appeared to be more than 48 hours old. Photo: J. Fritz

  • This photo shows where people and their machines were buried. Photo: S. Strenge

  • Upper portion of the fatal avalanche on Scotch Bonnet. 12/28/21

    Photo: GNFAC

  • Crown of the fatal avalanche on Scotch Bonnet. 12/28/21.

    Photo: GNFAC

WebCams


Soda Butte Lodge, looking West

Soda Butte Lodge, looking East

Snow Observations- Cooke City Area

Cooke City
Unstable test results South of cooke city
Incident details include images

I was touring on the west side of Wyoming creek today. Got some large whoomfs and collapses on the Ridgeline and a poor test score of ectp11 q1 sp 22cm deep on on buried surface hoar on top of facets on an E/SE facing slope at 9242' hs-163cm, slope angle 26°  The same layer was easily identifiable in hand shears throughout the day. 

Full Snow Observation Report
Cooke City
Sheep Mountain
Rider triggered slide on SW face of Sheep Mountain
Incident details include images

On the morning of Sunday February 6, a snowmobiler triggered a slide in new snow on the SW face of Sheep Mountain. The slide triggered remotely while the rider was lower on the slope and he was not caught (the visible track is not from the rider who triggered the slide, his track was buried in the debris field). The crown was about 18" deep and 75 feet wide and the slide and the slide ran about 250 feet. 

Full Snow Observation Report

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

  • Tonight

    Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 38. West wind around 6 mph.

    Mostly Clear

    Low: 38 °F

  • Monday

    Monday: A chance of showers, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after noon.  Partly sunny, with a high near 58. West southwest wind 6 to 9 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 70%.

    Chance
    Showers then
    Showers
    Likely

    High: 58 °F

  • Monday
    Night

    Monday Night: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before midnight, then a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after midnight.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 35. West wind 5 to 9 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 70%.

    Showers
    Likely then
    Slight Chance
    T-storms

    Low: 35 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: A slight chance of showers, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon.  Partly sunny, with a high near 54. Northwest wind 5 to 11 mph becoming west southwest in the morning.  Chance of precipitation is 30%.

    Chance
    Showers

    High: 54 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 32. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph.

    Mostly Clear

    Low: 32 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 53. West southwest wind 6 to 16 mph.

    Mostly Sunny

    High: 53 °F

  • Wednesday
    Night

    Wednesday Night: A chance of rain showers before 9pm, then rain and snow showers likely between 9pm and 3am, then snow showers likely after 3am.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 27. West southwest wind 11 to 15 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

    Chance
    Rain/Snow
    then
    Rain/Snow
    Likely

    Low: 27 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: Snow showers. Some thunder is also possible.  Temperature falling to around 30 by 5pm. West wind 15 to 20 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 80%.

    Snow Showers

    High: 36 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: A 50 percent chance of snow showers.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 20. West northwest wind 11 to 13 mph.

    Chance Snow
    Showers

    Low: 20 °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.