Trip Planning for Northern Madison

as of 5:00 am
Apr 305″ | NA
Apr 29 2″ | NA
Apr 28 1″ | NA
9400′     8/09 at 4:00
57 ℉
NW - 7 mph, Gusts 11
-6999 " New
8880′   08/09 at 03:00
56℉
-1″ Depth
Bottom Line: Spring weather can be highly variable and create a mix of avalanche problems to watch out for. Snow conditions and snow stability can change drastically from day to day or hour to hour. Anticipate rapid change and plan accordingly. Plenty of snowfall over the winter with more spring snow to come makes avalanches possible into summer.

Past 5 Days

Mon Apr 18

None
Fri Apr 22

None
Mon Apr 25

None
Fri Apr 29

None
Mon May 2

None

Relevant Photos

Displaying 1 - 40
  • From 5/21/22: "other older slides were visible on a wind loaded NW oriented slopes at the bottom of the basin. Still feels like winter out there with lots of light snow up high!"  Photo: C. Chupik

  • From 5/21/22: "Triggered a small slide underneath the cornice of the southeast chute off of Emigrant peak. The slide was 50 ft wide,  4 inches deep, and ran for about 100 ft. The slide was not large enough to knock you off your feet (D1). The latest storm had deposited about 12 inches of new snow underneath the cornice." Photo: C. Chupik

  • Natural avalanche that occurred at Bridger early on 5/9/22. There were many similar depth natural crowns along the ridge that broke within the recent snow that fell over the weekend.

  • Crown of a natural avalanche that occurred at Bridger on 5/9/22. There were many similar depth natural crowns along the ridge that broke within the recent snow that fell over the weekend.

  • Obs 5/9/22: "found an intact graupel layer buried by 10-14” of fresh snow. Got cracking on it (ectn 17, ct 18) but no propagation. Also saw lots old of storm slabs/wind slab crowns."

  • Natural wet loose avalanche in Beehive Basin. Occurred on Wednesday 5/4 after new snow fell on Tuesday.

  • Wet loose snow avalanches of recent 6" of snow. They likely occurred when the sun came out Wednesday morning, or at the end of the storm on Tuesday. GNFAC

  • "5/3/22 at approximately 4:00pm a storm slab avalanche occurred in beehive basin on a west aspect @9000 ft. This slab was 6-8” deep and propagated around 50’. No one was buried, however we aren’t sure if anyone was caught because we were not the party who triggered this avalanche. We did witness the party drop in but quick went out of sight." Photo: H. Bigos-Lowe

  • From obs 5/1/22: "This morning we toured south of Flathead Pass to check out the conditions. We noticed on our way up that the freezing line was ~7500 ft. The punchy and wet surface crust became quite supportive and icy at this altitude. We dug a pit at ~7900ft on a NE aspect. At this location, the overnight snow totaled only 2cm but we observed more significant wind deposition in and around the trees of about 10cm. Our shovel shear tests resulted in an easy shear at 120cm and hard shear (Q1) at 90cm. We saw no results from the ECT but, upon shearing the ECT block, we were able to pop off the block at 90cm with a surprising amount of energy (see photo). This block was quite consolidated, so much so that it remained intact as we pushed it out of the pit. With this observation, we stayed off steeper terrain today and will be looking for increased instability at this interface as temperatures warm." Photo: E. Shreier

  • From 4/30/22: "...there were several wet loose avalanches at Bridger today. Some with ~5cm of snow on top, maybe from yesterday or earlier in the week, and some new this morning. We watched a relatively slow moving natural size 2 come down Colter's area around 10:30. We also ski cut a size 1.5 from the skiers right of the Lower Nose (NE asp) around 9:45 which ran on the melt freeze crust from earlier this week. It moved slowly but I was surprised by how much mass it entrained. A couple other ski cuts just above had produced smaller size 1s. The debris stopped on top of an older debris pile which was significantly larger and had run significantly further. (You can kind of see the difference in the photo). There was also widespread roller balling and pinwheeling on all aspects and elevations. Note - sizes are D sizes..." Photo: N. de Leeuw

  • On Saturday 4/30/22, skiers triggered this new snow slide in a meadow descending into bear basin. Sun affected, new snow sliding. Photo: P. Smoral

  • From obs (4/27/22) : "This morning we toured up to Gallatin Peak from Beehive Basin.... At the base of the peak we observed the remnants of a small natural slab". Photo: E. Schreier

  • Skiers reported shooting cracks from their skis while ascending the terrain at Bridger Bowl. The group later remotely triggered an avalanche from 100'+ away that ran through the "Pearly Gates" and "Patrol Chute". 

  • On 4/18/22 near Cooke City we witnessed natural rollerballs and pinwheels by 11 am, and a couple wet loose slides below cliffs on southerly slopes around noon, and were able to easily trigger pinwheels on west-southwest aspects around 1230-1pm. Photo: GNFAC

  • From obs 4/7/22: "We observed a small cornice triggered avalanche (R1-D1.5) from a wind-loaded gully off Peak 10602 that likely slid during or soon after the recent storm cycle. The slide had a crown of approx. 8-15in, and ran ~300ft. ... We also observed several other instances of recent cornice-fall in the basin."

  • A large drift on the Ramp just north of Bridger Bowl. Photo: GNFAC

  • Drifts cracked and slid on steep rollovers north of Bridger Bowl. Photo: K Hammonds

  • The Red X was the location of the upper skier, the Blue X was the initial location of the lower skier and the Green X is where the lower skier slid to. The black outline is the approximate dimensions of the slide.

  • An avalanche on Wilson Peak that caught two skiers and injured one on 4/3/22. Photo: GNFAC

  • Crown of an avalanche on Wilson Peak that caught two skiers and injured one on 4/3/22. Photo: GNFAC

  • Skier triggered avalanche on a sub-ridge of Wilson Peak that caught and injured a skier on 4/3/22.

    Photo: GNFAC

  • This natural wet, loose avalanche on the east face of Baldy Mtn in the Bridger Range likely released on March 27. Photo: B. Finch

  • This natural wet, loose avalanche on the east face of Baldy Mtn in the Bridger Range likely released on March 27. Photo: B. Finch

  • On 3/27/22 Big Sky ski patrol witnessed many natural wet slides in closed terrain. Photo: BSSP

  • "We also conducted avalanche mitigation on our Cabin’s Road at 4:30pm. The snowpack in this zone doesn’t get skied and is representative of the backcountry. The slope is ENE around 8,400’. Several wet slab avalanches were produced with explosives and ski cutting. The avalanches ranged from R4/D2 to R2/D1. They all hit the road and several crossed, and buried, the Cabin’s Road. Although most of this mitigation was done with explosives, it took minimal effort with skis to get snow moving. The crowns were 2-3’ deep and ran on the ground." Photo: YCSP

  • "A wet loose avalanche was seen in the Apron (closed terrain that hasn’t been opened this season) around 3:00pm. It was an R2/D2 on a east facing slope around an elevation of 8,500’." Photo: YCSP

  • Natural wet slab avalanche on Cedar Mtn. Observed 3/26/22. Photo: J. Gerardi

  • Natural slab avalanche on the Sphinx. Observed 3/26/22. Photo: J. Gerardi

  • On March 26 many natural wet slides occurred in closed terrain at Bridger Bowl. Photo: BBSP

  • Dry slab avalanche observed on 3/24/22 in the Lone Lake Cirque, in the backcountry adjacent to Big Sky Ski Resort. Broke either overnight on 3/23 or early morning of 3/24.  Photo: BSSP.

  • These slab avalanches were seen on the east-southeast aspect of Cedar Mountain on March 22. The photo was taken from the Yellowstone Club. Photo: S. Egan

  • A natural avalanche under the cliffs to the looker's right on Cedar Mountain. It likely failed during or immediately after this weekend's snowstorm (March 20th). Photo: J Gerardi

  • Ski patrollers at the Yellowstone Club spotted this snowmobile-triggered avalanche on 3/21. 

  • Patrollers at the Yellowstone Club spotted a natural avalanche under the cliffs to the looker's right on Cedar Mountain. It likely failed during or immediately after this weekend's snowstorm (March 20th). Photo: YCSP

  • On March 12, riders at Buck Ridge triggered 3 slides from the base of small hills. They also observed two natural avalanches and one other slide triggered by a snowmobiler. Photo: sledr700

  • On March 12, riders at Buck Ridge triggered 3 slides from the base of small hills. They also observed two natural avalanches and one other slide triggered by a snowmobiler. Photo: sledr700

  • Large chucks of hard debris were piled 3-4' deep in the runout of a human-triggered avalanche in the backcountry near Big Sky Resort. Photo: GNFAC

  • The Big Sky Ski Patrol saw this natural avalanche on Cedar Mountain as it occurred. Photo: N. Laskowski

  • From obs: "The slide was triggered Monday afternoon by us climbing up the slightly lower angle slope to the left.  It was an East facing slope at 9400’ above Muddy Creek drainage. We triggered lots of sluff slides in the new snow.  This small wind slab was the most significant action we got or saw all day, however, we mostly stayed well away from obviously loaded steep terrain."  

Videos- Northern Madison

WebCams


8800' Camera, Lone Peak view

Yellowstone Club, Timberline Chair

Snowpit Profiles- Northern Madison

 

Select a snowpit on the map to view the profile image

Weather Forecast Northern Madison

Extended Forecast for

5 Miles NNW Big Sky MT

  • Today

    Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 73. Light and variable wind becoming north northwest 5 to 8 mph in the afternoon.

    Mostly Sunny

    High: 73 °F

  • Tonight

    Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 54. North northeast wind 7 to 9 mph becoming southeast after midnight.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 54 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm.  Mostly sunny, with a high near 76. South southeast wind 8 to 15 mph becoming southwest in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 22 mph.

    Mostly Sunny
    then Slight
    Chance
    T-storms

    High: 76 °F

  • Wednesday
    Night

    Wednesday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly between 7pm and 1am.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 53. South southwest wind 7 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.

    Chance
    Showers

    Low: 53 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 1pm.  Partly sunny, with a high near 68. South southwest wind 7 to 10 mph becoming west in the afternoon.  Chance of precipitation is 60%.

    Partly Sunny
    then Showers
    Likely

    High: 68 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before 7pm, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms between 7pm and 1am.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 52. West wind 7 to 10 mph becoming south after midnight.  Chance of precipitation is 60%.

    Showers
    Likely then
    Chance
    T-storms

    Low: 52 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 1pm.  Partly sunny, with a high near 68. South wind 6 to 10 mph becoming north northwest in the afternoon.  Chance of precipitation is 60%.

    Partly Sunny
    then Showers
    Likely

    High: 68 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before 7pm, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms between 7pm and 1am.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 50. North northwest wind 6 to 10 mph becoming south southeast in the evening.

    Showers
    Likely then
    Chance
    T-storms

    Low: 50 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 1pm.  Partly sunny, with a high near 66.

    Partly Sunny
    then Showers
    Likely

    High: 66 °F

The Last Word

Thank you to everyone that sent in observations, read the advisories, took an avalanche class or donated money, time or gear. Our success is directly related to community support and the Forest Service. Have a safe spring and summer! See this article for some general spring travel advice.