Trip Planning for Southern Gallatin

as of 5:00 am
Today0″ | 15-30 NW
Jan 17 0″ | 15-25 NW
Jan 16 0″ | 10-25 NW
9460′     01/18 at 17:00
W - 7mph
Gusts 12mph
9000′   01/18 at 17:00
59″ Depth
Bottom Line: The snowpack across the advisory area is generally stable and the expected snow won’t be enough weight to change this. However, new snow will likely bury a feathery layer of weak surface hoar that will be our new layer of concern until proven otherwise. Human-triggered avalanches are unlikely to break deeper than the 1-2” of snow falling today. Test the snowpack, assess for isolated instability and employ safe travel practices if you chose to enter avalanche terrain.
Primary Problem: Persistent Weak Layer

Past 5 Days

Fri Jan 14

Sat Jan 15

Sun Jan 16

Mon Jan 17



Relevant Avalanche Activity

Northern Madison
Beehive Basin
Skier triggered cornice beehive basin
Incident details include images
Beehive Basin
Elevation: 9,300
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.3379, -111.3990
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From email 1/9/21: "Skier triggered cornice failure avalanche. Broke at skis 10-12 feet from the lip. No one caught or injured."

More Avalanche Details
Southern Madison
Red Mountain
Natural Avalanches Red Mountain
Incident details include images
Red Mountain
Coordinates: 44.9474, -111.1560
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Several natural avalanches were observed on Red Mountain. These avalanches were seen on 1/13/22, but likely occurred around 1/8/22. 

More Avalanche Details
Lionhead Range
Lionhead Ridge
Avalanche near Lionhead Peak
Incident details include images
Lionhead Ridge
Elevation: 9,000
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 44.7328, -111.3320
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

This avalanche broke wide in a northerly facing bowl off Lionhead Ridge. It looks to have broken a foot or less deep. The propogation indicates a uniform weak layer, likely near-surface facets or surface hoar.

More Avalanche Details

Relevant Photos

Displaying 1 - 18
  • Riders reported on 1/15/22: "Some surface hoar is forming on nearly every aspect at all elevations. over 1 cm thick in some areas." Photo: B. Rasmussen

  • Riders reported on 1/15/22: "Some surface hoar is forming on nearly every aspect at all elevations. over 1 cm thick in some areas." Photo: B. Rasmussen

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

  • 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."

  • A sled was recovered uphill of the 2 avalanche victims in the same area it was stuck. The sled was found with a probe line and is buried 3-4 feet deep. The avalanche crown can be seen in the upper slopes above them. Photo: GNFAC

  • The crown of the avalanche that killed two snowmobilers on December 27, 2021 was 300 feet wide and 4-5 feet deep. Photo: GNFAC

  • These are the two sites where the 2 snowmobilers were recovered. They were buried 4-5 feet deep in debris piles that measured 9 feet deep. Photo: GNFAC

  • Ian Hoyer stands next to the crown where we dug a snowpit and investigated the snow structure. The crown averaged 4-5 feet deep. Near his right knee is the layer of weak faceted snow that broke 40 cm above the ground. Above this layer was a thick slab of windblown snow. Photo: GNFAC

  • Dave Zinn of the GNFAC gets 3 layers breaking in his Extended Column Test. About 3 feet of snow fell in the last 4 days which got blown into wind slabs. The weight of the new snow is also creating instability on a weak layer of sugary facets near the ground. Photo: GNFAC

  • A skier in the Southern Madison Range remotely triggered this avalanche in the Bacon Rind area from a flat bench above the slope. It broke over 50-75' away where the slope got steeper. Human-triggered avalanches are likely. Avoid steep terrain until the snowpack stabilizes. Photo: Anonymous 

  • From obs: 12/12/21: "Heavy wind loading from gusty SW winds and recent snowfall. Made for some touchy conditions. This was at 9100’ between Sage and Sunlight basins." Photo: JR Mooney

  • 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 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’

    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


Electric Peak

Roosevelt Arch

Snowpit Profiles- Southern Gallatin


Select a snowpit on the map to view the profile image

Weather Stations- Southern Gallatin

Weather Forecast Southern Gallatin

Extended Forecast for

17 Miles SE Big Sky MT

  • This

    This Afternoon: Isolated snow showers.  Mostly cloudy, with a steady temperature around 23. Calm wind.  Chance of precipitation is 20%.

    Isolated Snow

    High: 23 °F

  • Tonight

    Tonight: Scattered snow showers, mainly between 8pm and 5am.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 16. South southeast wind 5 to 10 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 40%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Snow Showers

    Low: 16 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: Isolated snow showers before 7am.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 26. South wind 6 to 10 mph becoming west in the afternoon.  Chance of precipitation is 10%.

    Isolated Snow
    Showers then
    Mostly Cloudy

    High: 26 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 12. South wind around 8 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 12 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: A 50 percent chance of snow showers after 11am.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 24. Breezy, with a south southwest wind 11 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

    Chance Snow
    Showers and

    High: 24 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday Night: Snow showers.  Low around 20. South southwest wind 11 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 80%.

    Snow Showers

    Low: 20 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: A 50 percent chance of snow showers.  Partly sunny, with a high near 28. Blustery, with a north northwest wind 11 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.

    Chance Snow
    Showers and

    High: 28 °F

  • Friday

    Friday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 13.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 13 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 30.

    Mostly Sunny

    High: 30 °F

The Last Word

As we wait for the next dump of snow, now is an excellent time to practice avalanche rescue. Are you fast and efficient with your beacon? Is your partner? Even the sharpest knife needs an occasional tune. Check out this BCA video to hone your skills.