Trip Planning for Bridgers

as of 5:00 am
Today0″ | 20-55 W
Feb 7 0″ | 30-50 W
Feb 6 4″ | 10-42 W
8100′     02/08 at 20:00
14℉
0″New
8500′     02/08 at 20:00
12℉
W - 22mph
Gusts 38 mph
Bottom Line: The mountains have another day of strong wind with a few inches of new snow falling today. If it is snowing and blowing, triggering avalanches gets easier. The mountains have weak layers of sugary snow in the top 2-3 feet of the snowpack that are reactive in stability tests. Stay off of wind-loaded terrain and be wary of buried weak layers since they can still avalanche on a few slopes. Triggering avalanches on wind-loaded terrain is likely today.
Primary Problem: Wind-Drifted Snow

Past 5 Days

Sat Feb 4

Moderate
Sun Feb 5

Moderate
Mon Feb 6

Considerable
Tue Feb 7

Considerable
Today

Considerable

Relevant Avalanche Activity

Bridger Range
BRIDGER RANGE
Avalanches on Bridger Canyon drive
Incident details include images
BRIDGER RANGE
HS-N-R2-D1-O
Elevation: 6,000
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.7211, -110.9100
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

One maybe two distinct seemingly natural large natural slab avalanches on small slope directly next to bridger canyon drive.  One on the lookers left was likely cornice triggered, but on the right it's unclear to me if it propagated or released naturally.


More Avalanche Details
Bridger Range
Saddle Peak
Sympathetic Release of the Football Field
Saddle Peak
HS-AE-R3-D3-O
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.7943, -110.9360
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From BBSP: "Most of the Football Field pulled with the top Bitter End shot."


More Avalanche Details
Bridger Range
BRIDGER RANGE
Many large natural new snow avalanches, Bridger Ridge
BRIDGER RANGE
SS-N-R3-D2.5
Elevation: 9,000
Coordinates: 45.8512, -110.9480
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From obs 1/29/23: "Noticed multiple crowns while driving up to bridger bowl this morning. Most evident was wide crown line on saddle peak below the corniced ridge stretching from the summit towards football field. Another was an obvious crown on what I believe is Argentina Bowl south of Saddle peak. From a distance, this all looked like new snow crowns and didn’t seem like anything stepped down to our buried weak layers. East wind had an interesting effect on the ridgeline above bridger bowl."

BBSP noted on 1/29/23: "A crown on Saddle Peak could be seen in today's bright light.  It began at the football field, extended to the top of the peak and a flank was visible extending down the skyline.  A secondary pocket pulled on the north facing slope below the Going Home Chute.  On the west side St Lawrence pulled out wall to wall, and behind Mountain Mother had a crown that was more filled in on the south facing side that began about half way down.  Also, a crown was noted on the south facing ridge of Bradley's Meadows ridge below the cliffs."


More Avalanche Details

Relevant Photos

Displaying 1 - 40
  • One maybe two distinct seemingly natural large natural slab avalanches on small slope directly next to bridger canyon drive.  One on the lookers left was likely cornice triggered, but on the right it's unclear to me if it propagated or released naturally.

  • One maybe two distinct seemingly natural large natural slab avalanches on small slope directly next to bridger canyon drive.  One on the lookers left was likely cornice triggered, but on the right it's unclear to me if it propagated or released naturally.

  • Thanks to everyone who came out and supported the Friends of the GNFAC at this year's King and Queen of the Ridge at Bridger Bowl! Photo: GNFAC

  • This year's King of the Ridge, Casey Bloomer with a record-setting 34 hikes. Thanks to everyone who came out and supported the Friends of the GNFAC at this year's King and Queen of the Ridge at Bridger Bowl! Photo: GNFAC

  • Thanks to everyone who came out and supported the Friends of the GNFAC at this year's King and Queen of the Ridge at Bridger Bowl! Photo: GNFAC

  • Thanks to everyone who came out and supported the Friends of the GNFAC at this year's King and Queen of the Ridge at Bridger Bowl! Photo: GNFAC

  • From IG message: "Another one today. Back of buck creek. Triggered 100 yards above where I crossed below it in the safe zone, after I went by. No burials."

  • From obs 1/28/23: "While snowmobiling up Little Bear we witnessed this natural avalanche. There was 2-3' of new snow." Photo: J. Otis

  • From obs 1/28/23: "There were numerous debris piles, point releases, and crowns on the north face of Elephant and the northeast face of Blackmore this morning.  Most of them appeared to have run during the storm (1/27) and had been covered by at least 6 inches of new snow." Photo. S. Regnerus

  • From IG:

    Fairy lake today (1/27/23), remote trigger from top of the ridge

    About 2-2.5ft deep about 75-100 ft wide

     

  • From Big Sky Ski Patrol 1/21/23: "skier triggered a surface wind slab in Wyoming Bowl that broke 8-12” deep. It propagated to an estimated 150’ wide- SS, R1/D1.5... The slide was small, no one was hurt, and the avalanche was reported (which we appreciate), with no further public involvement other than the trigger."

  • Another slide was seen from the highway in Argentina Bowl. This slide appears to be a shallow soft slab that ~50 ft wide and ran ~500 vertical ft.

  • Darren Johnson was a passionate skier, patroller, and wildland firefighter and this fund helps his memory live on. During the week of January 16, 2023, there are two events happening to help spread awareness about the DJ Fund and generate donations for the next recipients to attend National Avalanche School in October 2024. The first event is at the Independent Theatre on Tuesday, January 17. This charity event has a $10 entry fee which includes a raffle ticket to a silent auction. On Thursday, January 19, join us at Beehive Basin Brewery for a raffle and pint night in which $1 from every pint sold goes into the DJ Memorial Fund.

    To donate to the Darren Johnson Avalanche Education Memorial Fund visit djmemorialfund.org, or join us at these two exciting events hosted by Yellowstone Club Ski Patrol. Huge thanks to all who have sponsored and donated to these events.

  • Close up of the crown of the avalanche on Saddle Peak that broke on Friday 01/6/23. 18-24" deep.

  • From IG 1/7/23: "Natural slide in avalanche bowl up in fairy lake today." Photo: S. Mooney

  • The "crown" of a very small skier triggered avalanche in the northern Bridger Range. 1/6/23. GNFAC photo.


     

  • We rode into The Throne, and skinned up the ridge. While skinning we saw cracks in front of our skis in the 6” of new snow. Photo: GNFAC


     

  • Looking down the very small avalanche (~4" deep) we triggered on a small, steep slope below The Throne. GNFAC photo. 1/6/23.


     

  • At 1:30 PM on Jan 6th a large avalanche poured over the cliffs on Saddle Peak, outside the boundaries of Bridger Bowl. Clouds obscured the starting zone. Multiple groups were in the runout zone, including a party building a jump. One person was caught and buried up to his neck. He was able extricate himself and was unharmed. He estimated the debris was at least six feet deep.

    We believe this was a natural avalanche that broke in the new and wind drifted snow. Bridger Bowl measured 6" of new snow with 0.75 inches of Snow Water Equivalent at the Alpine Wx. Station.

    Photo: S. Peterson

  • Jan 3, 2023: Dug a pit and found weak and unstable snow. We backtracked to the ridge. A recent avalanche from 2 days ago involved new, windblown snow. 

  • Natural avalanche on 1/1/23 on Saddle Peak. Appeared to involve the new, wind-drifted snow. Photo: BBSP

  • We looked at the avalanche that killed a snowmobiler yesterday (12/31/22) on Crown Butte near Cooke City. Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the victim, and those involved with the rescue and recovery. Photo: GNFAC

  • On December 31, 2022 a snowmobiler was killed in a very large avalanche north of Cooke City, MT. The avalanche occurred near Daisy Pass on Crown Butte on a southeast facing slope at 9,800’. The avalanche appeared to be 2-4' deep, 500' wide, 600' vertical, and broke on weak snow near the bottom of the snowpack. Photo: GNFAC

  • On 12/28/2022 from the lower south boundary of Bridger Bowl, ski patrol saw an old avalanche crown and debris on steep rolling terrain below the large cliffs on Saddle Peak. Appeared to be 1-2 days old, 2 feet deep and 60 feet wide, N-R2-D2-O

  • Many slick roofs shed this winter's snow with the above-freezing temperatures. There are some impressive fracture lines at the ice rink in Bogert Park in Bozeman. Photo: GNFAC

  • Today we toured up Beehive Basin to Prayer Flags and down into Bear Basin. We found moderate winds transporting snow at Prayer Flags. We also observed a recent small natural avalanche that broke just below the cornice at prayer flags (9200'). It was unclear if a cornice collapse triggered the avalanche. We did not go to the crown, but estimated it to be about 20-30 feet wide, 6-8 inches deep, and running less than 100 feet. Photo: J. Breen

  • From Obs: "Natural wind slab, likely triggered by cornice fall in the last day or two, on a NE aspect at 8500’. Propagated ~150’ wide and ran probably 300’. Slab thickness seemed to be 18-24” at the thickest. No sign of stepping down deeper into facets in the snowpack, although adjacent to this slide there was evidence of an older slide (previous to recent storm cycle) that failed deeper in the snowpack." Photo: C. von Avis

  • From Obs: "Natural wind slab, likely triggered by cornice fall in the last day or two, on a NE aspect at 8500’. Propagated ~150’ wide and ran probably 300’. Slab thickness seemed to be 18-24” at the thickest. No sign of stepping down deeper into facets in the snowpack, although adjacent to this slide there was evidence of an older slide (previous to recent storm cycle) that failed deeper in the snowpack." Photo: C. von Avis

  • From obs: 12/16: "I thought this would be interesting to share but while driving around Gallatin gateway today I noticed multiple small wind pockets that released in steep draws in the gateway foothills area." Photo: M. Gaffney

  • Skier triggered avalanche on Saddle Peak. 12/16/22.

    From obs: "I would estimate 2-4’ deep, 150’ wide. ... It ran full length into the bottom of Argentina bowl and south gut with a massive powder cloud. "
     

  • Went on a tour today with some buddies with hopes of skiing the great one. Once up in the sac bowl, we opted to back away given the wind was howling. We skied the white worm, and saw numerous cracks shooting across the slope. I opted to ski a short and sweet N facing couloir which started out pretty firm into avalanche bowl. About halfway down, I had a wind slab release after one soft turn with the deepest portion of the slide being one foot. I was not carried as I immediately cut out of the fall line, the slide rolled for about 200 vert. My friends opted to ski the direct headwall exit and had numerous small wind slabs pull out. Some areas were stripped to rock of snow. Photo: T.S.

  • Went on a tour today with some buddies with hopes of skiing the great one. Once up in the sac bowl, we opted to back away given the wind was howling. We skied the white worm, and saw numerous cracks shooting across the slope. I opted to ski a short and sweet N facing couloir which started out pretty firm into avalanche bowl. About halfway down, I had a wind slab release after one soft turn with the deepest portion of the slide being one foot. I was not carried as I immediately cut out of the fall line, the slide rolled for about 200 vert. My friends opted to ski the direct headwall exit and had numerous small wind slabs pull out. Some areas were stripped to rock of snow. 

  • I dug a pit above Silken Falls in the gulley. I found a weak layer of facets breaking about 10" under a wind slab (ECTP15). We did not get any cracking, but the terrain is very serious and even a small slide could be deadly. We did not feel comfortable center punching up the gully. Given how much traffic the gullies are getting, I do not think it is widespread, but it's out there and could avalanche.

    Wind and snow this weekend may make this layer more unstable, so it's important to be careful crossing exposed terrain. Either rope up or tun around if it is suspect.

     

WebCams


Bridger Base Area

Ridge, Looking North

Alpine Apron

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 20 percent chance of snow showers before 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 12. Wind chill values as low as zero. Blustery, with a west northwest wind 20 to 25 mph decreasing to 11 to 16 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 33 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow Showers
    and Blustery
    then Mostly
    Cloudy

    Low: 12 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 29. Wind chill values as low as zero. West wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

    Sunny

    High: 29 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: Mostly clear, with a steady temperature around 24. West southwest wind 11 to 14 mph.

    Mostly Clear

    Low: 24 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: Sunny, with a high near 37. Southwest wind 10 to 13 mph.

    Sunny

    High: 37 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 19. West southwest wind around 10 mph.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 19 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 32. West wind 8 to 10 mph.

    Mostly Sunny

    High: 32 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 18. Southwest wind around 11 mph.

    Mostly Clear

    Low: 18 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: A slight chance of snow before 11am.  Mostly sunny, with a high near 30. West southwest wind 11 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow then
    Mostly Sunny

    High: 30 °F

  • Sunday
    Night

    Sunday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 20.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 20 °F

The Last Word

Bruce Jamieson’s videos on Snow Science explain heady topics to the layman. Understanding the avalanche dragon helps keep us alive.

02 / 7 / 23  <<  
 
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