Good Morning. This is Alex Marienthal with the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Forecast on Saturday, April 10th at 6:50 a.m. Today’s forecast is sponsored by Blitz Motorsports and Yamaha. This forecast does not apply to operating ski areas.
Bridger Bowl is closed, and backcountry conditions exist (video). There is no avalanche mitigation or ski patrol rescue. Please stay clear of work areas, snowmobiles, chair lifts and other equipment.
This morning, there is no new snow, temperatures are upper teens to low 30s F and wind has been west-southwest at 15-25 mph with gusts of 35-45 mph. Today wind will be west-southwest at 20-35 mph and temperatures will reach mid-30s to low 40s F under mostly clear skies. Cloud cover will increase later in the day with a chance for rain this afternoon and 1-2” of snow tonight.
The snowpack is generally stable, and avalanches deeper than recent snow are unlikely. On Thursday night the mountains got 3-6” of snow near Big Sky, West Yellowstone and Hyalite with 1-2” near Cooke City and the Bridger Range. This snow created small avalanche hazards that can be harmful, especially in higher consequence terrain like above cliffs, rocks, trees or on firm, steep slopes.
Yesterday skiers in the Absarokas saw fresh wind slabs that broke naturally on north and east aspects (photo). Drifts that formed yesterday will be more difficult to trigger today, but a few fresh drifts will grow with increasing west winds.
As temperatures warm through the day, or if there is rain this afternoon, shallow wet loose slides could be triggered. A few might initiate naturally near warm, rocky outcrops on slopes that receive direct sunshine, but wind and increasing cloud cover will keep wet slide activity minimal.
Before you ride or travel below steep slopes watch for signs of recently drifted snow or the snow surface getting wet. Signs of wind-loading include changes in snow texture, round pillows of snow, slopes directly below cornices and snow blowing off ridgelines. Signs that the snow is becoming wet and unstable include natural rollerballs or pinwheels of snow, or feeling that the snow surface has become moist and recent crusts have melted.
Today the snowpack is generally stable aside from small and isolated hazards, and the avalanche danger is LOW.
Upcoming Avalanche Education and Events
See our education calendar for an up-to-date list of all local classes.
We will end regular forecasts this Sunday and will begin issuing weather, snowpack and avalanche updates every Monday and Friday as well as updates to social media through April. Avalanches will still be possible if there is snow on the ground. Remain vigilant with safe travel practices and snowpack assessments for the duration of your riding season.