GNFAC Avalanche Forecast for Fri Jan 14, 2022

Not the Current Forecast

Good morning. This is Ian Hoyer with the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Forecast on Friday, January 14th at 7:00 a.m. This information is sponsored by Blitz Motorsports and Yamaha and onX. This forecast does not apply to operating ski areas.

Mountain Weather

There is no new snow this morning. Winds are 10-20 mph out of the west and north and will continue today. Temperatures are in the high teens and low 20s F. Today, temperatures will climb to the 20s F with skies clearing through the day. A dusting of new snow may fall this morning.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion

It remains possible to trigger an avalanche in the mountains around West Yellowstone and Cooke City. It’s been 6 days since the end of the last storm and while each day without snowfall does help the snowpack settle and stabilize, we still don’t completely trust the snowpack (Lionhead video). Skiers in the southern Madison Range yesterday saw several natural avalanches on Red Mountain (photo). These slides (along with a large slide on Sage Peak - photo) likely broke last weekend, but provide examples of the sort of large avalanches that could still be triggered today. Digging to test the snowpack is your best bet to identify slopes where the weak layers at the ground remain unstable. The avalanche danger is MODERATE.

Avalanches are unlikely in the mountains around Big Sky and Bozeman. On Buck Ridge yesterday, I found the lower snowpack has been gaining strength and stabilizing (video). In general, the snowpack is now mostly stable. This does not mean it is impossible to trigger a slide. Yesterday, skiers in the northern Bridger Range saw a natural avalanche that likely failed several days ago (photo) and got propagation under a wind slab in their Extended Column Tests. These signs of instability led them to choose to ski a mellower line than they had initially intended. This is the right mindset for today - be on the hunt for areas of isolated instability and look for reasons to back off your objectives. The avalanche danger is LOW near Big Sky and Bozeman.

If you get out, please send us your observations no matter how brief. You can submit them via our website, email (mtavalanche@gmail.com), phone (406-587-6984), or Instagram (#gnfacobs).

Upcoming Education Opportunities

The West Yellowstone Beacon Park is up and running! Stop by to check it out and practice with your rescue gear. 

See our education calendar for an up-to-date list of all local classes. Here are a few select upcoming events and opportunities to check out:

TOMORROW! January 15, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., Avalanche Awareness and Beacon Park at Big Sky Community Park with Big Sky Community Organization.

January 16th, 4-8 p.m., Pint Night benefiting the Darren Johnson Avalanche Education Memorial Fund at Beehive Brewery 

January 20 + Field day. Our popular Avalanche Fundamentals with Field Course is perfect as a refresher or an introduction to avalanches. We are introducing a new format with four pre-recorded lectures to watch at your convenience, a live question and answer session, and a choice of a snowmobile or ski/ board-based field day occurring the following two weekends.

Every Saturday near Cooke City, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. FREE snowpack update and transceiver/rescue training. Stop by for 20 minutes or more at the Round Lake Warming Hut.

 

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.


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