GNFAC Avalanche Forecast for Sun Jan 30, 2022

Not the Current Forecast

Good morning. This is Alex Marienthal with the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Forecast on Sunday, January 30th at 7:00 a.m. This information is sponsored by Klim, Gastrognome, and Chad Bunting-Financial Advisor-Edward Jones. This forecast does not apply to operating ski areas.

Mountain Weather

This morning there is no new snow. Temperatures are teens to mid-20s F, and low 30s F at low elevations near Big Sky and in the Bridger Range. Wind is westerly at 10-20 mph with gusts of 20-45 mph. Today will be partly sunny with temperatures reaching high 20s to low 30s F. Wind will be out of the west at 15-25 mph. Clouds will increase tonight with snow beginning tomorrow morning and at least a couple inches of snow expected through most of the advisory area during the day tomorrow.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion

All Regions

The snowpack is generally stable and avalanches are unlikely, but unlikely does not mean impossible. Small avalanches of wind-drifted snow or loose snow could be triggered and are most hazardous in high consequence terrain where they could push you over cliffs or into trees. There are isolated areas where a slab of wind-drifted snow could produce an avalanche large enough to bury or injure a person. Yesterday skiers near Big Sky saw a natural avalanche on Wilson Peak which involved recent, wind-drifted snow and appeared to be triggered by a cornice fall on Friday (photo and details). If you choose to ski or ride in avalanche terrain it is always important to carefully assess the snowpack on each slope, only expose one person at a time, and carry proper avalanche rescue gear.

Yesterday Ian rode all over north of Cooke City, he did not see any avalanches and found stable snow. I saw similar stable conditions near Lionhead, but we both saw that the top of the snowpack has become a pile of weak layers (photo, Cooke video, Lionhead video). We expect avalanches will break on these layers when we get enough snow. We have found similar weak layers on the surface of the snowpack throughout the advisory area over the last week (Mt. Ellis video, Saddle Peak video, Wheeler Mtn. video, Taylor Fork video). While these are not a problem right now, we want to have them in mind and be ready to ride in safer terrain if we get enough snow to create unstable conditions.

Today, the snowpack is generally stable with only small or isolated instabilities, and the avalanche danger is LOW.

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

Upcoming Education Opportunities

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:

February 4th, Dillon Montana Avalanche Fundamentals, three-part series of pre-recorded lectures, virtual Q&A and an in-person field session. Pre-registration and more information HERE.

February 5th, King and Queen of the Ridge at Bridger Bowl. Come hike and ski with your friends for avalanche awareness and fun! Details below.

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.


Do you like to hike? Do you like to ski? Then the King & Queen of the Ridge is for you. Hike, ski and raise money for the Friends of the Avalanche Center in their 2nd biggest fundraiser of the year. Join the effort to promote and support avalanche safety and awareness! Fundraising prizes for top 5 individuals who raise over $500. No racing is necessary to compete for the fundraising prizes. Info is HERE. Race participants for the February 5th event must register separately with Bridger Bowl HERE.

The Last Word

The Beacon Park at Beall Park in Bozeman and the West Yellowstone Beacon Park are up and running! Stop by to check them out and practice with your rescue gear.