Regional Conditions for Cooke City Area

as of 5:00 am
Today0″ | 15-30 SW
Jan 26 0″ | 5-15 SE
Jan 25 0″ | 5-15 W
10,000′     01/27 at 22:00
10.3℉
SW - 17mph
Gusts 33mph
9100′   01/27 at 22:00
18℉
64″ Depth
Bottom Line: The challenge in Cooke City is that many slopes are stable while some have one or two buried weak layers. The first is a recently problematic layer of surface hoar buried 12-18" deep and the second is a more dormant layer of sugary facets buried 2-3' deep. Variability between slopes requires riders and skiers to be attentive to changes in conditions, to plan routes carefully and to regularly search for signs of instability as a reason to back out of steep terrain.
Primary Problem: Persistent Weak Layer

Past 5 Days

Sat Jan 23

Moderate
Sun Jan 24

Moderate
Mon Jan 25

Moderate
Tue Jan 26

Moderate
Today

Moderate

Avalanche Activity- Cooke City Area

Cooke City
COOKE CITY
Snowmobiler caught and uninjured in avalanche, Cooke City
COOKE CITY
AMu
Aspect: S
Coordinates: 45.0202, -109.9380
Caught: 1 ; Buried: 0

CCMS called and said a rider triggered a slide about 1/4 mile north of Huckelberry Lake on a south facing slope. It trashed a rental sled. The rider was at the crown when it broke and was above most of the debris. He was only buried to his knees and was uninjured. No details on size or depth of slide. A close call.
 


More Avalanche Details
Cooke City
Sheep Mountain
Snowmobile triggered on Sheep Mtn, Cooke
Incident details include images
Incident details contain video
Sheep Mountain
SS-AMu-R2-D2-O
Elevation: 9,800
Aspect: S
Coordinates: 45.0722, -109.9280
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Snowmobilers triggered two avalanches on 1/22/2021. A group of 11 were climbing on the southside of Sheep Mountain. The slides were triggered by two separate riders.


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Cooke City
Republic Creek
Cracking and Collapsing, Cooke City
Republic Creek
Coordinates: 44.9855, -109.9410
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From Obs: "On a W facing slope in dense trees just east of the Republic Creek skin track, 8200" - 9200". Snow was not wind loaded at all. There was a buried weak layer about a foot below the new snow, but the new snow had not formed a slab so stability seemed good. There was one incident of a collapse crossing a small gully at about 40deg, a crack formed but did not slide probably due to no wind loading."


More Avalanche Details

Photos- Cooke City Area

Displaying 1 - 40
  • A snowmobiler triggered this slide to the east of Huckleberry Lake. It likely failed on facets that formed a couple weeks ago. The rider was buried to his knees and uninjured. Photo: GNFAC

  • A cornice broke (X) and triggered an avalanche on Miller Ridge. Photo: GNFAC

  • Skiers near Meridian Peak observed cracking in the snowpack. It appeared to be the wind-drifted snow sitting on top of a layer of feathery surface hoar buried about a foot under the snow. Photo: T Parrie

  • These 2 avalanches were triggered by snowmobilers on the south face of Sheep Mtn on 1/23. Photo: GNFAC

  • This surface hoar crystal was pulled from the pit wall on Henderson Bench outside Cooke City. These feathers of snow are buried under a foot deep on some slopes. They are a weak layer that we are tracking throughout southwest MT. Photo: GNFAC

  • From email, "A slab avalanche observed on Mt. Republic, northerly aspect, 8,600'." Photo: B Fredlund

  • 2 slides on the south side of Sheep Mtn. Crown looked to be 1-3 feet high. Both where triggered by snowmobiles.  Photo: R. DeSilva

  • 2 slides on the south side of Sheep Mtn. Crown looked to be 1-3 feet high. Both where triggered by snowmobiles.  Photo: R. DeSilva

  • Photo: Sam H.

  • Small, skier triggered avalanche near Goose Lake. Photo: B. Fredlund

  • We triggered shooting cracks on a small, south-facing slope near Astral Lake, north of Cooke City. The cracks went down to a layer of surface hoar and facets on a crust. Photo: GNFAC

  • From obs: "While skinning up the south shoulder of Scotch Bonnet [on 1/15/21], about half way (~10,000 ft.) shooting cracks occurred on convexities and were accompanied by whumpfing. While traversing a slope a crack shot perpendicular to the slope at a convexity about 60 ft. up and the whole slope collapsed. After this we immediately turned around taking the most conservative path. These conditions were not present lower down the slope and a snow pit showed no propagation with only a Q3 fracture on the recent layer of surface hoar..." Photo: M. Dvorsak

  • From email: "Extremely touchy snowpack in the pebble creek drainage [on 1/16/21]. Nearly constant collapsing and cracks were shooting very long distances. Snowpack was definitely sending a clear message!" Photo: J. Zimmerer

  • Look for a distinct stripe in the wall of your snowpit 0.5-1.5' beneath the snow surface to identify a buried layer of weak surface hoar. Photo: GNFAC

  • A skier near Cooke City intentionally triggered this small slab that broke on surface hoar on 1/16/21, SE aspect. Photo: J. Baker

  • This small, natural avalanche released on a west aspect outside Cooke City. It was seen from the road. Photo: B. Fredlund

  • This small, natural avalanche released on a north aspect outside Cooke City. It was seen from the road. Photo: B. Fredlund

  • This small, natural avalanche released on a west aspect outside Cooke City. It was seen from the road. Photo: B. Fredlund

  • This natural avalanche was observed 1/13/21 south of Cooke City. It looks to have broke that day during snowfall and strong wind. Photo: N. Hance

  • Surface hoar was observed on many slopes near Cooke City on 1/12/21. It is now buried by recent snow and may cause avalanches. Photo: @turbo_dieshall

  • A recently observed avalanche that ran something in the January 5th cycle (within a few days of 1/5). This occurred on a northerly aspect around 9,000'. Photo: B Fredlund

  • A recently observed avalanche that ran something in the January 5th cycle (within a few days of 1/5). This occurred on a westerly aspect around 10,000. Photo: B Fredlund

  • From obs: "1/9/21 350pm: 333 deg NNW, broke on ski cut lookers right approx 60 ft across, 200 ft or so total distance to toe of debris. Broke 2.5/3 ft deep on a wind loaded pocket, slid on a firm surface with facets on top."

  • From obs: "1/9/21 350pm: 333 deg NNW, broke on ski cut lookers right approx 60 ft across, 200 ft or so total distance to toe of debris. Broke 2.5/3 ft deep on a wind loaded pocket, slid on a firm surface with facets on top."

  • Observed 1/9/21. Photo: H. Graham

  • From email:"We suspect this happened fresh today (1/9/21), we  wonder if those animal tracks coming in from the left triggered it. North facing, 2 ft crown, (I’d guess), about 9k feet, facing Goose Creek. So our friends (while ski cutting) triggered a  very similar slide on this same aspect/elevation mid afternoon today, about 1/4 mile farther west along this ridge, looked to be same depth." Photo: S. Strenge

  • Photo: B. Fredlund

  • A clear morning on 1/9/21 provided good opportunity for a photo of the avalanche triggered by a group of skiers on 1/8/21. Photo: B. Fredlund

  • The slide ran 700 feet vertical and 200 feet wide over a rock band and through trees. Photo: GNFAC

  • The debris field was estimated to be 4-500 feet wide and up to 6 feet deep. Photo: GNFAC

  • The bed surface was a uniform 37 degree steepness. Photo: GNFAC

  • The crown was 1.5-2' deep and broke on a layer of faceted crystals. Photo: GNFAC

  • From observation (1/8/21): "Skier triggered slide from someone outside our group lower in Silver Creek 9350’ S facing 18-24” deep 60-70’ wide. Ran 500’ skier was able to regain skis and off slab 100’ below initiation."

  • Natural avalanche NW of Cooke City on an E, SE aspect around 9,700'.

    Photo: B. Fredlund

  • On January 8, 2021 a group of skiers triggered an avalanche on The Fin outside Cooke City (pictured). Three were caught, two were injured and one was evacuated by helicopter due to serious injuries. Photo: A. Mallet

  • "We observed at least a half a dozen recent/ fresh slab avalanches north of Cooke City today. These slab avalanches were found: on all aspects, near ridgelines, and also on many aprons." Photo: B. Fredlund

  • "We observed at least a half a dozen recent/ fresh slab avalanches north of Cooke City today. These slab avalanches were found: on all aspects, near ridgelines, and also on many aprons." Photo: B. Fredlund

  • We observed a few fresh natural avalanches out there today... a S, SE aspect on Mineral Mountain.  That slide looked to have occurred last night, and is estimated to be around 4-500' wide. Photo: B. Fredlund
     
  • Natural, unwitnessed avalanche. Cooke got 6" of snow (.6" SWE) the night before. Photo: R. Knatterud

WebCams


Soda Butte Lodge, looking West

Soda Butte Lodge, looking East

Weather Forecast Cooke City Area

Extended Forecast for

2 Miles NNE Cooke City MT

  • Tonight

    Tonight: A 40 percent chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a temperature rising to around 17 by 3am. Wind chill values as low as -5. Southwest wind around 14 mph.  Total nighttime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 12 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: A 50 percent chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 28. Southwest wind 13 to 15 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    High: 28 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: A 30 percent chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a steady temperature around 22. West southwest wind around 15 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 22 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: A 50 percent chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 30. West southwest wind around 15 mph.  New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    High: 30 °F

  • Friday
    Night

    Friday Night: Snow likely.  Mostly cloudy, with a steady temperature around 20. West wind 10 to 13 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of around 2 inches.

    Snow Likely

    Low: 20 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: A chance of snow before 11am, then scattered snow showers after 11am.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 24. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    High: 24 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 13.

    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 13 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: Partly sunny, with a high near 25.

    Partly Sunny

    High: 25 °F

  • Sunday
    Night

    Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 13.

    Mostly Clear

    Low: 13 °F

The Last Word


  <<  This is the most recent forecast.