Trip Planning for Northern Madison

as of 5:00 am
Today0″ | 15-27 SW
Mar 3 5″ | 18-30 W
Mar 2 4″ | 20-30 S
9400′     3/04 at 21:00
4 ℉
W - 19 mph, Gusts 30
3 " New
8880′     03/04 at 21:00
9℉
43″ Depth
Primary Problem: Persistent Weak Layer
Bottom Line: Avalanche conditions are dangerous and large, human-triggered avalanches are likely. It remains important to stay diligent with conservative terrain choices and careful route finding. With recent snow and multiple widespread buried weak layers making complex snowpack stability, travel advice is to simply avoid slopes steeper than 30 degrees and flatter runout zones below.

Past 5 Days

Thu Feb 29

Considerable
Fri Mar 1

Considerable
Sat Mar 2

Considerable
Sun Mar 3

Considerable
Today

Considerable

Relevant Avalanche Activity

Northern Madison
McAtee Basin
Deep Natural Avalanche in McAtee Basin
McAtee Basin
HS-N
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 45.1771, -111.4350
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From obs: "it looked like the N/NE faces in McAtee that slid just over a week ago had avalanched again, nearly to the ground.  There were slightly dirty looking debris piles mid slope and several prominant crowns just below the ridge top but it was hard to make out details through the light snow, even with binoculars."


More Avalanche Details
Northern Madison
Beehive Basin
Natural Avalanche in Beehive Basin
Incident details include images
Beehive Basin
NC-R2-D2-I
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.3407, -111.3910
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From obs: "Noticed the pictured recent avalanche on an east facing aspect in the alpine of Beehive Basin. I would estimate it at a D2 size slide. It seems to have been naturally triggered by cornice fall and likely stepped down to older faceted snow deeper in the snowpack."


More Avalanche Details
Northern Madison
Bear Basin
Windslab avalanche in bear basin
Incident details include images
Bear Basin
SS-ASc-R1-D1-I
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.3242, -111.3820
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Skiers intentionally triggered a wind-slab avalanche at the cornice near the prayer flags in Bear Basin. Strong winds have drifted snow for the last two days.


More Avalanche Details

Relevant Photos

Displaying 1 - 40
  • Skiers in Beehive Basin saw a natural avalanche on an east-facing slope. This avalanche likely happened in the last 24-48 hours. Photo: E. Heiman

  • Skiers intentionally triggered a small avalanche near the prayer flags in Bear Basin. This slope has avalanched previously this season. Photo: J Alford

  • Riders triggered this pair of avalanches while crossing below this terrain, roughly 150 yards away. The location of the triggers is marked by the "x's" in the photo. Photo: M. Rolfson 

  • Riders triggered this pair of avalanches while crossing below this terrain, roughly 150 yards away. Photo: M. Rolfson 

  • Rider on 02/23/2024 observed this large avalanche next to another avalanche they had triggered remotely. They likely triggered this one as well from afar while cross terrain below. Photo: M. Rolfson

  • Riders on 02/23/2024 triggered this avalanche from 150 yards away while traversing below. Photo: M. Rolfson

  • Riders on 02/23/2024 triggered this avalanche from 150 yards away while traversing below. Photo: M. Rolfson

     

  • On 2/18/24 near Buck Ridge and Muddy Creek we saw at least eight recent avalanches that occurred at various times over the last 1-3 days, natural and/or remote triggered by riders. A group in the parking lot mentioned seeing many slides actively happen in this area on Friday 2/16. Most were 2-3' deep hard slabs, ranging from 50'-500' wide. Photo: GNFAC

  • On 2/18/24 near Buck Ridge and Muddy Creek we saw at least eight recent avalanches that occurred at various times over the last 1-3 days, natural and/or remote triggered by riders. A group in the parking lot mentioned seeing many slides actively happen in this area on Friday 2/16. Most were 2-3' deep hard slabs, ranging from 50'-500' wide. Photo: GNFAC

  • On 2/18/24 near Buck Ridge and Muddy Creek we saw at least eight recent avalanches that occurred at various times over the last 1-3 days, natural and/or remote triggered by riders. A group in the parking lot mentioned seeing many slides actively happen in this area on Friday 2/16. Most were 2-3' deep hard slabs, ranging from 50'-500' wide. Photo: GNFAC

  • On 2/18/24 near Buck Ridge and Muddy Creek we saw at least eight recent avalanches that occurred at various times over the last 1-3 days, natural and/or remote triggered by riders. A group in the parking lot mentioned seeing many slides actively happen in this area on Friday 2/16. Most were 2-3' deep hard slabs, ranging from 50'-500' wide. Photo: GNFAC

  • On 2/18/24 near Buck Ridge and Muddy Creek we saw at least eight recent avalanches that occurred at various times over the last 1-3 days, natural and/or remote triggered by riders. A group in the parking lot mentioned seeing many slides actively happen in this area on Friday 2/16. Most were 2-3' deep hard slabs, ranging from 50'-500' wide. Photo: GNFAC

  • On 2/18/24 near Buck Ridge and Muddy Creek we saw at least eight recent avalanches that occurred at various times over the last 1-3 days, natural and/or remote triggered by riders. A group in the parking lot mentioned seeing many slides actively happen in this area on Friday 2/16. Most were 2-3' deep hard slabs, ranging from 50'-500' wide. Photo: GNFAC

  • An avalanche we either triggered from 750-800 feet away or it broke naturally. This avalanche happened when we were riding near the larger of the two avalanches from yesterday, on the south side of Cedar Mtn. It was a wind-loaded slope, actively loading. The avalanche was ~130' wide with 100' of 4-12" deep new snow/wind slab and 30' wide broke almost 3 feet deep on weak snow near the ground. Photo: GNFAC

  • An avalanche we either triggered from 750-800 feet away or it broke naturally. This avalanche happened when we were riding near the larger of the two avalanches from yesterday, on the south side of Cedar Mtn. It was a wind-loaded slope, actively loading. The avalanche was ~130' wide with 100' of 4-12" deep new snow/wind slab and 30' wide broke almost 3 feet deep on weak snow near the ground. Photo: GNFAC

  • An avalanche we either triggered from 750-800 feet away or it broke naturally. This avalanche happened when we were riding near the larger of the two avalanches from yesterday, on the south side of Cedar Mtn. It was a wind-loaded slope, actively loading. The avalanche was ~130' wide with 100' of 4-12" deep new snow/wind slab and 30' wide broke almost 3 feet deep on weak snow near the ground. Photo: GNFAC

  • An avalanche we either triggered from 750-800 feet away or it broke naturally. This avalanche happened when we were riding near the larger of the two avalanches from yesterday, on the south side of Cedar Mtn. It was a wind-loaded slope, actively loading. The avalanche was ~130' wide with 100' of 4-12" deep new snow/wind slab and 30' wide broke almost 3 feet deep on weak snow near the ground. Photo: GNFAC

  • An avalanche we either triggered from 750-800 feet away or it broke naturally. This avalanche happened when we were riding near the larger of the two avalanches from yesterday, on the south side of Cedar Mtn. It was a wind-loaded slope, actively loading. The avalanche was ~130' wide with 100' of 4-12" deep new snow/wind slab and 30' wide broke almost 3 feet deep on weak snow near the ground. Photo: GNFAC

  • This avalanche was triggered by riders from flat terrain far below on February 17. Photo: GNFAC

  • From BSSP on 2/17/24: "Midafternoon we received another report of a skier triggered avalanche in the Lone Lake Circe, specifically The Mullet. The reporting party contacted several ski patrollers via cell phone and confirmed that nobody was injured or had taken the full ride. This avalanche failed near the ground on a high elevation NW facing slope with the weight of a single skier with an estimated size of HS-ASu-R3-D2.5-O."

  • From BSSP on 2/17/24: "Midafternoon we received another report of a skier triggered avalanche in the Lone Lake Circe, specifically The Mullet. The reporting party contacted several ski patrollers via cell phone and confirmed that nobody was injured or had taken the full ride. This avalanche failed near the ground on a high elevation NW facing slope with the weight of a single skier with an estimated size of HS-ASu-R3-D2.5-O."

  • Riders triggered this avalanche remotely on 02/17/2024 while riding near the Bear Creek wilderness boundary. Photo: Anonymous 

  • The debris and path of an avalanche that was triggered by snowmobilers remotely on 02/17/2024. The riders watched the avalanche from safe terrain and were not on the slope. Photo: Anonymous

  • The crown of an avalanche that was triggered by snowmobilers remotely. The riders watched the avalanche from safe terrain and were not on the slope. Photo: Anonymous

  • The crown of an avalanche that was triggered by snowmobilers remotely. The riders watched the avalanche from safe terrain and were not on the slope. Photo: Anonymous

  • From instagram on 2/16/24: "Just getting to the ridge by prayer flags in Beehive basin. 100 maybe 200 yards wide. Cracked all the way around the corner almost to a couple old tracks. Seemed to be a natural from last night or this morning."

    Photo: S. Knowles

  • From obs: "Towards the end of the day one of our riders remote triggered a massive avalanche on the North facing slope to the North of Yellow Mule cabin. The 3-4 ft crown propagated around 600 yards wide and slid on near ground facets to the bottom of the slope below depositing a very large debris pile well into the trees."
     

    Photo: K. Retz

  • From obs: "Towards the end of the day one of our riders remote triggered a massive avalanche on the North facing slope to the North of Yellow Mule cabin. The 3-4 ft crown propagated around 600 yards wide and slid on near ground facets to the bottom of the slope below depositing a very large debris pile well into the trees."
     

    Photo: K. Retz

  • From obs: "Towards the end of the day one of our riders remote triggered a massive avalanche on the North facing slope to the North of Yellow Mule cabin. The 3-4 ft crown propagated around 600 yards wide and slid on near ground facets to the bottom of the slope below depositing a very large debris pile well into the trees."
     

    Photo: K. Retz

  • From obs: "Towards the end of the day one of our riders remote triggered a massive avalanche on the North facing slope to the North of Yellow Mule cabin. The 3-4 ft crown propagated around 600 yards wide and slid on near ground facets to the bottom of the slope below depositing a very large debris pile well into the trees."
     

    Photo: K. Retz

  • From obs: "Towards the end of the day one of our riders remote triggered a massive avalanche on the North facing slope to the North of Yellow Mule cabin. The 3-4 ft crown propagated around 600 yards wide and slid on near ground facets to the bottom of the slope below depositing a very large debris pile well into the trees."
     

    Photo: K. Retz

  • Due to dangerous conditions, we executed our plan to avoid terrain over 30 degrees. Additionally, with the season's history of triggering avalanches from long distances away, we were cautious about traveling below steep slopes. Photo: GNFAC

  • We noted a relatively small, natural avalanche across the valley in Bear Basin. Photo: GNFAC

  • We saw a recent small rider-triggered avalanche in the Third Yellow Mule. Photo GNFAC

     

  • We saw a natural avalanche in McAtee Basin that broke last night or early this morning. Photo: GNFAC

     

  • Cracking above the crown of an avalanche we triggered from the flats below. Photo: GNFAC

     

  • Two natural avalanches on Beehive Peak. Photo: Anonymous 

  • End of Forest Service Wall outside of Big Sky Resort boundary. 

  • From obs: "End of Forest Service Wall outside of Big Sky Resort boundary." Photo Anonymous 

Videos- Northern Madison

WebCams


8800' Camera, Lone Peak view

Yellowstone Club, Timberline Chair

Snowpit Profiles- Northern Madison

 

Select a snowpit on the map to view the profile image

Weather Forecast Northern Madison

Extended Forecast for

5 Miles NNW Big Sky MT

Winter Weather Advisory until March 6, 05:00amClick here for hazard details and duration Winter Weather Advisory
  •  Winter Weather Advisory until March 6, 05:00am

    NOW until
    5:00am Wed

    Winter Weather Advisory

  • Tonight

    Tonight: A chance of snow before 11pm, then a slight chance of snow after 5am.  Areas of blowing snow before 11pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 0. Wind chill values as low as -20. Breezy, with a west southwest wind 16 to 22 mph becoming south after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 25 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 40%. Total nighttime snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

    Chance Snow
    and Areas
    Blowing Snow
    then Slight
    Chance Snow

    Low: 0 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: Snow likely before 11am, then snow showers after 11am.  Patchy blowing snow. High near 16. Wind chill values as low as -15. Breezy, with a south wind 17 to 24 mph becoming west in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 31 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.

    Snow Showers
    and Patchy
    Blowing Snow

    High: 16 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: Snow showers likely, mainly before 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 5. Wind chill values as low as -10. West wind 8 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

    Snow Showers
    Likely then
    Chance Snow
    Showers

    Low: 5 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: A 30 percent chance of snow showers.  Partly sunny, with a high near 19. Wind chill values as low as -10. West southwest wind 7 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow
    Showers

    High: 19 °F

  • Wednesday
    Night

    Wednesday Night: A 20 percent chance of snow showers.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 5. West wind 7 to 11 mph becoming south in the evening.

    Slight Chance
    Snow Showers

    Low: 5 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: A 20 percent chance of snow showers after 11am.  Partly sunny, with a high near 19. South wind 6 to 9 mph becoming west northwest in the morning.

    Slight Chance
    Snow Showers

    High: 19 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 2. Northwest wind around 9 mph becoming south in the evening.

    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 2 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: Sunny, with a high near 23. West southwest wind 8 to 10 mph.

    Sunny

    High: 23 °F

The Last Word

On Friday there were two snowmobilers killed in separate avalanches, in Washington and northern Idaho. Our deepest condolences go out to the families, friends, and all involved.

03 / 3 / 24  <<  
 
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