Avalanche Incidents

Lionhead Range
Lionhead Ridge
Large avalanche in Lionhead_likely burial/caught
Incident details include images
Lionhead Ridge
SS-R3-D2-O
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 44.7145, -111.3180
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From a phone call:

A rider saw a large avalanche in one of the bowls around the corner of Lionhead avalanched. It likely occurred on Friday, March 1. There were holes dug in the snow indicating a buried person or sled. This is the same slope that killed a 19 year old from MN on December 28, 2006. They conducted a beacon search on the debris to make sure no one was buried.


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Lionhead Range
Watkins Creek
Snowmobiler partially buried at Lionhead
Watkins Creek
SS-AMu-R2-D2-O
Coordinates: 44.7536, -111.3300
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From a phone call:

A rider was traversing a slope when he triggered and was caught in a slide. He was partially buried under his sled and was uninjured. He estimated the slide to be 150 yards wide and a few feet deep and breaking to the ground.


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Cooke City
Lulu Pass
Snowmobiler triggered Avalanches (2) near Lulu Pass, Cooke City
Incident details include images
Lulu Pass
HS-AMu-R3-D3-O
Elevation: 10,200
Coordinates: 45.0709, -109.9580
Caught: 1 ; Buried: 0

A rider on 02/23/2024 triggered a large avalanche on the north side of Fisher Mountain near Lulu Pass. He was caught and carried downhill but luckily was not buried or injured. On the east side of the mountain, another avalanche was observed by the party and likely happened at the same time. This avalanche either happened sympathetically from the large slide or was remotely triggered by the rider. 


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Northern Madison
Lone Lake Cirque
Skier triggered avalanche in Mullet near Big Sky
Incident details include images
Lone Lake Cirque
HS-ASu-R3-D2.5-O
Elevation: 10,200
Aspect: NW
Coordinates: 45.2771, -111.4640
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

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."


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Southern Madison
Taylor Fork
Rider Partially buried, Sunlight Basin, Taylor Fork
Taylor Fork
AMu-R3-D2-O
Elevation: 9,000
Aspect: N
Coordinates: 44.9680, -111.2870
Caught: 1 ; Buried: 1

From obs 2/17/24: "North facing slope partially treelined, not heavily windloaded. Rider triggered, Ran 100yards downhill with large debris through trees, broke 2-3' deep at the crown sliding on near earth facets. 1 rider partially caught, airbag deployed, self-extracted with no injuries."


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Cooke City
Sheep Mountain
Avalanche Sheep Mountain
Sheep Mountain
Coordinates: 45.0722, -109.9280
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From email: "Was in round lake was visiting with a guy in the warm up shack.  He said he caused a decent size avalanche on the sheep mountain side. 

It was roughly 100 feet wide, he was hit by the avalanche but didn’t get buried."


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Northern Gallatin
Portal Creek
4 remote triggered avalanches in Portal Creek
Incident details include images
Portal Creek
SS-AMr
Coordinates: 45.2890, -111.1410
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From facebook on 2/16/24: "Rode up Portal creek today ... We triggered 4 avalanches with the farthest one being 300 yards away. The one in the photo was the scariest one. We were playing below the windy pass hillclimb and the chute next to it let go. We had a sledder almost get caught in it, but thankfully everyone was ok. It's scary out there!"


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Cooke City
Scotch Bonnet
Large Snowmobiler Triggered Avalanche, Cooke City
Incident details include images
Incident details contain video
Scotch Bonnet
HS-AM-R3-D3-O
Elevation: 10,200
Aspect: N
Coordinates: 45.0735, -109.9450
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

A rider on 02/16/2024 triggered a large avalanche on the north side of Scotch Bonnet. Skiers nearby noted that they saw riders on and below the slope but did not see that avalanche happen. 


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Northern Madison
Buck Ridge
Remotely triggered avalanche on Buck Ridge
Incident details include images
Buck Ridge
AMr-R4-D2-O
Coordinates: 45.1857, -111.4250
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

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."


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Cooke City
Crown Butte
Rider triggered Avalanche Crown Butte
Incident details include images
Crown Butte
SS-AMu-R2-D2-O
Elevation: 9,700
Aspect: N
Coordinates: 45.0525, -109.9620
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

A snowmobiler triggered an avalanche as she climbed up the backside of Crown Butte. As she descended the slope the avalanche broke and ran down the slope behind her. Thankfully, no one was caught or injured.


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Island Park
Hellroaring Creek
Snowmobiler Triggered Avalanche Centennial Mountains
Incident details contain video
Hellroaring Creek
SS-AMu-R2-D2-O
Elevation: 8,200
Coordinates: 44.5490, -111.4750
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

A group of snowmobilers triggered an avalanche on a low-elevation slope in the Centennial Mountains as they rode near the bottom of a steep slope. No one was caught. 


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Island Park
Sawtelle Peak
Partial burial in Island Park
Sawtelle Peak
Coordinates: 44.5611, -111.4430
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From email on 2/2/24:  "We received a call of a missing snowmobile in the Keg Springs area of Island Park at 1642.  The missing snowmobiler arrived at 1800 hours at the rental property his party is staying at and said he had self-extricated from an avalanche."

 


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Cooke City
Round Lake
Partially buried, uninjured snowmobiler in Cooke
Incident details include images
Incident details contain video
Round Lake
SS-AMu-R2-D2-O
Elevation: 9,500
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.0745, -109.9070
Caught: 1 ; Buried: 1

A rider from MN triggered an avalanche immediately north of Round Lake. He was caught, pulled his airbag and was buried with his head out, under his sled. He attributes this to his airbag. His partners dug him out and he was uninjured.


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Bridger Range
Saddle Peak
Skier triggered on Saddle Peak
Incident details include images
Saddle Peak
ASu-R2-D2.5-O
Elevation: 8,800
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.7943, -110.9360
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From GCSAR and Bridger Bowl Ski Patrol:

A skier triggered a slide descending the skyline/nose of Saddle Peak. No one was caught. It initially triggered at the first rock band, then pulled out much wider at the second rock band. The skier was on his second lap was the third set of tracks on the peak. All tracks were accounted for and a beacon search of the debris came up empty.

Depth was described as "full depth" (2 feet) and running on the depth hoar.

Crown was 80' wide on the first horizontal band and 250' on the second. The lower crown wrappped around the ridge out of view.


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Butte Area
Flint Creek Range
Avalanche accident on Twin Peaks
Incident details include images
Flint Creek Range
Coordinates: 46.3237, -113.1020
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

2 Snowmobilers riding into the Twin Peaks area, and one decided to sidehill a slope with patchy larch trees that is 42 degrees at the top, and consistently windloaded.  The resulting avalanche took him and his sled approximately 300 feet downhill to a patch of small diameter larch trees where the trees formed a fence that strained the rider and his sled and also piled up the debris.  It was likely one of these small trees that broke the victim's leg.  They were very familiar with the area, and all the previous accidents (one fatality occurred north of this spot by 150 yds, and several full and partial burials have occurred along this ridge) that have happened in that area.  They were carrying all rescue gear and airbags(victim did not deploy his airbag).  One of the riders was at an avalanche class I put on at the toe of the slope 5 years ago.  There was no real hazard evaluation, and the riders did not observe any signs of instability prior to triggering the avalanche. Once the rider sidehilled into the open everything fractured above him in the windslab.  My partner and I had several large collapses assessing the area, and the victim's riding partner stated that they had several collapses moving the victim to the helicopter.  The helicopter landed very close to the toe of the slope.  The snow depth at the crown was 60 inches deep, with one wind slab sitting on another on facets, and at the toe of the slope the snow depth was less than 20 inches deep.  The fracture traveled roughly 800 feet in and around the larch trees near the top of the slope and it deposited debris in 3 different run outs.

Victim was buried vertically with a boot sticking out, and his riding partner exposed his face in 2 minutes.  He extricated his whole body in 8-10.  He had a broken femur and a broken hand.  As they were digging, rescuers stated that the second leg wasn't vertical, and they found it at an oblique angle to the rest of the body.  They had an inreach and sent out a help signal that was picked up, and LifeFlight was nearby.  Lifeflight was able to land at the base of the slope and take him to St. Pete's in Missoula at 1230 pm.


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Northern Gallatin
Flanders Creek
Skier Triggered Avalanche on SE bowl of Flanders
Incident details include images
Flanders Creek
SS-ASr-R1-D2
Aspect: SE
Coordinates: 45.4402, -110.9310
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Skiers in the SE bowl of Flanders triggered an avalanche from the bottom of the slope. 

From Obs: "as he turned into the bowl, a remote triggered avalanche ripped out above him. He was fast to reach a safe position in the trees by the time the avalanche finished its ride. The photo shows the 3 ski tracks, and the most left one is what remote triggered above." 


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Island Park
Snowmobile Triggered Avalanche in Black Canyon
Incident details include images
SS-AMu-R3-D2-O
Coordinates: 44.5476, -111.2390
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From interaction at the gas station:

“We were riding out from Island Park. We saw dramatic, collapses, and shooting cracks. I side-hilled a small slope and triggered it 1.5 to 2 feet deep. I have never seen such unstable snow.”

The avalanche likely failed on a layer of surface hoar widespread in the Lionhead and Island Park areas. The avalanche buried part of the groomed road that crosses below this slope. 


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Northern Gallatin
Mt Blackmore
Skier triggered slide on Mt. Blackmore
Mt Blackmore
HS-ASu-R2-D2
Aspect: SE
Coordinates: 45.4444, -111.0040
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

A skier triggered an avalanche on the SE face of Mt. Blackmore near the ridge on the morning of 1/19/24.

From text:  "Hard to with the visibility but it ran almost all the way to the skin track (~800 vertical). It definitely broke 8 inches deep and 50 ft wide, but it might've gotten a little wider and deeper."


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Cooke City
COOKE CITY
Multiple Remotely Triggered Avalanches, N. of Cooke City
Incident details contain video
COOKE CITY
Coordinates: 45.0202, -109.9380
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

We receive vague reports of a group reporting multiple remotely triggered avalanches north of Cooke City on 1/16. A member of this same group similarly triggered an avalanche on Sheep Mountain on 1/14 (video overview attached to the entry), so the reports of avalanches yesterday are likely reliable. 


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Cooke City
Sheep Mountain
Remotely Triggered Avalanche, Sheep Mountain
Incident details contain video
Sheep Mountain
SS-AMu-R2-D2-O
Aspect: SE
Coordinates: 45.0722, -109.9280
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

A snowmobiler triggered an avalanche from the bottom of the slope as he rode past a gulley below Sheep Mountain. The avalanche barely missed him. The avalanche was approximately 100' wide and 2' deep. It failed on a wind-loaded slope, ESE-facing, and was large enough to bury or injure a skier or rider.


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Northern Madison
NORTHERN MADISON RANGE
Skier triggered wind slab near Big Sky
NORTHERN MADISON RANGE
HS-AS-R2-D2-O
Elevation: 9,700
Aspect: S
Coordinates: 45.2952, -111.4100
Caught: 1 ; Buried: 0

On 1/12/24, a skier triggered a 2 ft deep avalanche on a wind loaded south facing slope at 9700 ft near Big Sky and was caught and carried by it.


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Northern Gallatin
Mt Blackmore
Small Skier Triggered Avalanche on Mt. Blackmore
Incident details include images
Mt Blackmore
SS-ASu-R2-D1
Coordinates: 45.4444, -111.0040
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Near the bottom of their ski run a skier and a group triggered an avalanche that broke above them. This avalanche did not run far and stopped above the skier. No skiers were caught or carried. 


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Northern Gallatin
Mt Blackmore
Skier Triggered and Natural Avalanches in Hyalite
Incident details include images
Mt Blackmore
SS-AS-R1-D1
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.4444, -111.0040
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

A skier at Mt. Blackmore saw multiple natural avalanches and one skier triggered avalanche. These likely happened earlier in the day or the day prior, 01/07. 


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Lionhead Range
Lionhead Ridge
Skier triggered at Lionhead
Lionhead Ridge
SS-ASr-R2-D1.5-O
Elevation: 8,600
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 44.7145, -111.3180
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Skier triggered avalanche at Lionhead on NNE, 8600 ft. Video of remote triggering slide on IG


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Northern Madison
Big Sky Resort
Natural/Goat triggered Avalanches Big Sky
Incident details include images
Big Sky Resort
AW-R3-D2.5-O
Aspect: S
Coordinates: 45.2760, -111.4360
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Big Sky Ski Patrol reported two natural avalanches seen today (12/15) in closed terrain. 

From email on 12/16: "Further investigation of the avalanche yesterday showed goat tracks leading into the crown area of the avalanche. At the debris pile, it was obvious that a goat had taken the full ride in the slide that it triggered. There was a depression in the debris pile where the critter had come to rest at the surface, and obvious hoof prints trailing away from the debris pile, and then upslope for the long walk back up to rejoin the heard. There was no blood, and the tracks looked usual, with no obvious sign of broken leg(s). It is unknown if the goat was wearing an airbag or if it was deployed in the avalanche. It was a significant ride, 1K’ vt., 1⁄4 mile linear, likely of high speed, through 2nd Dictator transition, which was taken down to mostly bare ground."


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Northern Gallatin
Mt Blackmore
Skier triggered avalanche Mt. Blackmore
Incident details include images
Incident details contain video
Mt Blackmore
SS-ASu-R2-D2-O
Elevation: 9,800
Aspect: SE
Coordinates: 45.4444, -111.0040
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

A skier triggered avalanche on the SE face of Mt. Blackmore. Crown is marked.


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Bridger Range
Bridger Bowl
Skier Triggered Avalanche at Bridger Bowl
Incident details include images
Bridger Bowl
SS-ASu-R2-D1.5
Coordinates: 45.8156, -110.9230
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From email: "Solo skier that released a small pocket of snow at the bottom of Super Couloir - he was not caught and it was just the recent new snow and it didn't run far."


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Bridger Range
Bridger Bowl
Skier triggered pocket at Bridger Bowl
Incident details include images
Bridger Bowl
ASu-R0-D1
Elevation: 8,500
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 45.8156, -110.9230
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From IG: Pocket I set off between finger 2 and 3 at Bridger Bowl just above the road. Finger 1 had someone ski it while we were hiking and they got a face wide crack.


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Lionhead Range
Lionhead Ridge
Splitboarder triggered avalanche at lionhead
Lionhead Ridge
SS-ARu-R2-D2-O
Elevation: 9,000
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 44.7145, -111.3180
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Was splitboarding up near lions head ridge today. Made some bad decisions and kicked off a good slide in a NE facing chute. Was with 2 buddies, 1 of which skied the line 3 weeks ago.  Underneath about a foot of new powder snow there was a firm crust that seemed like it was old  hard windslab in the gut of the chute, and I think a sun crust on the riders left side(East aspect). We had 2 spots where we were planning to re group at, first was a small cubby area right before a slight rollover about 75 ft from the top. I dropped first, made some turns down toward the pulloff, as I pulled in, I triggered a good size slab that propagated maybe 40-50 ft across, at the rollover as I carved into the pulloff.  Pulled  all snow  out of the chute down to the ground. Seemed to have failed on sugary facets on ground/ice crust close to the ground... 


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Northern Gallatin
Mt Blackmore
Skier triggered Windslab Mt Blackmore
Incident details include images
Mt Blackmore
ASu-R2-D2-O
Elevation: 9,750
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.4443, -111.0020
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Skiers reported triggering an avalanche on the east face of Mt. Blackmore on Sunday.


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Bridger Range
The Great One
Skier Triggered Wind Slab in The Great One
Incident details include images
The Great One
HS-ASu-R1-D1.5-O
Elevation: 9,000
Aspect: N
Coordinates: 45.8926, -110.9620
Caught: 1 ; Buried: 0

From observation: "Skier triggered windslab in the Great One off of Naya Nuki peak, skier was carried 15-20ft before arresting. Slide was triggered roughly halfway down the couloir where the right wall dips away exposing the snow to wind. Hard consolidated snow over facets, roughly 1-1.5 ft thick, ran about 50-100 ft before pouring over the cliff faces below. North- northeast aspect." 11/8/2023


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