Trip Planning for Cooke City Area

as of 5:00 am
Today2″ | 25-50 SW
Feb 24 0″ | 10-31 SW
Feb 23 0″ | 15-25 W
10020′     02/25 at 10:00
19.8℉
SW - 15mph
Gusts 32 mph
9100′     02/25 at 09:00
23℉
53″ Depth
Primary Problem: Persistent Weak Layer
Bottom Line: Strong winds have been blowing snow into thick drifts over an already unstable snowpack. Recent avalanches show an unstable snowpack exists and will not improve with wind-loading today (and heavy snow tomorrow). People can trigger large avalanches, especially on wind-loaded slopes, and potentially from flatter terrain below steep slopes. The best plan is to avoid riding on or below slopes steeper than 30 degrees.

Past 5 Days

Wed Feb 21

Considerable
Thu Feb 22

Considerable
Fri Feb 23

Considerable
Sat Feb 24

Considerable
Today

Considerable

Relevant Avalanche Activity

Cooke City
Sheep Mountain
Recent Avalanche on Sheep Mtn., Cooke
Incident details include images
Sheep Mountain
HS-R3-D2-O
Elevation: 10,000
Aspect: N
Coordinates: 45.0785, -109.9370
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

On 2/24/24 We saw a slide on the north end of Sheep Mtn. on a slope above the steep chute where people climb out of Goose Creek (photos attached). This slide had not been reported previously and looked similar in age to the two triggered yesterday, so maybe broke naturally or human-triggered in last 24 hours. It broke near a scoured north facing ridgeline, 1-1.5' deep, 175' wide. HS-R3-D2-O.


More Avalanche Details
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. 


More Avalanche Details
Cooke City
Wyoming Creek
Large Collapse Above Wyoming Creek, Cooke City
Wyoming Creek
Aspect: W
Coordinates: 44.9837, -109.9580
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From obs: "My ski partner triggered a big collapse/woomph from the our skin track, heading up from WY Creek back toward Republic Creek on an W facing slope. It was the second time we worked over this skin track, and it propagated to where I was at least, about 30 yards above them. I felt/heard the collapse 1/2 to 1 second after they triggered it."

 


More Avalanche Details

Relevant Photos

Displaying 1 - 40
  • On 2/24/24: We saw a slide on the north end of Sheep Mtn. on a slope above the steep chute where people climb out of Goose Creek. This slide had not been reported previously and looked similar in age to the two triggered yesterday, so maybe broke naturally or human-triggered in last 24 hours. It broke near a scoured north facing ridgeline, 1-1.5' deep, 175' wide. HS-R3-D2-O. Photo: GNFAC

  • On 2/24/24: We saw a slide on the north end of Sheep Mtn. on a slope above the steep chute where people climb out of Goose Creek. This slide had not been reported previously and looked similar in age to the two triggered yesterday, so maybe broke naturally or human-triggered in last 24 hours. It broke near a scoured north facing ridgeline, 1-1.5' deep, 175' wide. HS-R3-D2-O. Photo: GNFAC

  • On 2/24/24: We saw another slide on the north end of Sheep Mtn. on a slope above the steep chute where people climb out of Goose Creek. This slide had not been reported previously and looked similar in age to the two triggered yesterday, so maybe broke naturally or human-triggered in last 24 hours. It broke near a scoured north facing ridgeline, 1-1.5' deep, 175' wide. HS-R3-D2-O. Photo: GNFAC

     

  • On 2/24/23 we got a pretty good look at the slides on Fisher Mtn. that were triggered yesterday. They appeared 2-3 feet deep, and the debris was very hard. Crowns were already at least half drifted in. Photo: GNFAC

  • Riders on 02/23/2024 saw an avalanche that appeared to of broken naturally. However, a rider on 02/23/2024 triggered a steep slope around the corner and could likely have remotely triggered this avalanche as well. Photo: D.Shelley

  • A snowmobiler triggered a large avalanche on the north side of Fisher Mountain on 02/23/2024. He was caught and carried downhill but luckily was not buried. Photo: D.Shelley

  • A snowmobiler triggered a large avalanche on the north side of Fisher Mountain on 02/23/2024. He was caught and carried downhill but luckily was not buried. Photo: D.Shelley

  • From obs: "Photo of an avalanche observed yesterday (2/21) on the SW face of Sawtooth Mountain at about 10,600’. Looks to be a few days old, but hard to tell since all skier traffic from the weekend has been erased with Tuesday’s wind/precip. If you look closely, you can see the crown extends across the entire face." Photo: A. Joy

  • Riders on 02/18/2024 saw an avalanche that was triggered a few days prior on 02/16/2024. 

  • Riders saw recently triggered slides that were likely triggered by snowmobilers on 02/17/2024. 

  • A rider on 02/18/2024 saw a recent avalanche that was likely remotely triggered by a snowmobiler the day before on 02/17/2024. 

  • Close to the ridge and the starting zones of nearby avalanche paths, we triggered a large collapse that sent shooting cracks out a couple hundred feet. If the slope had been any steeper, we would have triggered an avalanche. Photo: GNFAC

  • Close to the ridge and the starting zones of nearby avalanche paths, we triggered a large collapse that sent shooting cracks out a couple hundred feet. Photo: GNFAC

  • We triggered a large collapse that shot cracks across an avalanche starting zone. If it had been any steeper, we would have triggered a slide. Photo: GNFAC

  • From email: "A large avalanche. crown propogated through the cliffs and looked to be about 200' wide and 1 1/2-2 ft. deep. Debris was no longer visible so I suspect this ran sometime during or shortly after the storm. (02/15)." Photo: G. Roe

  • From email: "A large avalanche. crown propogated through the cliffs and looked to be about 200' wide and 1 1/2-2 ft. deep. Debris was no longer visible so I suspect this ran sometime during or shortly after the storm. (02/15)." Photo: G. Roe

  • A rider triggered a small avalanche on a steep rollover. Photo: GNFAC

  • From ob on 02/17/2024: "From woody ridge, we observed a large avalanche across the republic creek drainage (not sure what the peak is called but see the coordinates). I heard it first since it sounded like thunder or a plane, and then saw a huge cloud of snow moving down the mountain across the drainage.  We do not know if it was natural or triggered by someone." Photo: B. Huyard

     

     

  • From email on 02/18/2024: "Photo natural avalanche on a NW aspect at 9000', taken north of Cooke City today. It likely happened right around Feb. 15th."

  • Riders north of Cooke City observed a recent avlanche that appeared to be triggered by snowmobilers on the east side of Henderson Mountain. Photo: Z. Peterson

  • Riders north of Cooke City observed a recent avlanche that appeared to be triggered by snowmobilers on the east side of Henderson Mountain. Photo: Z. Peterson

  • Riders triggered a large avalanche on 02/16/2024 on the north side of Scotch Bonnet Mountain. Photo: Z. Peterson

  • A natural avalanche on the north side of Chimney Rock happened early in the morning on 02/16/2024. Photo Z. Peterson

  • A natural avalanche on the east side of Wolverine Peak was observed on 02/16/2024 and happened at the start of or during a recent storm on 02/15/2024. Photo: Z. Peterson

  • A snowmobiler on 02/16/2024 triggered a large avalanche on the north side of Scotch Bonnet Mountain. Photo: D. Green

  • Natural avlanche observed on 02/16/2024 that happened either early in the morning on the 16th or the night before on the 15th. Photo: J. Mundt

  • A recent avalanche on the east side of Henderson Moutain. This avalanche likely happened a few days ago around 02/11/2024. Photo: B. Zavora 

  • Photo: A. Mulkey

  • Photo: A. Mulkey 

  • From email: "Natural avalanche from yesterday evening or last night.  

    North facing aspect, with an interesting 3 tiered crown beginning around 8900'." Photo: B. Fredlund

  • From email: "Natural avalanche from yesterday evening or last night.  

    North facing aspect, with an interesting 3 tiered crown beginning around 8900'." Photo: B. Fredlund 

  • From obs: "We observed three similar avalanches on Mt Abundance today (2/11). All were at about 9,900' and on NE-NW aspects. We were able to safely look at the crown of the first one, which was ~150' wide, 55cm deep, and with an HS of 145. It failed on 1-2 cm buried surface hoar. The other avalanches were on shallow unsupported rocky terrain. All were remote triggered from low angle terrain above, 20-50' away. One of the avalanches sympathetically released a gully and ran 800'." Photo: A.

  • From obs: "We observed three similar avalanches on Mt Abundance today (2/11). All were at about 9,900' and on NE-NW aspects. We were able to safely look at the crown of the first one, which was ~150' wide, 55cm deep, and with an HS of 145. It failed on 1-2 cm buried surface hoar. The other avalanches were on shallow unsupported rocky terrain. All were remote triggered from low angle terrain above, 20-50' away. One of the avalanches sympathetically released a gully and ran 800'." Photo: A.

  • From obs: "We observed three similar avalanches on Mt Abundance today (2/11). All were at about 9,900' and on NE-NW aspects. We were able to safely look at the crown of the first one, which was ~150' wide, 55cm deep, and with an HS of 145. It failed on 1-2 cm buried surface hoar. The other avalanches were on shallow unsupported rocky terrain. All were remote triggered from low angle terrain above, 20-50' away. One of the avalanches sympathetically released a gully and ran 800'." Photo: A.

  • From obs: "We observed three similar avalanches on Mt Abundance today (2/11). All were at about 9,900' and on NE-NW aspects. We were able to safely look at the crown of the first one, which was ~150' wide, 55cm deep, and with an HS of 145. It failed on 1-2 cm buried surface hoar. The other avalanches were on shallow unsupported rocky terrain. All were remote triggered from low angle terrain above, 20-50' away. One of the avalanches sympathetically released a gully and ran 800'." Photo: A.

  • From obs: "Natural avalanches observed on east facing aspect of Miller Ridge on 2/11. Smaller avalanche further south on the ridge as well." M. Crosby

  • Form obs: "Natural avalanches observed on east facing aspect of Miller Ridge on 2/11. Larger avalanche propagated widely on the north end of the ridge around 10,000 ft." Photo: M. Crosby

  • 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. Photo: CA

  • Skiers on Woody Ridge felt numerous "thunderous" collapses and saw shooting cracks during their ski tour on 02/09/2024. Photo: N. Stayner

  • A natural avalanche on Woody Ridge likely broke sometime between the afternoon 02/09/2024 and 02/10/2024. Photo: N. Stayner

Videos- Cooke City Area

WebCams


Soda Butte Lodge, looking West

Soda Butte Lodge, looking East

Snowpit Profiles- Cooke City Area

 

Select a snowpit on the map to view the profile image

Weather Forecast Cooke City Area

Extended Forecast for

2 Miles NNE Cooke City MT

Winter Storm Watch February 25, 05:00pm until February 27, 05:00pmHigh Wind Warning until February 26, 05:00pmClick here for hazard details and duration Winter Storm Watch High Wind Warning
  •  High Wind Warning until February 26, 05:00pm

    NOW until
    5:00pm Mon

    High Wind Warning

  • Today

    Today: A 50 percent chance of snow after noon.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 31. West wind 22 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 47 mph.  Total daytime snow accumulation of around an inch possible.

    Partly Sunny
    then Chance
    Snow

    High: 31 °F

  • Tonight

    Tonight: A 50 percent chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 24. West wind 25 to 32 mph, with gusts as high as 50 mph.  New snow accumulation of around 2 inches.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 24 °F

  • Monday

    Monday: Snow. The snow could be heavy at times.  Widespread blowing snow after noon. High near 28. West southwest wind 30 to 39 mph, with gusts as high as 55 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of around 5 inches.

    Snow Likely
    then Heavy
    Snow and
    Blowing Snow

    High: 28 °F

  • Monday
    Night

    Monday Night: Snow. The snow could be heavy at times.  Widespread blowing snow, mainly before 9pm. Low around 1. Wind chill values as low as -10. West southwest wind 19 to 24 mph becoming north northeast 10 to 15 mph in the evening.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of around 8 inches.

    Heavy Snow
    and Blowing
    Snow

    Low: 1 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: Snow.  High near 11. North wind 8 to 15 mph becoming west northwest in the afternoon.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.

    Snow

    High: 11 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: A 20 percent chance of snow before midnight.  Partly cloudy, with a low around -3. West southwest wind 14 to 17 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow then
    Partly Cloudy

    Low: -3 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: Patchy blowing snow before 9am, then patchy blowing snow after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 19. Southwest wind 17 to 22 mph.

    Patchy
    Blowing Snow

    High: 19 °F

  • Wednesday
    Night

    Wednesday Night: A 20 percent chance of snow.  Patchy blowing snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 14. Southwest wind 20 to 23 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow and
    Patchy
    Blowing Snow

    Low: 14 °F

The Last Word

On Thursday Ian rode in the Independence Mine area (up the Main Boulder, outside our advisory area) to check out the snowpack conditions before the Sweet Grass County Recreation Association Poker Ride. Watch his video for a snowpack update. Avoiding riding on and staying out from under slopes steeper than 30 degrees would be a wise choice if you’re headed up to that area.

02 / 24 / 24  <<  
 
this forecast
 
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