Trip Planning for Lionhead Range

as of 5:00 am
Today0″ | 25-40 W
Apr 11 0″ | 15-35 W
Apr 10 0″ | 15-35 W
9420′     04/12 at 12:00
32.0℉
N - 0mph
Gusts 0 mph
7750′     04/12 at 15:00
53℉
59″ Depth
Primary Problem: Wet Snow
Bottom Line: By mid-morning, on sunny slopes, any surface crusts that formed overnight will be breaking down and wet avalanche danger will be rising. Mostly we’re expecting relatively small wet loose slides, but the whole array of wet snow avalanche concerns are possible today, including wet loose slides entraining the whole season’s snowpack, wet slabs, or cornice collapses. Plan to get off sunny slopes early. Triggering avalanches in dry snow is becoming less likely, but is still possible, particularly on wind-loaded, high elevation, shady slopes.

Past 5 Days

Mon Apr 8

Moderate
Tue Apr 9

Moderate
Wed Apr 10

Considerable
Thu Apr 11

Considerable
Today

Considerable

Relevant Avalanche Activity

Lionhead Range
Lionhead Ridge
Small Wet Loose near Lionhead Ridge
Incident details include images
Lionhead Ridge
WL-N-R1-D1
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 44.7145, -111.3180
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

While riding in Lionhead on 04/06/2024 we saw several small wet loose avalanches that likely happened between 04/03-04/04. 


More Avalanche Details
Lionhead Range
Lionhead Ridge
Snowmo triggered small slide at Lionhead
Incident details include images
Incident details contain video
Lionhead Ridge
SS-AM-R1-D1.5-O
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 44.7145, -111.3180
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

On 4/2/24 we saw a small slab avalanche that occurred since this weekend's snow. It appears to have been triggered by a snowmobile yesterday (4/1/24). It broke 10" to 2 ft deep, 50 ft wide, and ran ~50 vertical feet. It broke on a thin layer of facets beneath the new snow. 

 


More Avalanche Details
Lionhead Range
LIONHEAD AREA
Partial Burial at Lionhead
Incident details include images
LIONHEAD AREA
SS-ARu-R2-D2
Coordinates: 44.7292, -111.3230
Caught: 1 ; Buried: 0; Killed: 0

A group of snowmobilers watched a pow surfer trigger an avalanche. The individual was buried to his chest and thankfully uninjured. 


More Avalanche Details

Relevant Photos

Displaying 1 - 40
  • These roller balls and a small wet loose avalanche near Ski Hill that likely happened between 04/03 and 04/04/2024. Photo: GNFAC

  • Photo: GNFAC

  • We rode from the Buttermilk trailhead up Denny Creek to Lionhead Ridge, along Lionhead Ridge through Watkins Creek and to the motorized boundary at the head of Targhee Creek. 

    There was a ~1" crust at the surface when we left the trailhead, with dry snow beneath. We saw our first wet loose avalanche of the day running around 11 am. By 12:30 there were dozens and many rollerballs. None of them ran particularly far or picked up too much volume.  The snow surface was moist on sunny slopes by late morning, but not more than a few inches down.

  • We rode from the Buttermilk trailhead up Denny Creek to Lionhead Ridge, along Lionhead Ridge through Watkins Creek and to the motorized boundary at the head of Targhee Creek.

    We saw one small slab avalanche that occurred since this weekend's snow. It appears to have been triggered by a snowmobile yesterday (4/1/24). It broke 10" to 2 ft deep, 50 ft wide, and ran ~50 vertical feet. It broke on a thin layer of facets beneath the new snow. Digging in the crown, dry facets at the ground were along still present and weak (fist hardness).

  • We rode from the Buttermilk trailhead up Denny Creek to Lionhead Ridge, along Lionhead Ridge through Watkins Creek and to the motorized boundary at the head of Targhee Creek. 

    There was a ~1" crust at the surface when we left the trailhead, with dry snow beneath. We saw our first wet loose avalanche of the day running around 11 am. By 12:30 there were dozens and many rollerballs. None of them ran particularly far or picked up too much volume.  The snow surface was moist on sunny slopes by late morning, but not more than a few inches down.

  • Large cornices on Lionhead Ridge. 4/2/24 photo. GNFAC

  • A group of snowmobilers watched a pow surfer trigger an avalanche. The individual was buried to his chest and thankfully uninjured. 

  • We noted four storm slab avalanches along Lionhead Ridge and two larger slides that broke deeper on wind loaded slopes. Photo: GNFAC

  • We noted four storm slab avalanches along Lionhead Ridge and two larger slides that broke deeper on wind loaded slopes. Photo: GNFAC

  • We noted four storm slab avalanches along Lionhead Ridge and two larger slides that broke deeper on wind loaded slopes. Photo: GNFAC

  • We noted four storm slab avalanches along Lionhead Ridge and two larger slides that broke deeper on wind loaded slopes. Photo: GNFAC

  • We noted four storm slab avalanches along Lionhead Ridge and two larger slides that broke deeper on wind loaded slopes. Photo: GNFAC

  • From IG:

    Very large natural avalanche in the Lionhead Area. Multiple other smaller naturals as well.

    Pics taken 03/05/24

  • From IG:

    Very large natural avalanche in the Lionhead Area. Multiple other smaller naturals as well.

    Pics taken 03/05/24

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • While riding below Lionhead Ridge we observed a wind slab avalanche that likely happened a few days ago. This avalanche looked to be 12" deep and broke 100' wide. Photo: GNFAC

     

  • Riders spotted this large avalanche on a west-facing aspect in Targhee Creek in the Lionhead area on Saturday. Photo: K. Stahl

  • From email: "We noticed a multitude of slides on north- and east-facing slopes, many of which seemed to have been from the prior weekend. I snapped a picture of one on the opposite side of the drainage that was a couple of feet deep. Adjacent to it was some more debris." 

  • On 2/16/24 we saw a lot of old and recent avalanches that happened at various times over the last week, and in a wide variety of terrain. On lower elevation, generally non-wind-loaded terrain in the trees we saw at least 4 avalanches that were 1-2' deep and at least 100' wide. Near ridgelines there were many avalanches, harder slabs, at least 1-2' deep breaking hundreds of feet wide. Photo: GNFAC

  • On 2/16/24 we saw a lot of old and recent avalanches that happened at various times over the last week, and in a wide variety of terrain. On lower elevation, generally non-wind-loaded terrain in the trees we saw at least 4 avalanches that were 1-2' deep and at least 100' wide. Near ridgelines there were many avalanches, harder slabs, at least 1-2' deep breaking hundreds of feet wide. Photo: GNFAC

  • We saw a fresh avalanche in Watkins Creek that we think was triggered remotely during the day on 2/16 by a group that was riding in a flat meadow above, where we saw their tracks at least 150 feet away (photo). This slide was 2-3' deep and 100-150' feet wide, breaking on old sugary snow. HS-R3-D2-O. Photo: GNFAC

  • A pit in the flank of an avalanche above Hebgen Lake. The stripe in the picture delineates the new snow over the unstable, old, faceted snow. This interface is where avalanches are occurirng. Karl Birkeland was using his 100 cm long Norwegian Battle Saw...a bit overkill. Photo: GNFAC

  • Crossing onto the debris of a large avalanche that likely released a couple days ago above Hebgen Lake. Photo: GNFAC

  • Skiers saw an entire bowl filled with shooting cracks where weak layers failed but the slope was not steep enough to avalanche. Photo: H Darby

  • An avalanche that failed a couple of days ago at Hebgen Lake. Photo: H. Darby

  • A group of riders triggered this large avalanche on Lionhead Ridge as they traveled in nearby terrain that was much less steep. Photo: T. Urell

  • From obs: "There were shooting cracks everywhere, and it looked like the cracks propagated into a slab that would have broken up more if the slope had been steeper. It almost looked like a crevasse field with how many cracks there were. Photo is included but I don't think shows just how broken up that "relatively benign" terrain was. I have never seen anything like that before! " Photo: H. Darby

  • Two natural avalanches that likely happened in the last 24-48 hours. 500' wide. "Crown line extends basically the entire ridge in the background." Photo. H. Darby

     

  • The crown of a natural avalanche likely happened in the last 12 hours. This avalanche broke 200' wide, 3-4' deep, and ran "almost full path" to the trees below. Photo: H. Darby

     

     

  • Avalanche along Lionhead Ridge that appeared to be several days old. 1/26/24 Photo: GNFAC

  • Avalanche on Lionhead Ridge that appeared to be several days old. 1/26/24 Photo: GNFAC

  • Avalanche in Targhee Creek that appeared to be several days old. 1/26/24 Photo: GNFAC

  • A slide in Watkins Creek broke across three avalanche paths/gully features and was one of the larger slides we've seen this season, looking to have piled up debris 10+ ft deep. Looks to have broken in the last 24 hours. 1/26/24 Photo: GNFAC

  • A slide in Watkins Creek broke across three avalanche paths/gully features and was one of the larger slides we've seen this season, looking to have piled up debris 10+ ft deep. Looks to have broken in the last 24 hours. 1/26/24 Photo: GNFAC

  • Avalanche that looks to have been remotely triggered at Lionhead in the last 24 hours. 1/26/24 Photo: GNFAC

Videos- Lionhead Range

WebCams


Rendezvous Ski Trail, W. Yellowstone

Snowpit Profiles- Lionhead Range

 

Select a snowpit on the map to view the profile image

Weather Forecast Lionhead Range

Extended Forecast for

10 Miles WNW West Yellowstone MT

  • Tonight

    Tonight: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 9pm.  Partly cloudy, with a low around 33. South southwest wind 9 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph.

    Slight Chance
    T-storms then
    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 33 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: A slight chance of showers between 2pm and 4pm.  Sunny, with a high near 48. South southwest wind 10 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 20%.

    Sunny then
    Slight Chance
    Showers

    High: 48 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 32. Southwest wind 6 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

    Mostly Clear

    Low: 32 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: A 20 percent chance of snow showers after noon.  Sunny, with a high near 47. South southeast wind 6 to 11 mph increasing to 13 to 18 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 23 mph.

    Sunny then
    Slight Chance
    Snow Showers

    High: 47 °F

  • Sunday
    Night

    Sunday Night: A 20 percent chance of snow showers.  Partly cloudy, with a low around 28. Southwest wind 15 to 20 mph decreasing to 6 to 11 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 25 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow Showers

    Low: 28 °F

  • Monday

    Monday: A 40 percent chance of snow showers after noon.  Mostly sunny, with a high near 45. West northwest wind 6 to 13 mph.  Little or no snow accumulation expected.

    Mostly Sunny
    then Chance
    Snow Showers

    High: 45 °F

  • Monday
    Night

    Monday Night: A 50 percent chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 26. West northwest wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 26 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: Snow likely.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 32. South southwest wind 11 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.

    Snow Likely

    High: 32 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: Snow likely.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 16.

    Snow Likely

    Low: 16 °F

The Last Word

On Tuesday, April 9th, Doug Chabot wrote his final avalanche forecast for the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center. Doug, thank you for your friendship, mentorship and 29 years of service to Southwest Montana’s community. Congratulations on your fast approaching retirement!

04 / 11 / 24  <<  
 
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