Trip Planning for Lionhead Range

as of 5:00 am
Today0″ | NA
Apr 23 0″ | NA
Apr 22 0″ | NA
9420′     04/12 at 12:00
32.0℉
N - 0mph
Gusts 0 mph
7750′     04/24 at 12:00
57℉
50″ Depth
Primary Problem: Wet Snow
Bottom Line: Warm temperatures, wind-loading, and the possibility of rain and snow later in the week will drive avalanche problems. Wet snow avalanches will be the primary concern on most slopes. Get on to the snow early in the day when surface-level crusts are supportable and get off when the crust breaks down and more than the upper few inches of snow become slushy and wet. Relatively small wind-slab avalanches are possible on upper-elevation slopes that remain shady and cool. If the upper snowpack is dry, dig down and back off steep objectives if you find instability in your tests, observe shooting cracks or indications of fresh wind-loading. Reevaluate conditions when a mix of rain and snow moves into the area on Thursday and Friday.

Past 5 Days

Sat Apr 13

Considerable
Sun Apr 14

Considerable
Mon Apr 15

None
Fri Apr 19

None
Mon Apr 22

None

Relevant Avalanche Activity

Southern Madison
Quake Lake
Wet Slab Avalanche Above Quake Lake
Incident details include images
Quake Lake
WS-N-R2-D2-G
Coordinates: 44.8524, -111.3920
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From IG: Wet slide to the ground above Quake Lake. 


More Avalanche Details
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

Relevant Photos

Displaying 1 - 40
  • Photo: GNFAC

  • 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

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

  • This Afternoon

    This Afternoon: Partly sunny, with a high near 52. South southwest wind 10 to 13 mph.

    High: 52 °F

    Partly Sunny

  • Tonight

    Tonight: A chance of rain and snow showers, mainly after 1am.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 34. South southwest wind 5 to 13 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 40%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

    Low: 34 °F

    Mostly Cloudy
    then Chance
    Rain/Snow

  • Thursday

    Thursday: Rain showers and snow likely before noon, then rain showers between noon and 3pm, then rain and snow showers after 3pm. Some thunder is also possible.  High near 41. South southwest wind 5 to 8 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    High: 41 °F

    Rain/Snow
    Likely then
    Rain/Snow

  • Thursday Night

    Thursday Night: Rain and snow showers, becoming all snow after midnight. Some thunder is also possible.  Low around 32. South wind 5 to 7 mph becoming light and variable  after midnight.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

    Low: 32 °F

    Rain/Snow
    then Snow
    Showers
    Likely

  • Friday

    Friday: Snow before noon, then snow showers after noon. Some thunder is also possible.  High near 35. Southeast wind 5 to 7 mph becoming south southwest in the afternoon.  Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

    High: 35 °F

    Snow

  • Friday Night

    Friday Night: Snow showers before midnight, then snow likely after midnight. Some thunder is also possible.  Low around 30. West wind around 9 mph becoming north northeast after midnight.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

    Low: 30 °F

    Snow Showers

  • Saturday

    Saturday: Snow.  High near 33. North wind around 10 mph becoming west in the afternoon.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

    High: 33 °F

    Snow

  • Saturday Night

    Saturday Night: Snow likely, mainly before midnight.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 28. South southwest wind 7 to 10 mph.

    Low: 28 °F

    Snow Likely

  • Sunday

    Sunday: Snow likely, mainly after noon.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 36.

    High: 36 °F

    Snow Likely

The Last Word

We began our daily forecasts on December 7. 130 daily forecasts and 464 reported avalanches later, we wrapped up our daily forecasting season on April 14th. While avalanches remain a concern until the snow is in the rivers, read our SEASON SUMMARY to look back at the heart of the 2023-24 avalanche year.

04 / 19 / 24  <<  
 
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