Photos 2013-2014

 

Massive cornice failure in John F. Stevens Canyon, Lewis Range, southern Glacier NP. 4/7/2014.

Massive cornice failure in John F. Stevens Canyon, Lewis Range, southern Glacier NP. 4/7/2014.


Debris from massive cornice failure in John F. Stevens Canyon, Lewis Range, southern Glacier NP. 4/7/2014.

Debris from massive cornice failure in John F. Stevens Canyon, Lewis Range, southern Glacier NP. 4/7/2014.


Debris from massive cornice failure in John F. Stevens Canyon, Lewis Range, southern Glacier NP. 4/7/2014.

Debris from massive cornice failure in John F. Stevens Canyon, Lewis Range, southern Glacier NP. 4/7/2014.


1-2 ft. slab (failed on graupel and roundign faceted crystals) in Lewis Range, southern Glacier NP. 4/7/2014.

1-2 ft. slab (failed on graupel and roundign faceted crystals) in Lewis Range, southern Glacier NP. 4/7/2014.

 

 

Cross loaded terrain features in the distance. From Little Shields, Lewis Range. 3/29/2014

Cross loaded terrain features in the distance. From Little Shields, Lewis Range. 3/29/2014

 

 

 

 

 

Wind transporting snow. Lewis Range. 3/29/2014

Wind transporting snow. Lewis Range. 3/29/2014

 

Ski track filling in minutes by wind drifted snow. Lewis Range 3/29/2014

Ski track filling in minutes by wind drifted snow. Lewis Range 3/29/2014

 

 

Shallow wind slab on the surface. ECTP on older wind slab. Lewis Range. 3/29/2014

Shallow wind slab on the surface. ECTP on older wind slab. Lewis Range. 3/29/2014

 

Large cornices along ridgeline. Notice small woodland creature ignoring safe travel protocol around cornices. Swede Creek, Whitefish Range. 4/1/2014

Large cornices along ridgeline. Notice small woodland creature ignoring safe travel protocol around cornices. Swede Creek, Whitefish Range. 4/1/2014

 

Roller balls on steep slopes indicate that surface snow is starting to become moist. Swede Creek, Whitefish Range. 4/1/2014

Roller balls on steep slopes indicate that surface snow is starting to become moist. Swede Creek, Whitefish Range. 4/1/2014

 

New snow and graupel drifting along ridgeline in Noisy Basin, Swan Range. 4/4/2014

New snow and graupel drifting along ridgeline in Noisy Basin, Swan Range. 4/4/2014

 

General snow profile on north aspect at 6200 feet. Noisy Basin, Swan Range 4/4/2014

General snow profile on north aspect at 6200 feet. Noisy Basin, Swan Range 4/4/2014

IMG_0378

Roller balls on north aspect. Noisy Basin, Swan Range. 4/4/2014

Roller balls on north aspect. Noisy Basin, Swan Range. 4/4/2014

 

Large grained depth hoar found near the ground. Skookoleel Creek, Whitefish Range. 3/25/2014

Large grained depth hoar found near the ground. Skookoleel Creek, Whitefish Range. 3/25/2014

 

Loose, wet avalanche in Kimmerly Basin. Whitefish Range 3/25/2014

Loose, wet avalanche in Kimmerly Basin. Whitefish Range 3/25/2014

 

Loose, wet avalanche in Kimmerly Basin. Whitefish Range 3/25/2014

Loose, wet avalanche in Kimmerly Basin. Whitefish Range 3/25/2014

 

Entire column failure upon isolating the back of the column. Skookoleel Creek, Whitefish Range. 3/25/2014

Entire column failure upon isolating the back of the column. Skookoleel Creek, Whitefish Range. 3/25/2014

 

 

Cascadilla Creek basin, Flathead Range ,Middle Fork Corridor. Observed 3/22/2014.

Cascadilla Creek basin, Flathead Range ,Middle Fork Corridor. Observed 3/22/2014.

 

General snow profile on east aspect in the Six Mile Peak area. Swan Range 3/21/2014

General snow profile on east aspect in the Six Mile Peak area. Swan Range 3/21/2014

 

Wind transporting snow on adjacent peaks. Six Mile, Swan Range. 3/21/2014

Wind transporting snow on adjacent peaks. Six Mile, Swan Range. 3/21/2014

 

Generalized image of upper snowpack highlighting the March 9 rain crust about 2-3 feet below the surface. Red Meadow, Whitefish Range. 3/20/2014.

Generalized image of upper snowpack highlighting the March 9 rain crust about 2-3 feet below the surface. Red Meadow, Whitefish Range. 3/20/2014.

 

Small soft slab avalanche in John F. Stevens Canyon observed Tuesday (3/18/2014). Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety.

Small soft slab avalanche in John F. Stevens Canyon observed Tuesday (3/18/2014). Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety.

 

Small soft slab avalanche in John F. Stevens Canyon observed Tuesday (3/18/2014). Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety.

Small soft slab avalanche in John F. Stevens Canyon observed Tuesday (3/18/2014). Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety.

 

Small soft slab avalanche in John F. Stevens Canyon observed Tuesday (3/18/2014). Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety.

Small soft slab avalanche in John F. Stevens Canyon observed Tuesday (3/18/2014). Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety.

 

Wind slabs were sensitive and easy to trigger. They weren't very wide, but were up to a foot deep. 3/18/2014.

Wind slabs were sensitive and easy to trigger. They weren’t very wide, but were up to a foot deep. 3/18/2014.

 

An old crown from the last natural avalanche cycle about 12 days ago in Rescue Creek, Flathead Range. 3/18/2014.

An old crown from the last natural avalanche cycle about 12 days ago in Rescue Creek, Flathead Range. 3/18/2014.

 

Both loose wet and loose dry avalanches were easy to trigger on slopes steeper than 35 degrees. 3/18/2014.

Both loose wet and loose dry avalanches were easy to trigger on slopes steeper than 35 degrees. 3/18/2014.

 

Small wet, loose sluff triggered by turn. On sun exposed slopes, even like this NE aspect, wet loose avalanche are a possibility. 3/14/2014.

Small wet, loose sluff triggered by turn. On sun exposed slopes, even like this NE aspect, wet loose avalanche are a possibility. 3/14/2014.

 

This is an adjacent avalanche to an avalanche that occurred in the main Chicken Bones slope that likely occurred on Sunday (3/9/2014). They were observed and reported to us on Thursday, and FAC staff investigated the crown in Chicken Bones and determined it did not occur Thursday. Snow on the debris and bed surface indicate it occurred prior to the last snowfall which was Monday (3/10/2014). The crown depth was about 110 to 170 cm (43 - 70 inches). This avalanche was the larger of the 2 and appeared to be at least 1/4 mile wide. 3/14/2014.

This is an adjacent avalanche to an avalanche that occurred in the main Chicken Bones slope that likely occurred on Sunday (3/9/2014). They were observed and reported to us on Thursday, and FAC staff investigated the crown in Chicken Bones and determined it did not occur Thursday. Snow on the debris and bed surface indicate it occurred prior to the last snowfall which was Monday (3/10/2014). The crown depth was about 110 to 170 cm (43 – 70 inches). This avalanche was the larger of the 2 and appeared to be at least 1/4 mile wide. 3/14/2014.

 

This avalanche likely occurred on Sunday (3/9/2014). They were observed and reported to us on Thursday, and FAC staff investigated the crown in Chicken Bones and determined it did not occur Thursday. Snow on the debris and bed surface indicate it occurred prior to the last snowfall which was Monday (3/10/2014). The crown depth was about 110 to 170 cm (43 - 70 inches). 3/14/2014.

This avalanche likely occurred on Sunday (3/9/2014). They were observed and reported to us on Thursday, and FAC staff investigated the crown in Chicken Bones and determined it did not occur Thursday. Snow on the debris and bed surface indicate it occurred prior to the last snowfall which was Monday (3/10/2014). The crown depth was about 110 to 170 cm (43 – 70 inches). 3/14/2014.

 

This avalanche likely occurred on Sunday (3/9/2014). They were observed and reported to us on Thursday, and FAC staff investigated the crown in Chicken Bones and determined it did not occur Thursday. Snow on the debris and bed surface indicate it occurred prior to the last snowfall which was Monday (3/10/2014). The crown depth was about 110 to 170 cm (43 - 70 inches). 3/14/2014.

This avalanche likely occurred on Sunday (3/9/2014). They were observed and reported to us on Thursday, and FAC staff investigated the crown in Chicken Bones and determined it did not occur Thursday. Snow on the debris and bed surface indicate it occurred prior to the last snowfall which was Monday (3/10/2014). The crown depth was about 110 to 170 cm (43 – 70 inches). 3/14/2014.

 

Sidewall from a SE aspect in the Apgar Mountains in Glacier National Park. 3/13/2014.

Sidewall from a SE aspect in the Apgar Mountains in Glacier National Park. 3/13/2014.

 

1 of 2 soft slabs observed in southern Glacier Park, Lewis Range. 3/13/2014.

1 of 2 soft slabs observed in southern Glacier Park, Lewis Range. 3/13/2014.

 

Red arrows point to the crown of the Goat Lick avalanche that reached the Middle Fork of the Flathead River about 3400 vertical  feet below. Taken from Marion Lake area.

Red arrows point to the crown of the Goat Lick avalanche that reached the Middle Fork of the Flathead River about 3400 vertical feet below. Taken from Marion Lake area.

 

Debris from the very large Goat Lick avalanche that ran about 3400 vertical feet to the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. This likely began as a dry snow avalanche and entrained wet, heavy, rain soaked snow and gouged its way down the path ending up in the river. Photo: Brian Bales.

Debris from the very large Goat Lick avalanche that ran about 3400 vertical feet to the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. This likely began as a dry snow avalanche and entrained wet, heavy, rain soaked snow and gouged its way down the path ending up in the river. Photo: Brian Bales.

 

Debris from the very large Goat Lick avalanche that ran about 3400 vertical feet to the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. This likely began as a dry snow avalanche and entrained wet, heavy, rain soaked snow and gouged its way down the path ending up in the river. Photo: Brian Bales.

Debris from the very large Goat Lick avalanche that ran about 3400 vertical feet to the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. This likely began as a dry snow avalanche and entrained wet, heavy, rain soaked snow and gouged its way down the path ending up in the river. Photo: Brian Bales.

 

Large crown on Peak 7798 above Marion Lake, Flathead Range. 3/8/2014.

Large crown on Peak 7798 above Marion Lake, Flathead Range. 3/8/2014.

 

Portion of large crown on Peak 7798 above Marion Lake, Flathead Range. 3/8/2014.

Portion of large crown on Peak 7798 above Marion Lake, Flathead Range. 3/8/2014.

 

Portion of large crown on Peak 7798 above Marion Lake, Flathead Range. 3/8/2014.

Portion of large crown on Peak 7798 above Marion Lake, Flathead Range. 3/8/2014.

 

Debris across Marion Lake from Point 7200 on the north side of the lake. 2 separate slides deposited debris and trees onto the lake. 3/8/2014.

Debris across Marion Lake from Point 7200 on the north side of the lake. 2 separate slides deposited debris and trees onto the lake. 3/8/2014.

 

Debris across Marion Lake from Point 7200 on the north side of the lake. 2 separate slides deposited debris and trees onto the lake. 3/8/2014.

Debris across Marion Lake from Point 7200 on the north side of the lake. 2 separate slides deposited debris and trees onto the lake. 3/8/2014.

 

Debris across the Marion Lake trail. 3 separate slides crossed the trail well within the trees and ran to the creek bottom. 3/8/2014.

Debris across the Marion Lake trail. 3 separate slides crossed the trail well within the trees and ran to the creek bottom. 3/8/2014.

 

Debris across the Marion Lake trail. 3 separate slides crossed the trail well within the trees and ran to the creek bottom. 3/8/2014.

Debris across the Marion Lake trail. 3 separate slides crossed the trail well within the trees and ran to the creek bottom. 3/8/2014.

 

Debris across the Marion Lake trail. 3 separate slides crossed the trail well within the trees and ran to the creek bottom. 3/8/2014.

Debris across the Marion Lake trail. 3 separate slides crossed the trail well within the trees and ran to the creek bottom. 3/8/2014.

 

Debris in Essex Creek that originated app. 2000 feet above from a large avalanche. 3/8/2014.

Debris in Essex Creek that originated app. 2000 feet above from a large avalanche. 3/8/2014.

 

Crown of natural avalanche in Peters Ridge area, Swan Range. Taken: 3/8/2014. Photo: Keith Hammer.

Crown of natural avalanche in Peters Ridge area, Swan Range. Taken: 3/8/2014. Photo: Keith Hammer.

 

Crown of natural avalanche in Peters Ridge area, Swan Range. Taken: 3/8/2014. Photo: Keith Hammer.

Crown of natural avalanche in Peters Ridge area, Swan Range. Taken: 3/8/2014. Photo: Keith Hammer.

 

Crown of natural avalanche in Browns Gulch area , Swan Range. Taken: 3/8/2014. Photo: Keith Hammer.

Crown of natural avalanche in Browns Gulch area , Swan Range. Taken: 3/8/2014. Photo: Keith Hammer.

 

Crown of natural avalanche in Spider Bowl, Swan Range. Taken: 3/8/2014. Photo: Keith Hammer.

Crown of natural avalanche in Spider Bowl, Swan Range. Taken: 3/8/2014. Photo: Keith Hammer.

 

Debris from natural avalanche on Slippery Bill ,Skyland area, Flathead Range. Taken: 3/8/2014. Photo: Brent

Debris from natural avalanche on Slippery Bill ,Skyland area, Flathead Range. Taken: 3/8/2014. Photo: Brent

 

Debris from natural avalanche on Slippery Bill ,Skyland area, Flathead Range. Taken: 3/8/2014. Photo: Brent

Debris from natural avalanche on Slippery Bill ,Skyland area, Flathead Range. Taken: 3/8/2014. Photo: Brent

 

Debris from natural avalanche on Slippery Bill ,Skyland area, Flathead Range. Taken: 3/8/2014. Photo: Brent

Debris from natural avalanche on Slippery Bill ,Skyland area, Flathead Range. Taken: 3/8/2014. Photo: Brent

 

Debris from natural avalanche on Slippery Bill ,Skyland area, Flathead Range. Taken: 3/8/2014. Photo: Brent

Debris from natural avalanche on Slippery Bill ,Skyland area, Flathead Range. Taken: 3/8/2014. Photo: Brent

 

Comparison of a well-known slope in the Lost Johnny drainage from March 3 and March 7 after a natural avalanche.

Comparison of a well-known slope in the Lost Johnny drainage from March 3 and March 7 after a natural avalanche.

 

Crown of a natural avalanche in Lost Johnny drainage of the Swan Range. The crown actually wraps around the ridge out of this image. 3/6/2014.

Crown of a natural avalanche in Lost Johnny drainage of the Swan Range. The crown actually wraps around the ridge out of this image. 3/6/2014.

 

Crown (located just below the thick trees near the top of the slope), Bed Surface, and Debris from a large, natural avalanche (D3/R5) in the Lost Johnny drainage of the Swan Range. 3/6/2014.

Crown (located just below the thick trees near the top of the slope), Bed Surface, and Debris from a large, natural avalanche (D3/R5) in the Lost Johnny drainage of the Swan Range. 3/6/2014.

 

Debris from a natural avalanche in Doris Creek drainage of the Swan Range. 3/6/2014.

Debris from a natural avalanche in Doris Creek drainage of the Swan Range. 3/6/2014.

 

Debris from a natural avalanche in Doris Creek drainage of the Swan Range. 3/6/2014.

Debris from a natural avalanche in Doris Creek drainage of the Swan Range. 3/6/2014.

 

Debris from another large, natural avalanche in the Lost Johnny drainage of the Swan Range. Debris was estimated up to 30 feet deep. 3/6/2014.

Debris from another large, natural avalanche in the Lost Johnny drainage of the Swan Range. Debris was estimated up to 30 feet deep. 3/6/2014.

 

Debris from a large, natural avalanche in the Lost Johnny drainage of the Swan Range. Debris was estimated up to 20 feet deep. 3/6/2014.

Debris from a large, natural avalanche in the Lost Johnny drainage of the Swan Range. Debris was estimated up to 20 feet deep. 3/6/2014.

 

Debris of a natural avalanche in the Apgar Range and the North Fork of the Flathead River. These avalanches entrained heavy, wet snow that gouged out the snow in some places to the ground. 3/7/2014.

Debris of a natural avalanche in the Apgar Range and the North Fork of the Flathead River. These avalanches entrained heavy, wet snow that gouged out the snow in some places to the ground. 3/7/2014.

 

Crown of a natural avalanche in the Apgar Range and the North Fork of the Flathead River. Previous image shows the debris reaching the river. 3/7/2014.

Crown of a natural avalanche in the Apgar Range and the North Fork of the Flathead River. Previous image shows the debris reaching the river. 3/7/2014.

 

Natural avalanche in the Apgar Range and the North Fork of the Flathead River. 3/7/2014.

Natural avalanche in the Apgar Range and the North Fork of the Flathead River. 3/7/2014.

 

Generalized Snow Profile from China Basin in the Whitefish Range. 3/7/2014.

Generalized Snow Profile from China Basin in the Whitefish Range. 3/7/2014.

 

General storm snow profile. Rescue Creek 3/4/2014

General storm snow profile. Rescue Creek 3/4/2014

 

Light rain began in the afternoon below 4400 feet. Dry low density snow will have difficulty supporting wet snow above. Cascade Creek 3/5/2014

Light rain began in the afternoon below 4400 feet. Dry low density snow will have difficulty supporting wet snow above. Cascade Creek 3/5/2014

 

Pinwheels starting to form from snow off of our skis. Cascade Creek 3/4/2014

Pinwheels starting to form from snow off of our skis. Cascade Creek 3/4/2014

 

A crown of a natural avalanche along Highway 2,  John F. Stevens Canyon. 3/3/2014. Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety.

A crown of a natural avalanche along Highway 2, John F. Stevens Canyon. 3/3/2014. Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety.

 

A crown of a natural avalanche along Highway 2,  John F. Stevens Canyon. 3/3/2014. Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety.

A crown of a natural avalanche along Highway 2, John F. Stevens Canyon. 3/3/2014. Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety.

 

A few feet of debris on Highway 2,  John F. Stevens Canyon. 3/3/2014. Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety.

A few feet of debris on Highway 2, John F. Stevens Canyon. 3/3/2014. Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety.

 

Natural avalanche in John F Stevens canyon. Photo: BNSF avalanche safety 3/1/2014

Natural avalanche in John F Stevens canyon. Photo: BNSF avalanche safety 3/1/2014

 

Natural avalanche in John F Stevens canyon. Photo: BNSF avalanche safety 3/1/2014

Natural avalanche in John F Stevens canyon. Photo: BNSF avalanche safety 3/1/2014

 

Natural avalanche in John F Stevens canyon. Photo: BNSF avalanche safety 3/1/2014

Natural avalanche in John F Stevens canyon. Photo: BNSF avalanche safety 3/1/2014

 

Natural avalanche in John F Stevens canyon. Photo: BNSF avalanche safety 3/1/2014

Natural avalanche in John F Stevens canyon. Photo: BNSF avalanche safety 3/1/2014

 

Evidence of cross loading on lower elevation slope. Lost Johnny drainage, Swan Range 3/1/2014

Evidence of cross loading on lower elevation slope. Lost Johnny drainage, Swan Range 3/1/2014

 

Wind transporting snow at ridgeline and loose snow avalanche. Lost Johnny drainage, Swan Range 3/1/2014

Wind transporting snow at ridgeline and loose snow avalanche. Lost Johnny drainage, Swan Range 3/1/2014

 

Large faceted grains buried 117 cm deep on north aspect. Marion Lake area. 2/28/2014

Large faceted grains buried 117 cm deep on north aspect. Marion Lake area. 2/28/2014

 

Avalanche debris near a memorial tree where David Gogolak died in an avalanche in 2008. 2/26/2014.

Avalanche debris near a memorial tree where David Gogolak died in an avalanche in 2008. 2/26/2014.

 

Looking up at crown of 2/25 Canyon Creek avalanche. 2/26/2014.

Looking up at crown of 2/25 Canyon Creek avalanche. 2/26/2014.

 

Close up of crown of 2/25 Canyon Creek avalanche. 2/26/2014.

Close up of crown of 2/25 Canyon Creek avalanche. 2/26/2014.

 

Close up of crown of 2/25 Canyon Creek avalanche. 2/26/2014.

Close up of crown of 2/25 Canyon Creek avalanche. 2/26/2014.

 

Close up of crown of 2/25 Canyon Creek avalanche. 2/26/2014.

Close up of crown of 2/25 Canyon Creek avalanche. 2/26/2014.

 

Snow height marked on tree of powder cloud of 2/25 Canyon Creek avalanche. 2/26/2014.

Snow height marked on tree of powder cloud of 2/25 Canyon Creek avalanche. 2/26/2014.

 

Overview of crown of 2/25 Canyon Creek avalanche. 2/26/2014.

Overview of crown of 2/25 Canyon Creek avalanche. 2/26/2014.

 

Overview of crown of 2/25 Canyon Creek avalanche. 2/26/2014.

Overview of crown of 2/25 Canyon Creek avalanche. 2/26/2014.

 

Looking down from crown at debris and road/snowmobile trail of 2/25 Canyon Creek avalanche. 2/26/2014.

Looking down from crown at debris and road/snowmobile trail of 2/25 Canyon Creek avalanche. 2/26/2014.

 

Western flank of 2/25 Canyon Creek avalanche. 2/26/2014.

Western flank of 2/25 Canyon Creek avalanche. 2/26/2014.

 

Skin track covered by debris of 2/25 Canyon Creek avalanche. 2/26/2014.

Skin track covered by debris of 2/25 Canyon Creek avalanche. 2/26/2014.

 

Debris on subsequently plowed road of 2/25 Canyon Creek avalanche. 2/26/2014.

Debris on subsequently plowed road of 2/25 Canyon Creek avalanche. 2/26/2014.

Crown

Crown from snowmachine triggered avalanche in China Basin, Whitefish Range, 2/22/2014.

Crown from snowmachine triggered avalanche in China Basin, Whitefish Range, 2/22/2014.

 

Natural avalanche crown on the Canyon Creek Rd., Whitefish Range. 2/20/2014.

Natural avalanche crown on the Canyon Creek Rd., Whitefish Range. 2/20/2014.

 

Natural activity on Java Mountain, Flathead Range. 2/19/2014. Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety.

Natural activity on Java Mountain, Flathead Range. 2/19/2014. Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety.

 

Natural activity on Java Mountain, Flathead Range. 2/19/2014. Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety.

Natural activity on Java Mountain, Flathead Range. 2/19/2014. Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety.

 

Natural activity on Java Mountain, Flathead Range. 2/19/2014. Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety.

Natural activity on Java Mountain, Flathead Range. 2/19/2014. Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety.

 

Natural activity on Java Mountain, Flathead Range. 2/19/2014. Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety.

Natural activity on Java Mountain, Flathead Range. 2/19/2014. Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety.

 

image-3

Snowmobile triggered avalanche in Ten Lakes area just north of the advisory area. 2/16/2014.

 

Natural avalanche in BNSF avalanche safety program area.   Photo: BNSF avalanche safety 2/18/2014

Natural avalanche in BNSF avalanche safety program area.
Photo: BNSF avalanche safety 2/18/2014

 

Natural avalanche in BNSF avalanche safety program area.  Photo: BNSF avalanche safety 2/18/2014

Natural avalanche in BNSF avalanche safety program area.
Photo: BNSF avalanche safety 2/18/2014

 

 

Natural avalanche crown from Grizzly Headwall. 2/19/2014.

Natural avalanche crown from Grizzly Headwall. 2/19/2014.

 

 

Avalanche debris, John F. Stevens Canyon, GNP. 2/19/2014.

Avalanche debris, John F. Stevens Canyon, GNP. 2/19/2014.

 

Recent natural avalanche activity in the Cascadilla area, northern Flathead Range. 2/15/2014 Photo: Steiner

Recent natural avalanche activity in the Cascadilla area, northern Flathead Range. 2/15/2014 Photo: Steiner

 

Recent natural avalanche activity in the Cascadilla headwall, northern Flathead Range. 2/15/2014 Photo: Steiner

Recent natural avalanche activity in the Cascadilla headwall, northern Flathead Range. 2/15/2014 Photo: Steiner

 

Recent natural avalanche activity in Crystal Creek headwall, northern Flathead Range. 2/15/2014 Photo: Steiner

Recent natural avalanche activity in Crystal Creek headwall, northern Flathead Range. 2/15/2014 Photo: Steiner

 

Avalanche triggered from ridge in Skiumah Creek area, northern Flathead Range. 2/15/2014 Photo: Knight

Avalanche triggered from ridge in Skiumah Creek area, northern Flathead Range. 2/15/2014 Photo: Knight

 

Debris from avalanche triggered from ridge in Skiumah Creek area, northern Flathead Range. 2/15/2014 Photo: Knight

Debris from avalanche triggered from ridge in Skiumah Creek area, northern Flathead Range. 2/15/2014 Photo: Knight

 

Natural avalanche observed on wind loaded slope on Paola Ridge. 2/15/2014

Natural avalanche observed on wind loaded slope on Paola Ridge. 2/15/2014

 

Long shooting cracks. Photo: Lamson. 2/15/2014.

Long shooting cracks. Photo: Lamson. 2/15/2014.

 

Remotely triggered slide. Photo: Lamson. 2/15/2014.

Remotely triggered slide. Photo: Lamson. 2/15/2014.

 

Remotely triggered slide about 150 ft. wide and up to 18 inches deep. Whitefish Range. 2/15/2014. Photo: Roehner

Remotely triggered slide about 150 ft. wide and up to 18 inches deep. Whitefish Range. 2/15/2014. Photo: Roehner

 

Avalanche on Skookoleel Peak. 2/15/2014.

Avalanche on Skookoleel Peak. 2/15/2014.

 

Crown of natural avalanche (Class 2) in John F. Stevens Canyon, Lewis Range, Glacier National Park. 2/16/2014. Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety  o Approximate crown width: 100 m.  o Approximate crown depth: 60 cm.  o Starting Zone Elevation: 6000 feet.  o Terminus Elevation: 4400 feet  o Starting Zone Aspect: South (135 degrees)

Crown of natural avalanche (Class 2) in John F. Stevens Canyon, Lewis Range, Glacier National Park. 2/16/2014. Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety
o Approximate crown width: 100 m.
o Approximate crown depth: 60 cm.
o Starting Zone Elevation: 6000 feet.
o Terminus Elevation: 4400 feet
o Starting Zone Aspect: South (135 degrees)

 

Debris of natural avalanche (Class 2.5) in John F. Stevens Canyon, Lewis Range, Glacier National Park. 2/16/2014. Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety.  o Approximate crown width: 100 m.  o Approximate crown depth: 60 cm.  o Starting Zone Elevation: 6000 feet.  o Terminus Elevation: 4400 feet  o Starting Zone Aspect: South (135 degrees)

Debris of natural avalanche (Class 2.5) in John F. Stevens Canyon, Lewis Range, Glacier National Park. 2/16/2014. Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety. o Approximate crown width: 100 m.
o Approximate crown depth: 60 cm.
o Starting Zone Elevation: 6000 feet.
o Terminus Elevation: 4400 feet
o Starting Zone Aspect: South (135 degrees)

 

Crown of natural avalanche (Class 2.5) in John F. Stevens Canyon, Lewis Range, Glacier National Park. 2/16/2014. Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety o Approximate crown width: 30 m.  o Approximate crown depth: 60 cm.  o Starting Zone Elevation: 6000 feet.  o Terminus Elevation: 5000 feet  o Starting Zone Aspect: South (180 degrees)

Crown of natural avalanche (Class 2.5) in John F. Stevens Canyon, Lewis Range, Glacier National Park. 2/16/2014. Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety
o Approximate crown width: 30 m.
o Approximate crown depth: 60 cm.
o Starting Zone Elevation: 6000 feet.
o Terminus Elevation: 5000 feet
o Starting Zone Aspect: South (180 degrees)

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Natural avalanche in BNSF avalanche safety program area.  Photo: BNSF avalanche safety 2/18/2014

Natural avalanche in BNSF avalanche safety program area.
Photo: BNSF avalanche safety 2/18/2014

 

Natural avalanche in BNSF avalanche safety program area.   Photo: BNSF avalanche safety 2/18/2014

Natural avalanche in BNSF avalanche safety program area.
Photo: BNSF avalanche safety 2/18/2014

 

Natural avalanche in BNSF avalanche safety program area.  Photo: BNSF avalanche safety 2/18/2014

Natural avalanche in BNSF avalanche safety program area.
Photo: BNSF avalanche safety 2/18/2014

 

Debris from natural avalanche in BNSF avalanche safety program area.   Photo: BNSF avalanche safety 2/18/2014

Debris from natural avalanche in BNSF avalanche safety program area.
Photo: BNSF avalanche safety 2/18/2014

 

Debris pile from small wind slab pocket triggered in a south-southwest aspect in Canyon Creek. 2/14/2014.

Debris pile from small wind slab pocket triggered in a south-southwest aspect in Canyon Creek. 2/14/2014.

 

Localized cracking is isolated wind slab areas in the southern Whitefish Range. 2/8/2014.

Localized cracking is isolated wind slab areas in the southern Whitefish Range. 2/8/2014.

 

Loose snow avalanche observed near Peters Ridge this week. 2/5/2014. Photo: Hammer.

Loose snow avalanche observed near Peters Ridge this week. 2/5/2014. Photo: Hammer.

 

Thin layer of weak snow (facets) sitting underneath a hard slab on easterly aspect in Swan Range. 2/6/2014.

Thin layer of weak snow (facets) sitting underneath a hard slab on easterly aspect in Swan Range. 2/6/2014.

 

Generalized Snow Profile in Rescue Creek, Flathead Range. 2/7/2014.

Generalized Snow Profile in Rescue Creek, Flathead Range. 2/7/2014.

 

Snow pit dug in wind loaded area near Spider Bowl.  1/31/2014

Snow pit dug in wind loaded area near Spider Bowl. 1/31/2014

 

 

Sidewall profile of the top 10-15 cm (4-6 inches) of the snowpack. Surface hoar exists on the surface as well as under 1-2 inches of snow in most locations in the advisory area. Spider Bowl (Krause Basin), Swan Range. 1/25/2014.

Sidewall profile of the top 10-15 cm (4-6 inches) of the snowpack. Surface hoar exists on the surface as well as under 1-2 inches of snow in most locations in the advisory area. Spider Bowl (Krause Basin), Swan Range. 1/25/2014.

 

Glide cracks exist mostly on sunny aspects throughout the advisory area. Spider Bowl (Krause Basin), Swan Range. 1/25/2014.

Glide cracks exist mostly on sunny aspects throughout the advisory area. Spider Bowl (Krause Basin), Swan Range. 1/25/2014.

 

Surface hoar crystal, Swan Range. 1/25/2014.

Surface hoar crystal, Swan Range. 1/25/2014.

 

Lots going on in the top foot of the snowpack. Monitoring these surface hoar layers now helps for when they become buried by new snow. Read Meadow area, Whitefish Range. 1/23/2014.

Lots going on in the top foot of the snowpack. Monitoring these surface hoar layers now helps for when they become buried by new snow. Read Meadow area, Whitefish Range. 1/23/2014.

 

Surface hoar on Red Meadow Peak, Whitefish Range. 1/23/2014.

Surface hoar on Red Meadow Peak, Whitefish Range. 1/23/2014.

 

Large surface hoar found on a northeast aspect at 6000 feet.

Large surface hoar found on a northeast aspect at 6000 feet.

 

This image taken from Big Mountain Rd. in Whitefish shows two glide cracks in an area known as Half Moon in the southern Whitefish Range. 1/18/2014. Photo: Kim Richards.

This image taken from Big Mountain Rd. in Whitefish shows two glide cracks in an area known as Half Moon in the southern Whitefish Range. 1/18/2014. Photo: Kim Richards.

 

Even light winds (1-16 mph) can transport snow and load snow on leeward sides of ridges. 1/18/2014.

Even light winds (1-16 mph) can transport snow and load snow on leeward sides of ridges. 1/18/2014.

 

Cornices formed by strong winds  along ridges. It's prudent to give cornices a wide berth. A cornice falling onto the slope could be the right trigger to awaken any deeper instabilities in the snowpack.

Cornices formed by strong winds along ridges. It’s prudent to give cornices a wide berth. A cornice falling onto the slope could be the right trigger to awaken any deeper instabilities in the snowpack.

 

Old (~7-9 days ago) remnant crowns (denoted by red line) in Skiumah Creek in the northern Flathead Range. 1/18/2014.

Old (~7-9 days ago) remnant crowns (denoted by red line) in Skiumah Creek in the northern Flathead Range. 1/18/2014.

 

Surface hoar (size 5-8mm) evident on the surface on all aspects but predominantly north and east in the northern Flathead Range.  1/18/2014.

Surface hoar (size 5-8mm) evident on the surface on all aspects but predominantly north and east in the northern Flathead Range. 1/18/2014.

 

 

This image was taken by Forest Service snowmobile rangers in the Skyland area near Marias Pass in the Flathead Range. It appears avalanche started here on wind loaded slope (not corniced ridge above) and triggered slab on slope below. Date of occurrence is unknown. Image taken: 1/17/2014. Photo: Zoellner.

This image was taken by Forest Service snowmobile rangers in the Skyland area near Marias Pass in the Flathead Range. It appears avalanche started here on wind loaded slope (not corniced ridge above) and triggered slab on slope below. Date of occurrence is unknown. Image taken: 1/17/2014. Photo: Zoellner.

 

Avalanche debris in Crystal Creek. 1/15/2014. Photo: James Hulvat

Avalanche debris in Crystal Creek. 1/15/2014. Photo: James Hulvat

 

This is a generalized snow profile of the upper portion of the snowpack in the Rescue Creek area in the northern Flathead Range (Middle Fork corridor). 1/14/2014.

This is a generalized snow profile of the upper portion of the snowpack in the Rescue Creek area in the northern Flathead Range (Middle Fork corridor). 1/14/2014.

 

Natural avalanche observed yesterday (1/13/2014) in the Lewis Range in southern Glacier Park. Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety.

Natural avalanche observed yesterday (1/13/2014) in the Lewis Range in southern Glacier Park. Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety.

 

A glide crack in the Peters Ridge area, Swan Range. This image was taken Sunday, January 12, 2014. Photo Credit: Keith Hammer.

A glide crack in the Peters Ridge area, Swan Range. This image was taken Sunday, January 12, 2014. Photo Credit: Keith Hammer.

 

A slab avalanche (potentially wind slab) failed just above a glide crack in the Peters Ridge area, Swan Range. This image was taken Monday, January 13, 2014. Photo Credit: Keith Hammer.

A slab avalanche (potentially wind slab) failed just above a glide crack in the Peters Ridge area, Swan Range. This image was taken Monday, January 13, 2014. Photo Credit: Keith Hammer.

 

This image shows how strong winds can transport snow a great distance. These winds caused wind slabs to form in many locations throughout the region. 1/11/2014.

This image shows how strong winds can transport snow a great distance. These winds caused wind slabs to form in many locations throughout the region. 1/11/2014.

 

Strong winds transported snow throughout the region yesterday and will continue to do so today. Fresh, sensitive winds slabs exists at all elevations. 1/11/2014.

Strong winds transported snow throughout the region yesterday and will continue to do so today. Fresh, sensitive winds slabs exists at all elevations. 1/11/2014.

 

Cornice development on easterly aspects in John F. Stevens Canyon, Glacier National Park. 1/11/2014. Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety

Cornice development on easterly aspects in John F. Stevens Canyon, Glacier National Park. 1/11/2014. Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety

 

A small wet, natural avalanche on a cut bank along the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. 1/11/2014. Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety

A small wet, natural avalanche on a cut bank along the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. 1/11/2014. Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety

 

Crown of a natural avalanche in John F. Stevens Canyon, Glacier National Park. 1/11/2014. Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety

Crown of a natural avalanche in John F. Stevens Canyon, Glacier National Park. 1/11/2014. Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety

 

Debris of a natural avalanche in John F. Stevens Canyon, Glacier National Park. 1/11/2014. Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety

Debris of a natural avalanche in John F. Stevens Canyon, Glacier National Park. 1/11/2014. Photo: BNSF Avalanche Safety

 

Examining low elevation snowpack (~4100 ft.) in the Swan Range. 1/11/2014. Photo: James Hulvat

Examining low elevation snowpack (~4100 ft.) in the Swan Range. 1/11/2014. Photo: James Hulvat

 

Generalized snow profile from northern Flathead Range showing a few layers of concern as we head into a storm cycle.

Generalized snow profile from northern Flathead Range showing a few layers of concern as we head into a storm cycle.

 

 

We experienced shooting cracks throughout the day on Friday (1/10/2014) that involved the new snow sitting over softer snow that  could not support it.

We experienced shooting cracks throughout the day on Friday (1/10/2014) that involved the new snow sitting over softer snow that could not support it.

 

 

We experienced shooting cracks throughout the day on Friday (1/10/2014) that involved the new snow sitting over softer snow that  could not support it.

We experienced shooting cracks throughout the day on Friday (1/10/2014) that involved the new snow sitting over softer snow that could not support it.

 

 

Localized cracking in Kimmerly basin on Thursday (1/9/2014) before the storm.

Localized cracking in Kimmerly basin on Thursday (1/9/2014) before the storm.

We were easily able to trigger this sensitive wind slab on a steep (>34 degree) east facing slope. We were also able to trigger other wind slabs from safe locations on other aspects about 4-10 inches deep and up to 100 feet wide.

 

Skiers took this image of an avalanche triggered by a snowmobiler in the southern Whitefish Range near Canyon Creek immediately after hit happened. Note the previous ski tracks that existed on the slope prior to avalanching. Photo: Michael Voison.

 

Looking up on a slope where a snowmobiler triggered an avalanche near Canyon Creek. The avalanche failed on a layer of weak snow sitting on top of a crust form late November. The slide ran about 240 vertical feet and failed on a 35 degree slope. The depth of the avalanche was 1 - 2.5 feet, and about 150 feet wide.

 

Looking down on a slope where a snowmobiler triggered an avalanche near Canyon Creek. The avalanche failed on a layer of weak snow sitting on top of a crust form late November. The slide ran about 240 vertical feet and failed on a 35 degree slope.

 

Standing next to the crown of a snowmobiler triggered avalanche near Canyon Creek. The avalanche failed on a layer of weak snow sitting on top of a crust form late November. The slide ran about 240 vertical feet and failed on a 35 degree slope. The depth of the avalanche was 1 - 2.5 feet, and about 150 feet wide.

 

Looking up on a slope where a snowmobiler triggered an avalanche near Canyon Creek. The avalanche failed on a layer of weak snow sitting on top of a crust form late November. The slide ran about 240 vertical feet and failed on a 35 degree slope. The depth of the avalanche was 1 - 2.5 feet, and about 150 feet wide.

 

The red line denotes an avalanche crown that likely occurred during the storm earlier in the week (12/23-24). The crown depth was approximately 8-24 inches and about 500 feet wide.

12/24/13 Small, natural avalanches in Canyon Creek

Crown of a small, soft slab avalanche. Depth 4-10 inches, and 30 feet wide.

 

Crown of small soft slab avalanche. Depth approximately 4 inches and about 20m wide. 12/23/2013.

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BNSF avalanche safety captured this image in John F. Stevens Canyon indicating that fresh wind slabs exists and there is potential for human triggering of sensitive wind slabs.

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Explosive triggered small, hard slab by ski patrol at Whitefish Mountain Resort on 12/6/2013. Credit: Dundas, Whitefish Mountain Ski Patrol.

 

Small, hard slab triggered by Whitefish Mountain Ski Patrol on 12/6/2013. Credit: Dundas, Whitefish Mountain Ski Patrol.

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The rime on these trees indicates wind coming from the east-northeast. This type of wind pattern is atypical for this area, and can transport snow onto more southerly slopes creating wind slabs.

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Avalanche Activity in Canyon Creek 12/2/201311/30/2013 Generalized Snow Profile

A cornice in the Jewel Basin, Swan Range with skier tracks and a crack.

 

The crown of a natural avalanche in the Jewel Basin, Swan Range, MT. 11/16/2013.

 

A closeup image of a natural avalanche crown just above Picnic Notch in the Jewel Basin, Swan Range, MT. 11/16/2013.

 

A close up of a natural avalanche crown just above Picnic Notch in the Jewel Basin, Swan Range, MT. 11/16/2013.