Doug, director of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center, received his B.A. in Outdoor Education from Prescott College in 1986. From 1990 to 1999 he worked as a professional ski patroller at Bridger Bowl Ski Area in Bozeman, Montana. Starting part-time in 1995, and moving to full-time in 1998, Doug has worked for the GNFAC as an avalanche specialist. He's worked as a professional mountain guide in Alaska and the western US from 1989 to the present. During the summers Doug has worked work as a consultant for humanitarian projects in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Doug has been on 16 Alaskan climbing expeditions as well as climbs in Nepal, India, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Folks are triggering avalanches from low angled terrain which are propagating far and wide. Slopes that held early season snow are especially dangerous since the old snow became weak, faceted and sugary. With 1-2 feet of new snow this week it’s difficult to tell which slope is unstable and which is not.
Yesterday, winter officially ended with the Equinox. Saying good-bye to an old, reliable friend is difficult, but spring seems full of energy and ready to play. It started snowing early this morning and at 6 a.m six inches of wet, dense snow has fallen in the mountains.
The Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center is issuing a Backcountry Avalanche Warning for the Bridger and northern Gallatin Ranges as well as the mountains outside Cooke City. Heavy snowfall since Saturday has been deposited on a weak snowpack. Strong winds at all elevations have loaded slopes further. The avalanche danger is rated HIGH on all slopes.
Chicago got pummeled with 20 inches of snow, and they're pretty bummed about it. Don't they realize how cool that is? Bozeman's week long drought feels like eternity, but I'm hoping our fortunes are about to change...
The storms have finally ended. It snowed 13 days in a row in our advisory area, a pretty sweet system that dropped over 6 feet of snow outside Cooke City. I was there last Sunday and had the throttle pinned to get anywhere. The snowpack is getting stronger by the day. With high pressure settling over Montana bringing sunny skies the backcountry riding and skiing will be great.
Yesterday, Eric, Randy Elliott (the General Manager of Bridger Bowl) and I trekked out to investigate Sunday’s avalanche below the south summit of Saddle Peak named Argentina Bowl (video) (many photos)...
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