Huge Avalanche Near Beartooth Basin Ski Area, WY/MT

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Huge avalanche near Beartooth Basin. Credit: A. Hart via @mtavalanche

Avalanche season doesn’t end until all the snow melts.

This huge avalanche occurred last Friday (June 4, 2021) near the Beartooth Basin ski area, above Twin Lakes on Beartooth Pass.

Multiple days of exceptionally warm temperatures followed by rain caused a large cornice to break and trigger the nearly 10-foot deep wet slab. A reminder to stay diligent with safe travel protocols and snow stability assessments, and minimize time spent below cornices.

Beartooth Basin is not your average ski hill. On the border of Wyoming and Montana, Beartooth Basin is a summer-only ski operation with soul. North America’s only summer-only ski area. You could describe it as backcountry skiing with a lift. Similar to traditional lift-served ski facilities, the Basin is staffed with professional ski patrollers and skillful lift attendants. And just like other ski areas, it faces extreme economic challenges – aging infrastructure, high equipment costs, expensive insurance policies, and rigorous engineering inspections. All of these obstacles are made even more difficult with the access issues experienced due to its remote location at the whim of multiple surface owner-operators of US Hwy212.

Beartooth Basin trail map.
Beartooth Basin ski area

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