Over the next 24 hours we will be seeing up to 10 inches (1 inch water) or more of snow in the high elevations of the forecast area. The rapid rate of snowfall today, combined with strong winds will make for dangerous avalanche conditions. Conservative decision making today will be important. Stick to low angle terrain, choose terrain that is not below any steep avalanche paths, ride one at a time up/down slopes, and keep an eye on your backcountry partners.
It is currently raining below 7,000 feet. This rain combined with lack of hard freezing temps the last few days and nights could tip the balance on any slopes in avalanche terrain today. It is easy to avoid these slopes currently, but if the snowline drops as forecasted it is going to be a good idea to rember that below the fresh snow is a soggy/saturated snowpack and not be swayed by the presence of fresh snow.
Triggering a slab due to this weak layer has become more difficult over the last two and a half weeks, but I would not let my guard down, We are still finding this weak layer in upper elevation wind protected terrain. Pit results and stability testing are pointing toward less likelihood of triggering, but if triggered we are still talking about a potentially unsurvivable hard slab avalanche. Take the time to carefully assess terrain choices on the north half of the compass today. Especially areas where the snow cover is thinner which allows the buried surface hoar to be closer to the surface, and in turn more reactive---especially for snowmachines. This is the same layer that was the cause of the fatal avalanche on January 31st. A persistent weak layer such as this is a low probablility, but HIGH CONSEQUENCE scenario. In addition, the old snow layer around 55cm is still showing signs of instability in our pit tests with moderate test scores. This layer is comprised of grauple in some areas and has buried Surface Hoar and fine grained facets mixed in in other areas.
Boy howdy...winter is back, for a few days at least. Be sure to stay safe and not succomb to powder fever over the next 24-48 hours. Treat today's storm with respect and stick to low angle terrain and enjoy!
BACKCOUNTRY FILM FESTIVAL!
Come join Friends of Payette Avalanche Center, McCall Winter Sports Club, and Brundage Mountain to celebrate this weekends powder skiing with a night of backcountry films.
Tomorrow night at McCall Golf Course Clubhouse!
Doors open at 6 pm and the show will start at 7 pm.
Please come out and share your stoke!
It is shaping up to be a windy and wet day in the West Central Mountains today. Currently precip is falling as rain up to ~7,000 feet and an inch of snow has fallen above 7,000 as of 5:30 am. However, snow line is forecasted to drop through the day as a vigorous upper level trough pushes in a cold front form the Northwest. We could receive 5-10 inches (or more) of snow over the next 24 hours with winds blowing out of the south-south west at 20-30 mph and gusting to near 50 mph at the highest elevations. Showers should continue on and off through the weekend with a ridge of high pressure returning early next week.
This avalanche advisory is provided through a partnership between the Payette National Forest and the Payette Avalanche Center. This advisory covers the West Central Mountains between Hard Butte on the north and Council Mountain on the south. This advisory applies only to backcountry areas outside established ski area boundaries. This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur. This advisory expires at midnight on the posted day unless otherwise noted. The information in this advisory is provided by the USDA Forest Service who is solely responsible for its content.