Wind slabs can still be found in upper elevations on leeward terrain. With not much snow left for transporting, these slabs should be stabilizing and becoming less of a problem. Winds will pick up today, and into the evening tonight, transporting what snow is left and the 1-2" that we may recieve this evening. Little snow, and a bit of wind around 45-55 Mph could make for small shallow fresh wind slabs on east and northeast aspects. Keep an eye out for signs of freshly drifted snow for the fresh wind slabs, and stiff snow with a chalky surface for the older wind slabs.
Also, be on the lookout for heavily corniced areas today. We have been seeing some big pieces failing over the past week with temperature swings.
The east/northeast face of Bruin Mt. shows some of the crossloading and Mid elevation micro loading that we saw last week.
This winter has not had any shortage of snow, and most of the time it comes with stout winds out of the South-Southwest. All of this wind and snow does a great job of forming large cornices on our ridgelines. The cornices are quite large, and have formed long, thin lips that are overhanging, and are sensitive to added weight, and will break back farther than you think, as we witnessed yesterday while traveling a ridgeline en-route to Storm peak.
We would love some of your observations! If you are getting out in the backcountry, let us know. Use the OBSERVATION tab above, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to all the ladies who came out Sunday for the annual PAC/Tamarack Ski Patrol Women's only Diva Avalanche Awareness Class! The eight women in yesterday's class learned about weather, snowpack, terrain, and the fundamentals of avalanche rescue. Kudos to the participants!
We don't have any more formal avalanche awareness classes scheduled for the rest of this winter, however, check back next season for a full schedule aimed at all user groups!
Yesterday, we toured out to Storm Peak in search of snow. On our way, we were challenged to keep our sleds cool in a hard and frozen snowpack....as we traveled to higher elevation, we found around 2-6 inches of new snow resting on a crust that was firmer on solar aspects. The wind did some scouring on the upper parts of the mountains, taking away all the snow down to the crust in some places. The new snow from Saturday made conditions soft as you traveled higher.
It will be 10 degrees warmer today in the upper elevations with a high around 41 degrees in the upper elevations, and South-Southwest winds ramping up to 22-33 Mph with gusts as high as 47 Mph...winds will increase this evening with gusts as high as 55 Mph, laying down 1-2 inches of new snow, and a low of around 24 degrees.
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.