THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON January 11, 2017 @ 6:48 am
Avalanche Advisory published on January 10, 2017 @ 6:48 am
Issued by George Halcom - Payette Avalanche Center
bottom line

The avalanche danger today is CONSIDERABLE for elevations above 6,000 feet. Human triggered avalanches are LIKELY on steep, wind drifted slopes, especially those facing the north half of the compass. Once triggered, today's avalanches have the potential to break deep/wide, resulting in a dangerous avalanche.

Below 6,000 feet MODERATE avalanche danger exists and human triggered slides are possible.

How to read the advisory


  • Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making essential.
Avalanche Problem 1: Wind Slab
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The first warm, wet, windy system impacted our region yesterday, creating fresh wind slab hazard. Due to the strong South-southwest winds and snow available for transport, drifting occurred in unusual locations and lower down slope. As the storms continue today with another 3-5 inches of new snow and winds upwards of 21MPH, slabs will continue to form on our Northern aspects. Cautious routefinding and overall safe travel protocols are going to be important.Triggering an avalanche right now could cause a large and unsurvivable slide. If you do go out today, you will want to steer clear of steep, wind drifted terrain and be on the look out for and avoid any rounded, fat, pillows of snow, especially if they feel or sound hollow like a drum. See our observations section for a report of skiers triggering wind slabs on Saturday on a NW slope in the Lick Creek drainage

Avalanche Problem 2: Storm Slab
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With the high winds, storm slabs will be found in areas sheltered by the wind. However, if you were to find an are the a storm slab exists, it could be really easy to trigger depending on the snow surface that it is sitting on. For example, if the snow from the past 24 hours is resting on windboard it will be easy to trigger due to the new snow having trouble bonding with that old hard surface. Play it safe for the next few days and ride in low angle terrain that is not under or connected to any steeper avalanche terrain.

advisory discussion

Remember your information can save lives. If you see anything we should know about, please participate in the creation of our own community avalanche advisory by submitting snow and avalanche conditions. It's okay if you leave some fields blank, just quickly fill out what you know. Or you can email us at  forecast@payetteavalanche.org.

The Friends of the Payette Avalanche Center (FPAC) needs YOU! We are in desperate need of more user support and financial assistance. The avalanche forecast is not a guaranteed service, and is in jeopardy of dwindling down to only a couple of days a week in the near future. Please help if you can by clicking the DONATE tab above. If you value this life saving information, make a donation or help the FPAC in raising funds for the future.

 

recent observations

We have had a report of a human triggered avalanche (wind slabs) from a group skiing terrain up Lick Creek on Saturday: "Group of 3 out touring west aspect of Sawtooth Peak via Snowlide Lake. Skiers observed increasing winds out of the SE while touring north along the ridgeline. These winds were quickly creating fresh wind slabs on WNW slopes. Group began descent before reaching summit of Sawtooth Peak, skiing one at a time, triggering minor small sloughs and observing fracturing in small isolated pockets. Skiers regrouped and identified a safe zone at the bottom of the slope. The first skier to exit the zone triggered a wind slab that was directly below a small rock feature with a crown 6-8 in. deep and approx 40 feet wide on a 35 degree NW slope. The skier was carried approx 40 ft and stopped before a small group of trees and was able to self rescue and exit the debris without burial or injury. It seemed more apparent after the event that overnight changes in winds resulted in wind slabs in atypical locations."  For the full report, and to submit an observation, go to our observations section.

We also had a third hand report yesterday of aproximately 7 avalanches on the road going to the Stibnite mine near Yellow Pine.

Remember your information can save lives. If you see anything we should know about, please participate in the creation of our own community avalanche advisory by submitting snow and avalanche conditions. It's okay if you leave some fields blank, just quickly fill out what you know. Or you can email us at  forecast@payetteavalanche.org.

 

weather

The National Weather Service out of Boise has issued a Winter Storm Warning through Wednesday due to the chance for additional snowfall and wind for the West Central Mountains.

Last night temperatures dropped about 12 degrees from the warm up that brought valley rain yesterday, and local resorts picked up around 2 inches of snow...Over the last 48 hours, Secesh Summit picked up 1-2 inches of snow water equivalent (10-20 inches of snow), and winds have been out of the south and southwest blowing in the teen's to 20's, with gusts blowing into the high 30's.

For today expect the temperatures stay below freezing with the mountains picking up another 3-5 inches of snow and Long Valley picking up 1-3 inches. Winds will be out of the West-southwest in the teens to 20 plus MPh.

 

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the NOAA-NWS
McCall Airport at 5021 feet.
  Tuesday Tuesday Night Wednesday
Weather: Snow. High near 28. South southwest wind 8 to 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible. Snow. Steady temperature around 29. East wind 3 to 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible. Snow, mainly before 11am. High near 28. Northwest wind around 7 mph becoming west southwest in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Temperatures: 28 deg. F. 29 deg. F. High 28 deg. F.
Wind direction: South-southwest East Northwest becoming West-southwest
Wind speed: 8 to 13 3-7 7
Expected snowfall: 1-3 in. 1 to 3 in. 1 to 3 in.
Granite Mountain at 7700 feet.
  Tuesday Tuesday Night Wednesday
Weather: Snow. High near 20. Wind chill values between -1 and 8. Breezy, with a west southwest wind around 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible. Snow. Low around 19. South southwest wind 8 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible. Snow. High near 23. West wind 7 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Temperatures: 20 deg. F. Low 19 deg. F. High 23 deg. F.
Wind direction: West-Southwest South-southwest West
Wind speed: 21 8 to 11 7 to 10
Expected snowfall: 3 to 5 in. 2 to 4 in. 1 to 3 in.
Disclaimer

This avalanche advisory is provided through a partnership between the Payette National Forest and the Friends of 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.