Avalanche Advisory published on January 30, 2017 @ 6:12 am
Issued by -
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The avalanche danger today is MODERATE on steep, wind affected slopes above 7000 feet due to human triggered avalanches being possible. Below 7000 feet the avalanche danger is LOW.  Do keep in mind that a layer of buried surface hoar is still being tracked around the advisory area. While the chances of triggering an avalanche due to this problem is low, the consequences would be high.

How to read the advisory

  • Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
Avalanche Problem 1: Wind Slab
  • Character ?
  • Aspect/Elevation ?
  • Likelihood ?
    Very Likely
  • Size ?
    Very Large

With light to moderate winds out of the south over the last 24 hours, new thin wind slabs have developed in the upper most terrain on the north half of the compass. These new wind slabs should be managable due to their small size and ease of being triggered. However, in steep exposed terrain, even a small wind slab could knock you off your feet.

My main concern today will be triggering an older stiffer wind slab. These older wind slabs can be 1-3 feet deep and in some areas where the snowpack is thinner (wind scoured/rocky) lie above thin sugary snow. Luckily, they are fairly easy to pick out due to the hard hollow feel of the snowpack. Before you get to a slope, anticipate where slabs may lie - use cornices, and wind pillows as clues.

advisory discussion

With warming temperatures, light winds, and no new precipitation avalanche conditions are improving throughout the area. However,  we are still tracking several weak layers that were scattered throughout the advisory areas snowpack before last week's warm and windy storm.  

**Before committing to skiing or riding a slope over 30 degrees on the north half of the compass today, take a moment to dig into the snow and see if a thin grey line (buried surface hoar) is buried one to two feet below the snow surface. If so, look elsewhere to ski and ride.

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.

Snowmobiler/Snowbiker Travel Restrictions:  a quick reminder that the Granite Mountain Area Closure is now in effect.  In addition there are other areas on the Payette National Forest that are CLOSED to snowmobile traffic including Jughandle Mt east of Jug Meadows, Lick Creek/Lake Fork Drainage (on the right side of the road as you are traveling up canyon), and the area north of Brundage Mt Ski area to junction "V" and along the east side of Brundage and Sergeants' Mts. with the exception of the Lookout Rd( junction "S").  Please respect these closures and other users recreating in them.  Winter Travel Map(East side). You can download the map to the AVENZA app on your phone, and know your exact location while you are out riding. 

recent observations

We had reports of loose wet avalanches that slid late on Saturday afternoon on solar aspects in the upper elevations.

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 fill out what you know and/or submit photos. You can  also email us at

CURRENT CONDITIONS Today's Weather Observations From the Granite Weather Station at 7700 ft.:
0600 temperature: 23 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 30 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: SE
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 7 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 17 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: inches

Over the last 24 hours at the Granite Mountain weather station, we have had no new snow, and light to moderate winds out of the south, southwest, and southeast. Today the forecast is calling for a high in the low 30's with winds blowing in the teens. Tonight we will have the arrival of a low from the Gulf of Alaska. Clouds and winds will be increasing after 11 pm tonight, however, snow will not begin to fall until Tuesday during the day.  Tomorrow, daytime totals in the mountains will not bee too impressive with only 1 to 4 inches on tap. We do have a chance of precipitation each day through the work week and into the weekend in the mountains.  

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the NOAA-NWS
McCall Airport at 5021 feet.
  Monday Monday Night Tuesday
Weather: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 23. Calm wind. A 30 percent chance of snow, mainly after 11pm. Patchy fog. Otherwise, cloudy, with a low around 13. Calm wind. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. Snow likely. Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, cloudy, with a high near 26. South wind 3 to 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Temperatures: high 23 deg. F. low 13 deg. F. high 26 deg. F.
Wind direction: calm calm south
Wind speed: calm calm 3-7
Expected snowfall: 0 in. less than 0.5 in. 1-3 in.
Granite Mountain at 7700 feet.
  Monday Monday Night Tuesday
Weather: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 33. West southwest wind 9 to 13 mph. A 30 percent chance of snow, mainly after 11pm. Cloudy, with a low around 24. West southwest wind 14 to 17 mph. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible. Snow likely. Cloudy, with a high near 24. Breezy, with a west southwest wind 18 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.
Temperatures: high 33 deg. F. low 24 deg. F. high 24 deg. F.
Wind direction: west-southwest west-southwest west-southwest
Wind speed: 9-13 14-17 18-20
Expected snowfall: 0 in. Less than 1 in. 2-4 in.

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.