Big Creek

Location Name: 
Big Creek Summit
Big Creek Summit
Date and time of observation: 
Sun, 01/12/2020 - 12:24

Red Flags: 
Recent avalanche activity
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks, or collapsing
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain

Observation made by: Public
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

I went to earlier than usual to Big Creek today to get some skiing in before the next wave, observations:

  1. Major snow settlement overnight.  The 1-2 inches showing on snowtel did not reflect overnight snow due to settling.  The settling made for much easer travel today as compared to yesterday (why I went early….)
  2. Yesterday it was almost impossible to isolate the new snow.  Today I was able to on every try, both columns and quick ECTs.
  3. While both columns and ECTs were easy to isolate, all broke/sheared easy with a light tap/push.  ECTs ranged from ECTP to ECTN, a wide range.  Shears were in the Q3 range.  I’m guessing mostly on density inversions.  Yesterday’s snow was denser than Friday’s.  Breaking was easy this am on wind exposed ridges.  However, the wind was picking up and every lap consisted of re-breaking trail.
  4. I have been skiing what I consider safe southern aspects in this area for the last 2 weeks.  Today is the 1st day I had any trepidation on rollovers steeper than 35 degrees.  I started travel as per considerable hazard on my last run.  I only had localized cracking and it was not for a lack of trying.  I poked and prodded a lot of wind-loaded drifts.
  5. I would not be surprised if in the next couple of days if typically, safe south aspects become scary with even a possible natural cycle in wind loaded areas or direct sunlight.
  6. North aspects in this area have gone through a repeating natural cycle.


Snowpack photos: 
more snow
Any other comments about the observation or links to outside pages that have more info on the observation: 

I agree with this morning’s call on High hazard, that's what I would call it.

I want to thank the forecasters for an extra Sunday forecast today.

Please donate to the Friends of the Payette Avalanche Center and hopefully we can raise enough funds for forecasts seven days a week.  Click on the Donate tab above.


Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
Greater than 1 in. per hour
More detailed information about the weather: 

Nuking and Puking.  Snow rate and wind was increasing from 9 am to my exit at 1.30 pm.  A total of 10" on yesterday's track near the pass from 3 pm yesterday to 1.30 today, lower than typical idaho density.

Wind was cross loading many terrian features.