Avalanche Advisory published on January 8, 2016 @ 6:20 am
Issued by George Halcom - Payette Avalanche Center
bottom line

Be cautious in terrain above 7500 feet where wind slabs still exist on southwest through east aspects: the avalanche danger is still MODERATE: Human triggered avalanches are possible.

Below 7500 feet, in non-wind loaded terrain the overall avalanche danger is LOW, and human triggered avalanches are unlikely. If traveling in high elevations today, evaluate the snow and terrain carefully, and use good travel protocols, especially in areas that have wind loaded slopes.

How to read the advisory

  • Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
Avalanche Problem 1: Wind Slab
  • Character ?
  • Aspect/Elevation ?
  • Likelihood ?
    Very Likely
  • Size ?
    Very Large

Remember---Low Avalanche Danger does not mean no avalanche danger. This is the wild card in our mountains right now: Wind slabs are still present in elevations above 7500 feet in specific terrain features. If you are in steep terrain be on the look out for these slabs. Stiff, pillow shaped deposits should be avoided when in high elevation, especially consequential terrain. Triggering a wind slab in sheltered terrain, and on all lower elevation slopes is unlikely.

Avalanche Problem 2: Normal Caution
  • Character ?
advisory discussion

We know you all have been getting out the past few weeks...we would love to here about it! Use our sweet OBSERVATION page to drop us a line. It is super easy, and you don't need to use any special jargon or worry about submitting pit profiles (you can if you want). Any information and pictures about avalanche activity you saw, or the fact that you didn't see any avalanche activity, while you were out in the backcountry would be great. We need you!

recent observations

Snowmobiles are getting into non-motorized areas...check the Winter Travel Map (East side/ West side) on closures before you head out. Remember that the Granite Mt. closure goes into effect on 1/15 also, please respect non-motorized closures in the area. It is your responsibility to know the motorized/non-motorized boundaries.

Skiers and riders are getting into some of our more consequential terrain...make sure that you have an escape route planned if something goes wrong:

-Know how to perform slope cuts on skis, snowboard, and/or snowmobile and remember that this technique only works for softer slabs. As slabs harden, they will allow you to get further out before being triggered. If you were to trigger an avalanche, have an escape route.

-Use good travel practices when you are in avalanche terrain. Travel one at a time while skinning, skiing, and riding avalanche terrain.

-Make sure that everyone in your group is carrying avalanche rescue gear (beacon, probe, shovel) and knows how to use it. This is a great time to be practicing with your beacon before the next big dump.


The Sun will poke through the clouds again today bringing a high near 30 in the upper elevations. The light North winds should calm down this morning. A ridge of high pressure will block any significant chances of snow into next week. 

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the NOAA-NWS
McCall Airport at 5021 feet.
  Friday Friday Night Saturday
Weather: Areas of dense fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 29. Calm wind. Patchy dense fog after 11pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 16. Calm wind. A 20 percent chance of snow after 11am. Patchy dense fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 26. Calm wind.
Temperatures: High 29 deg. F. Low 16 deg. F. High 26 deg. F.
Wind direction: Calm Calm Calm
Wind speed: Calm Calm Calm
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
Granite Mountain at 7700 feet.
  Friday Friday Night Saturday
Weather: Partly sunny, with a high near 30. North wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the morning. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 17. Calm wind becoming southwest 5 to 8 mph after midnight. A 20 percent chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 27. Southwest wind 7 to 9 mph.
Temperatures: High 30 deg. F. Low 17 deg. F. High 27 deg. F.
Wind direction: North Southwest Southwest
Wind speed: 5 MPH-Calm 5-8 MPH 7-9
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 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.