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.
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!
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.
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.