South and South-west winds over the last few days have been higher than forecasted in the upper elevations. Most of the wind transported snow has accumulated on the Northerly aspects falling on older windslabs that were formed early in the week. Some of these older windslabs ran naturally on Tuesday and were able to "step down" into deeper layers below. Watch for sculpted or stiff wind board on the windward aspects and rippled, chalky or hollow feeling/sounding pillows and drifts on leeward aspects. You should also be aware that due to the high velocity of the wind that these features may be found well below the ridgelines on leeward terrain. Practice safe travel protocols, and expose only one person at a time in wind loaded avalanche terrain.
PAC still has room for both skiers and snowmobilers in our upcoming Intro to Avalanches class on Jan 6 and 7, registration by email is required.
Friends of the Payette Avalanche Center needs YOU! Come join us on Tuesday January 3rd at Idaho First Bank in McCall at 6 pm for an annual membership meeting. This meeting is open to the entire snow loving community, and we need to hear from you on how the Payette Avalanche Center should grow into the future.
Did you know: Only a small portion of our operating budget comes from the Forest Service, we RELY on the the Friends of the Payette Avalanche Center to help finance the forecasts that you use and the equipment we use to gather the information. Our forecast sleds are overdue for replacement and we rely on these as important tools to provide reliable avalanche advisories to the public...don't let your local avalanche center end up with a pile of melted metal, plastic and rubber on the side of the road! Come out and support your FRIENDS and get involved Tuesday night or make a tax deductible donation online.
Yesterday, we toured around the Council Mtn area. We found good coverage, and fairly good stability. Shallow wind slabs were scattered throughout the ridgelines, most of which have gained a lot of strength. We did observe a very small cornice failure from the SSW winds overnight. Great snow conditions can be found in areas that were protected from the winds.
Light snow showers and light SW winds are forecasted over the next few days along with very cold air aloft that will push out the mild inversion.
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.