The wind slab problem is fairly widespread on the Northern half of the compass above 7000 feet. While these slabs are becoming less touchy, some of these slabs are resting on a variety of old snow surfaces ranging from hard wind board to loose, faceted snow. You are likely to trigger these slabs not only at the ridgelines but in steep terrain below rock faces, in gullies or other confined terrain where the wind blown snow accumulated.
Over the last week we have toured and traveled into some of the steepest northerly terrain and found wind slab crowns scattered across these slopes. What we also noticed is that most of these slopes that did not run on their own are still untouched by sledders or skiers still so no artificial/ human triggers have been applied yet.
Overall, you can look at windloaded terrain right now with the great visibility and see the warning signs: rounded, pillowy, sculpted terrain is the norm throughout the northerly terrain, and these features are easy to recognize clues of where the problem areas are right now. Remember right now, just because you are not seeing recent avalanches on some steep northerly terrain does not mean those slopes are safe...
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 snd Sargeant's 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)
Payette Avalanche Center is hosting another KNOW BEFORE YOU GO tomorrow night at the Payette National Forest Supervisors Office at 5:30 pm. This is a great way to learn the basics before thinking about heading into avalanche terrain.
There is still room in the Sawtooth Avalanche Center's Motorized Level 1 avalanche class in Fairfield this weekend. You can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to sign up, stop making excuses. This is a great class, reasonably priced with a shortened classroom session and 2 field days jam packed with useful travel, rescue and decision making information.
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 email@example.com.
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.
Problem layers have grown over the last few days, and so have the precipitation forecasts for the next round of storms. Well developed Surface Hoar and widespread development of Near Surface Facets are going to be a MAJOR concern as snow accumulates above them. Today's loud powder will be tomorrows weak layer...
Buried Surface Hoar is Public Enemy number one in the avalanche world, this fragile layer when buried is responsible for more avalanche accidents and deaths than any other type of problem.
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Inverted temperatures again this morning. 21 degrees at Secesh Summit, and the weather station on Granite Mountain is reporting 20. Yesterday Secesh Summit saw a high of 37.
Today should be another mild day in the upper elevations with clouds and wind building in the late afternoon. High of 33 degrees and winds out of the west-southwest blowing in the 20's by afternoon. The brunt of the storm arrives tonight, and tomorrow looks to be a full on storm day with up to 10 inches of snow falling during the day and winds blowing 30's and gusting into the 40 mph range. More snow and wind on tap for Wednesday night and into Thursday as well.
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.