We have received up to two feet of new snow in the last few days in the upper elevations. The new snow, combined with moderate to strong winds out of the south-southwest have created widespread wind slabs.
Due to the erratic and moderate to high winds, wind slabs could potentially be found on what is normally a sheltered slope, even in the middle elevations. Be weary near ridges and in typical cross-loaded slopes in exposed terrain, or any slope that has small cornices or pillowy looking snow. Some areas may only have thin and tender slabs that are easy to manage, while other slopes the slabs may be up to 3 feet thick. While we wait for these slabs to heal, I would continue to avoid traveling on or under any wind affected terrain. If you see cracks shooting out as you are moving or encounter large drifts or stiff snow, move to more sheltered and/or low angle terrain.
In areas that were not affected by the winds over the last few days, it could be possible to trigger a storm slab. While storm slabs stabilize rather quickly by definition, some instabilities can still be found within the storm snow layers where the hardeness (density) of snow layer changes. Because of this, I would stay off of steep slopes today, even if they are small and/or show no signs of wind slab.
Snowmobiler/Snowbiker Travel Restrictions: a quick reminder that the Granite Mountain Area Closure is now in effect, please respect Snowcats operating in this and nearby areas. 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 and Sergeants' 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). You can download the map to the AVENZA app on your phone, and know your exact location while you are out riding.
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.
Yesterday, near Secesh Summit the wind effect was obvious as seen below in this picture.
Yesterday we also got some old news: local snomobilers reported triggerring slabs up to 3 feet deep on Monday on a Northeast aspect around 7,000 feet somewhere on the Payette National Forest.
We have been hearing of avalanches being triggered in the advisory area. If you see or trigger an avalanche please let us know as soon as possible. When it comes to staying safe in the mountains, we are all in this together. Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Just sending us a picture and description of the location (aspect, elevation, slope angle), helps us a ton!
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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.