THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON March 18, 2017 @ 5:47 am
Avalanche Advisory published on March 17, 2017 @ 5:47 am
Issued by Dave Bingaman - Payette Avalanche Center
bottom line

The Avalanche Danger is MODERATE  today at all elevations/aspects due to the possibility of loose, wet avalanches resulting from warm temperatures and recent rainfall that has saturated the upper snow pack.  Cornice failures are also a concern,  the overhanging snow has become unstable as a result of the warm, wet weather this week.  The snow surface will be refrozen this morning but will be thawing through the day and is unlikely to refreeze until Sunday evening.

How to read the advisory


  • Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
Avalanche Problem 1: Loose Wet
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Most of the wet-loose natural avalanche activity has already taken place this week during another round of high elevation rain and above average temperatures.  Local Snotel Sites have lost between 20 and 30 inches of their snow pack in the last 7 days as a result of the wet, warm weather.  Yesterday and last night provided a much needed cooldown with temperatures dropping into the mid 20's.  The snow surface will start out firm today and gradually soften again as temperatures climb this afternoon.  Temperatures are forecasted to remain above freezing through Sunday night even in the mid and upper elevations.  With the lack of freezing temperatures, especially below 7,600 feet, you still run a good chance of starting a loose wet avalanche in steep terrain.  Scattered rain showers tonight and rain tomorrow will increase the potential for natural and human caused wet slides through the next 48 hours.

Avalanche Problem 2: Cornice
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Many of the ridgelines in the area are still sporting some very large, overhanging cornices.  We had a report of a large, human triggered cornice failure earlier this week and also have seen many areas where large sections of cornice have already succumbed to the pull of gravity.  Cornice failures are very common in the spring and we have a bumper crop of monster cornices this year.  Avoid travel on or near large cornices and stay off slopes that have large, overhanging cornices above them.

advisory discussion

Snowmobiler/Snowbiker Travel Restrictions: 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.  It is your responsibility to know where closures exist on the forest.

The Granite Mountain Area Closure is in effect Jan15-March 31, please respect Snowcats operating, signed and unsigned closures and other users 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, North of Boulder Mtn, East of Rapid Peak, North of the 20 mile drainage, 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").  

Ski areas are closed to snowmobile traffic, last week a group of snowmobilers poached the Northern portion of Tamarack Resort crossing under a fixed and signed rope line and left trenches on 3 of the ski runs that don't get groomed. Don't be "that guy" that gives sledders a bad name, please respect boundaries, snowmobiling at a ski resort is a low blow and a safety concern.

 

 

recent observations

No new avalanches were reported or observed yesterday.  You can still see the evidence of last week's natural avalanche cycle with some decent sized crowns dotting the steeper slopes throughout the mountains.  You can also see plenty of wet slide debris on steep terrain as well, some of it was pretty significant.

CURRENT CONDITIONS Today's Weather Observations From the Granite Weather Station at 7700 ft.:
0600 temperature: 26 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 33 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: WSW
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 8 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 26 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: NA inches
Total snow depth: NA inches
Disclaimer

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.