Small isolated wind slabs were found yesterday near Twin Lakes on Granite Mountain on northerly slopes. We have also had reports of similar thin slabs from the Lick Creek and Big Creek areas. These slabs were shallow ( 4-6 inches), sensitive to ski cuts but lacked the abilty to propagate beyond our skis yesterday. The effects of the high winds earlier in the week were pretty obvious as well with spines and tree wells growing on ridges and sub ridges above 7000 feet. Payette Powder Guides reported several obvious crowns on Beaverdam Peak and 8302 Thursday that had failed naturally mid slope in steep terrain following the Tuesday/Wednesday stom event.
There is a layer of rounding, faceted snow below the most recent storm snow, we found this layer to be somewhat reactive as we tested for it throughout the day in hasty pits and quick shear tests. In compression it produced low energy, non planar failures in the CT 21-25 range due to the lack of a cohesive slab above it. We don't have enough data yet to know exactly how wide spread this layer is but we found it yesterday on multiple aspects and at multiple elevations in the Goose Lake Area
In addition to the upper layer of rounding, faceted snow there is a significant weak layer of faceted snow above the Thanksgiving rain crust. Similar to the upper layer, this layer lacks a cohesive, overlying slab to create a significant avalanche problem right now. As we add more load in the form of additional snowfall or wind loading, this layer will likely become a significant avalanche problem. Like the upper layer, it is a widespread layer across multiple aspects and elevations.
The PAC will only be operating 3 days per week this year. Your observations are more important now than ever before, please let us know what you are seeing while you are out riding or skiing in the local backcountry. It's super easy to send us info and photos with date, location, pictures, general or specific snow observations, just click on the submit observations page on the PAC website and add what you saw or found in the snow. You can also email the forecasters directly at: email@example.com
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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.