Loose, wet avalanches may occur as the sun and air temperature warm the upper snowpack today. This type of avalanche is most likely on steep, upper or mid elevation rocky slopes that are getting direct sunlight in addition to above freezing mid day temperatures. Rollerballs, pinwheels and small point releases around rocks are all great indicators of warming snow. If you notice any of these occurring, it is time to call it a day or move to a cooler, shadier aspect. It didn't get warm enough for this to occur yesterday in the upper elevations but the lower and mid elevations were shedding snow in the late afternoon.
In addition to small loose/wet slides today, cornices are also a concern. There are still plenty of large, overhanging cornices that are going to begin to fail as we see more warm weather through the rest of the spring. Give overhanging cornices a wide berth especially later in the day as temps climb. Avoid travel on big cornices or directly below them.
In general, the snowpack right now is pretty stable. Isolated areas of hazard may still be found and as you move into steeper terrain, keep in mind the consequences of the terrain if something did slide. Small changes in the weather can have big effects on a spring snowpack so monitor conditions before you head out and pay attention to red flags and other warning signs while you are out.
This will be our last advisory of the season unless we see a major change in conditions. Thank you to all of our volunteer travel companions for joining us on good days and not so good days. Also, a big thanks to Brian Peters for organizing the Friends fundraiser this year almost single handedly! Thanks to all of the merchants and companies that donated to the fundraiser. Finally, thank you to all of the folks that sent us observations or snow reports from across the advisory area throughout the winter. If you would like to get involved with the Friends, please contact Susan Jenkins at the McCall Ranger District: 208-634-0400.
Tamarack Resort is hosting it's first ever Snowmobile Hillclimb competition which is being put on by RMSHA on April 7 and 8. Don't miss out on a chance to get close to the action and see some great riders at a local venue. Click here for more info.
Yesterday's cloud cover put a damper on the corn skiing. We toured on sleds until 1 pm before finding soft snow. East facing terrain had a supportable crust with about 1.5 inches of soft, melted butter on top. Northerly terrain was variable but still had some soft, powderlike pockets. Breakable crust was the name of the game through most of the day with an unsupportable surface on anything that was not tipped directly towards the sun. The snow that is under the crust is cohesive and still resting on the old melt freeze layer around 50 cms down. Despite the lack of snow available for transport, we observed minor wind loading near the ridgetops on East and Northeast terrain yesterday as winds ramped up to around 25 mph in the afternoon.
Pay attention to changes on Sunday night as another storm enters our area bringing moderate snowfall amounts and gusty winds to the upper elevations. The new snow is going to have a difficult time bonding to the melt freeze surface that we have built up over the last week.
In general, we are set up for a good spring season of skiing and riding as long as the lower elevation access sticks around. Grooming will continue as conditions allow on the snowmobile routes and there is still plenty of snow in the upper elevations.
|0600 temperature:||27 deg. F.|
|Max. temperature in the last 24 hours:||35 deg. F.|
|Average wind direction during the last 24 hours:||W|
|Average wind speed during the last 24 hours:||10 mph|
|Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours:||22 mph|
|New snowfall in the last 24 hours:||0 inches|
|Total snow depth:||60 inches|
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.