Posts tagged: Idaho Panhancle Avalanche Center
WINTER SPORTS — The calendar says its spring, but the snow keeps piling up in the mountains, inviting skiers, snowshoers and snowmobilers into continue their winter ways.
Go in a group, keep track of the weather and use your best winter travel sense – because you’ll pretty much be out there on your own. Despite more layers of new snow this week, most of the region’s downhill ski areas will close for the season on Sunday.
And the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center has stopped testing the snowpack and posting weekly avalanche advisories.
Kevin Davis, IPAC director, posted a summary of spring snow travel tips to help snow goers make good decisions on their routes through spring snow conditions.
“With a better than average snowpack we should be doing well on mountain travel until late June in places,” he said.
WINTER SPORTS — Winter has ended on a high note in terms of snow in the mountains, with a better than average snowpack that is still accumulating.
Skiers, boarders and snowmobilers should find great spring riding well into June this year, said Kevin Davis of the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center.
BUT anyone braving the mountains during this wet weekend should be aware of the “considerable” potential for avalanche on the steep slopes.
Read on for the region's full avalanche advisory.
CLIMBING – Karl Dietrich, an accomplished North Idaho mountaineer, will be presenting a slide show of his alpine adventures at 6 p.m., March 29 at the Laughing Dog Brewery in Ponderay, sponsored by the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center.
WINTER SPORTS — “Snowfall continues in the mountains and the riding conditions Thursday were superb,” reports Kevin Davis of the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center after his North Idaho mountains snow survey.
” It was easy to figure out where not to go yesterday with the signs being easy to read. Small natural slides on NE slopes and human triggered slides on south slopes told us to keep it off the steeps.
“You might see these slides from yesterday but you probably won’t see slopes sliding naturally today. You could, however, trigger these weak layers on slopes steeper than 35 degrees and the big stuff above 5,500 feet will be unstable where wind-loaded.
“When it warms up this weekend, and it could get downright balmy, avoid steep terrain on any slope and stay away from cornices. Great snow out there right now, just continue to be careful.”
Read on for the entire report for the region.
WINTER SPORTS — Another week of tremendous snowfall in the mountains has created weak layers, with warming temperatures addding heavier layers to lighter layers of snow. Sounds like a fancy dessert, but instead it's a recipe for considerable avalanche danger in much of the region, according to this morning's avalanche advisory from the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center.
“Careful route finding is necessary today to avoid steep slopes, especially where wind-loaded,” said Kevin Davis, center director.
Read on for the full advisory.
WINTER SPORTS — Despite the recent sunshine, good powder snow is lingering on north aspects in the region's mountains. Skiers, boarders and snowmobilers heading out to enjoy the late winter snow must be wary of several factors, says Kevin Davis, Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center director.
“Be aware of generating some good sized sluffs and a weak layer 6-12 inches deep from Sundays snowfall,” he said in the avalanche advisory just posted this morning.
“Exposed faces have firmer surface snow due to wind and sun. Watch your terrain selection as the sun heats up steep sunny slopes today as this could create some stability problems as the surface layers heat up.
“Deep surface hoar layer still showing signs of weakness and I think we’ll have to deal with this one for the rest of the winter.
“Spring conditions could reveal some climax avalanches as the pack starts to go isothermal. New snow comes in with wind starting Saturday night.”
Read on for the detailed report on snow conditions throughout the region, were avalanche warnings are moderate to considerable.
WINTER SPORTS — Wonderful deep powder is calling all backcountry snow worshipers today, and the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center is recommending that you go and get after it — but consider staying on the lower angle slopes!
The best snow avalanche technicians found during the weekly Thursday survey was in the valley bottom where it was deep and light, said Kevin Davis, center director.
“Yesterday was the first time I have ever gotten 2 percent water content snow on the scale. Once up into the mountains we found scoured snow surfaces on exposed areas and, although we couldn't get to them, I imagine the wind-loaded areas are deep. Snow was excellent in the trees.
“Don't be blinded by the incredible powder because there is a persistent weak layer that is now buried 4 feet deep with a firm slab on top. This weak layer was the one responsible for widespread and large avalanches across our forecast region for the past two weeks. It is more difficult to trigger now but if it does go it could lead to massive and destructive avalanches.”
Read on for the complete region avalanche report.
WINTER SPORTS — Persisting weak layers, new snow, wind, changing temperatues — and more new snow forecast for the weekend — add up to warnings for backcountry travelers to use great caution in the backcountry this week, according to this morning's avalanche advisory from the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center.
“Tricky conditions in the mountains today due to weak layers of facets below a crust and buried surface hoar,” says Kevin Davis, the center's technichian who was out checking the North Idaho snowpack on Thursday.
“Avalanches triggered in these weak layers have the potential to be larger due to firmer windslabs in the upper pack on wind scoured slopes. A Winter Storm Warning will be in effect this evening and continuing into Sunday morning. The avalanche hazard will rise to HIGH due to the expected weather.”
Read on for the full avalanche advisory for the region.
WINTER SPORTS — New snow this week has created good sliding conditions for skiers and snowmobiles. But The Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center's weekly advisory cites conditions and areas of concern in the snowpack.
“The southerly aspects were a little firmer with suncrusts and shallower snow but the north aspects had a sufficient amount of new snow and the buried crusts were a little deeper,” writes IPAC technician Kevin Davis, reporting to today on his Thursday outing to test the backcountry slopes. “So was the buried surface hoar. You can't miss it on the north aspects where its standing proud. It wasn't shearing easily yesterday but check it today on steep slopes. Your main concern this weekend will be the new snow, Winter Storm Watch, loading buried surface hoar.”
Read on for the complete report.
WINTER SPORTS — The region's mountain snowpack is stabilizing, but snow-goers must be aware of a couple of weak layers, says Kevin Davis in the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center weekly avalanche advisory issued this morning.
Of the two layers of surface hoar, one has been buried for just over a week and has stabilized, but continue to watch it on northerly aspects, he said. The other just got buried on Wednesday. Its not under enough snow to be a problem yet, although in the Cabinets it might be in places, but it could be a problem in the future, he said.
An avalanche workshop is being presented tonight, 6 p.m. at the Forest Service Building in Sandpoint. The Avalanche Center staff will review 10 years of avalanche accidents in North Idaho.
February and March are the most common months for human triggered avalanches.
Read on for the complete avalanche advisory.
WINTER SPORTS — An avalanche class geared to snowmobilers starts tonight, 7 p.m., at the Sandpoint Forest Service office, conducted by the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center.
The class continues in the field on Saturday, meeting at the Trestle Creek trailhead at 9 a.m.
WINTER SPORTS — Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center technicians found great riding and sliding conditions in the mountains during their Thursday survey, but they also found areas to avoid, according to the report posted this morning.
The snow was lighter on top and firmer down toward the crust buried about 4 feet deep. Slopes in sheltered areas showed some weak layers that have not bonded in the upper 1-2 feet but they are moderately stable.
Steeper exposed windloaded slopes, N-E-SE, will be the areas to avoid today where slabs will be firmer and under some stress. Watch the weather Saturday night into Sunday for snowfall amounts, increasing winds, and warming temperatures.
Read on for the complete advisory issued today for the Selkirks and Lookout Pass regions.
WINTER SPORTS — Click below to see the weekly advisory released this morning from the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center:
WINTER SPORTS — The Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center has offered suggestions for winter backcountry travelers in its weekly advisory posted today.
Overall, conditions are fairly safe — for now!
“Be cautious near ridgelines and where wind deposited snow is deeper and possibly firmer overlying a weak layer fo surface hoar,” says Kevin Davis. “We'll probably have another buried layer of surface hoar after the storm forecast for Saturday and this will set the stage for increasing avalanche danger in what looks to be a snowy week ahead….
“Be thinking more snow equals more instability on weak layers. You can check the weak layers pretty easily since they'll be easy to find in the sugary snow above the thick Thanksgiving ice crust, about the upper 1-2 feet of the pack.”
Read on for the full 12-23-11 avalanche advisory: