X
Avalanche Danger Rose: this graphic represents an avalanche forecaster's idea of how the avalanche danger exists across the topography in a given region. It is not a map...it is an idea. Picture it as a cone-shaped mountain viewed from above, built of three elevation bands; the outer ring represents low elevations, the middle ring represents middle elevations, and the innermost circle represents high elevations. Each elevation band is divided into sectors that represent the slope aspect (N-NE-E-SE-S-SW-W-NW). Each sector\'s color represents the avalanche danger rating assigned that day (see Avalanche Danger Scale).

In this example, the Avalanche Danger Rose depicts an avalanche danger rating of considerable on all high elevation aspects and on north to west-facing mid elevations; all other sectors possess moderate avalanche danger. The illustration depicts the spatial distribution of this forecast across a landscape.
X Wind Slabs: A relatively cohesive layer that forms when wind deposits snow on the lee side of ridges, gullies, and other terrain features. These slabs may be soft or extremely hard and can take up to a week to stabilize.
X
X
Avalanche Problem Rose: this graphic represents an avalanche forecaster's idea of the distribution of a particular avalanche problem across the topography in a given region. Picture it as a cone-shaped mountain viewed from above, built of three elevation bands; the outer ring represents low elevations, the middle ring represents middle elevations, and the innermost circle represents high elevations. Each elevation band is divided into sectors that represent the slope aspect (N-NE-E-SE-S-SW-W-NW). Sectors colored grey are thought to have the identified avalanche problem while white sectors do not.

In this example, the Avalanche Problem Rose indicates that a particular avalanche concern exists on all high elevation aspects and on north to west-facing mid elevations and that this concern is far less likely to be encountered on other aspects and elevations.
X Chance of Avalanches: This graphic depicts how likely you are to trigger avalanches or encounter natural avalanches while traveling on avalanche prone slopes. Unlikely means that few avalanches could be triggered in avalanche terrain and natural avalanches are not expected. The chance of triggering or observing avalanches increases as we move up the scale. Certain means that humans will be able to trigger avalanches on many slopes, and natural avalanches should be expected.
X Size of Avalanches: This graphic depicts the potential size and destructive force of expected avalanches. Small avalanches are not large enough to bury humans and are relatively harmless unless they carry people over cliffs or through trees or rocks. Moving up the scale, avalanches become large enough to bury, injure, or kill people, large enough to bury or destroy vehicles and break a few trees, and large enough to destroy railway cars, buildings, or a substantial amount of forest. Historic avalanches are massive events capable of destroying villages and gouging or altering the landscape.
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LOW: Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.

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MODERATE: Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.

X

CONSIDERABLE: Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making essential.

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HIGH: Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended.

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EXTREME: Avoid all avalanche terrain.

Current Advisory
February 27, 2015 7:30 am by Lisa Portune

All Zones | Sawtooth Mountains | Smoky & Boulder Mountains | Wood River Valley | Soldier Mountains

 

Sawtooth Mountains

Bottom Line: Generally stable conditions exist and the avalanche danger is LOW. In steep upper elevation terrain, it remains possible to trigger small, isolated wind slabs that formed earlier this week. Shallow loose dry sluffs are also possible on steep slopes where a few inches of new snow overlies slick sun and wind crusts.

Primary Avalanche Problem

Wind Slabs   

Aspect/Elevation   

Certain
Unlikely

Chance of Avalanches   

Historic
Small

Size of Avalanches   

I'm not sure I can officially declare the end of our 17-day drought, but it did snow a trace to 2 inches yesterday. And we should see an additional 1-3 inches of snow by tomorrow morning as a weak system grazes the central mountains. Human-triggered avalanches are unlikely on most slopes, but there are a few isolated areas of concern to watch for today:

Last weekend, moderate to strong NW winds loaded leeward aspects and caused a few small natural and human-triggered avalanches. Recent observations show these older windslabs have stabilized with the recent spring weather, but remain a concern in some steep, high-consequence terrain. I'd pay particular attention to any drummy, hollow-sounding hard slabs you find, especially if weak, faceted snow and crusts are buried beneath the slabs.

While the winds have remained generally light the last few days, possible gusty winds today from convective snow showers may form small, isolated wind slabs just off the ridgelines in alpine terrain. These new wind slabs will form on top of frozen, slick sun and wind crusts that formed during our dry spell, so their bond will be tenuous. If you see signs of instability like cracking or collapsing move to less wind affected terrain.

Conditions are pretty variable right now…dust on crust, breakable crusts on E and W aspects, icy wind hammered up high. You can still find some nice recycled powder on sheltered north facing slopes, plus any smooth, untracked south facing slopes are decent with a few inches of new on top.

Weather Forecast

Sawtooth Mtns at 9,200'

Last Night
Recorded Past 24 Hours

Today
Expected Through 5pm

Tonight
Expected 5pm - 5am

Temperature

16 F 22 F 16 F

Sky Cover

Overcast Overcast Overcast

Wind Speed

Light Light Light

Wind Direction

N W NW

Snowfall

trace-1" 1-2" 1"

Avalanche Notes

Enter text...

Mountain Weather Summary

Yesterday, a weak storm system embedded in NW flow dropped a trace to 2 inches of new snow. Mountain temperatures reached the 20's and 30's F while light NW winds blew on the ridgetops. Overnight, alpine temps dipped to the teens, winds remained light, and a few more flurries fell in the central mountains.

Today, continued light snow showers will bring an additional 1 to 2 inches of new snow. Mountain temps will climb to the low 20's to low 30's F while light and variable winds blow on the ridgetops.

Tonight, light snowfall continues, mountain temperatures drop to the teens F, and winds remain light and variable. Snowfall tapers off Saturday afternoon, but gusty NE winds will bring slightly cooler temperatures. Sunny skies are expected by Sunday.

Sawtooth Mountains

Sawtooth Mtns at 9,200'

Last Night
Recorded Past 24 Hours

Today
Expected Through 5pm

Tonight
Expected 5pm - 5am

Temperature

16 F 22 F 16 F

Sky Cover

Overcast Overcast Overcast

Wind Speed

Light Light Light

Wind Direction

N W NW

Snowfall

trace-1" 1-2" 1"

Smoky & Boulder Mountains

Titus Ridge at 10,000'

Last Night
Recorded Past 24 Hours

Today
Expected Through 5pm

Tonight
Expected 5pm - 5am

Temperature

10 F 20 F 13 F

Sky Cover

Overcast Overcast Overcast

Wind Speed

Light Light Light

Wind Direction

NW NW S

Snowfall

trace-1" 1-2" 1"
           

Wood River Valley

Baldy at 9,000'

Last Night
Recorded Past 24 Hours

Today
Expected Through 5pm

Tonight
Expected 5pm - 5am

Temperature

14 F 22 F 17 F

Sky Cover

Overcast Overcast Overcast

Wind Speed

Calm Light Light

Wind Direction

N NW S

Snowfall

1-2" 1-2" 1"
   

Soldier Mountains

Peak 2 at 9,000'

Last Night
Recorded Past 24 Hours

Today
Expected Through 5pm

Tonight
Expected 5pm - 5am

Temperature

13 F 23 F 14 F

Sky Cover

Overcast Overcast Overcast

Wind Speed

Light Light Moderate

Wind Direction

NW NW E

Snowfall

trace-1" 1" 1"
           

General Information

Your observations remain invaluable! Please let us know what you're seeing in the backcountry, especially if you see or trigger any avalanches. You can email us photos and observations at info@sawtoothavalanche.com, fill out the Observations form on our website, or leave a message at 208-622-0095.