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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.
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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.

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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
Saturday February 25, 2017 7:30 am by Matt Wieland

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

Smoky & Boulder Mountains

Bottom Line: The danger is MODERATE at upper and middle elevations. It’s possible to trigger wind slabs that formed over the past several days and potentially new ones that form later today. Wind slabs will be thicker as you gain elevation and travel in more exposed terrain. Loose dry avalanches are possible in very steep sheltered terrain. The danger is LOW at low elevations where only isolated areas of unstable snow exist. Watch for potentially changing conditions later in the day as wind speeds increase.

Primary Avalanche Problem

Wind Slabs   

Aspect/Elevation   

Certain
Unlikely

Chance of Avalanches   

Historic
Small

Size of Avalanches   

The generally light westerly wind from the previous few days has not been found to have moved large amounts of snow or formed widespread wind slabs. Professionals did find wind slabs forming on exposed, upper elevation ridges in the Boulder Mountains on Thursday while riders on Galena Pass found little wind effects. This was a pleasant break after strong to extreme wind blew on Tuesday. Several large avalanches that likely failed during or shortly after Tuesday’s wind were observed yesterday near Trail Creek. While wind slabs are not widespread, they will be found in typically windier and more exposed locations. Yesterday, professionals again found only small wind slab formation in exposed terrain near Galena Summit but more sensitive slabs in the Boulder Mountains. Two riders in the Soldier Mountains were each able to trigger a windslab on a S or SE wind loaded slope at 8000’ yesterday (photo). The avalanches were about a foot deep and occurred near a ridge.

Today be on the lookout for wind deposited or wind affected snow. You’re mostly likely to find these deposits near ridges or cross-loaded terrain features in exposed areas. Upper elevation terrain is the most likely location for these slabs but localized wind can move snow in unexpected areas. An increase in wind speed is expected this afternoon so be certain to pay attention to if this happens and how much snow is being moved around. Any fresh wind deposits could be very touchy and may surprise you.

Additional Discussion: Loose snow avalanches (sluffs) are also possible in very steep, sheltered terrain. Numerous natural, loose dry avalanches were observed in the Soldier Mountains yesterday and were easily triggered on steep test features in the Wood River Valley zone. Watch out for the large cornices that grew even more this past week. These large formations can release unexpectedly and can pull back closer to a ridges than people usually expect. You should give them a wide berth in your travels. In locations sheltered from the wind you should check for buried crusts or possible surface hoar in the upper 3 feet of the snowpack. These layers have not been observed to be reactive recently but are still worth looking for and evaluating.

Weather Forecast

Last Night
5PM - 5AM

Today
5AM - 5PM

Tonight
5PM - 5AM

Temperature

-6 F 11 F 2 F

Cloud Cover

Partly Cloudy Partly Cloudy Increasing

Ridgetop Wind Speed

Light Moderate Moderate

Wind Direction

W NW NW

Snowfall

24hr: 1-2" 12hr: 0"
0" Trace"

Avalanche Notes

Enter text...

Mountain Weather Summary

Yesterday, the mountains looked to have picked up 1-3” of new snow. Remote weather station snow sensors have become unreliable in certain areas and some new snow amounts are only estimates. Temperatures rose to the teens F with Baldy reaching 26 F in the early afternoon. Wind blew light from the west and skies were overcast to obscured before dissipating some in the afternoon. Overnight, cloud cover diminished and temperatures dropped to at or just below 0 F.

Today, no moisture should enter the area, temperatures will only reach the teens F, and skies should be mostly sunny. Light to moderate NW wind should blow on ridge tops except for the Soldiers where moderate to strong wind will prevail. There should be a slight increase in wind velocities in the early afternoon. Overnight, temperatures stay above zero but only in the single digits, ridgetop wind will be moderate from the NW-W, and clouds will increase into Sunday morning.

Sawtooth Mountains

Last Night
5PM - 5AM

Today
5AM - 5PM

Tonight
5PM - 5AM

Temperature

2 F 17 F 8 F

Cloud Cover

Partly Cloudy Partly Cloudy Increasing

Ridgetop Wind Speed

Light Moderate Moderate

Wind Direction

W NW W

Snowfall

24hr: 1-2" 12hr: 0"
0" Trace"

Smoky & Boulder Mountains

Last Night
5PM - 5AM

Today
5AM - 5PM

Tonight
5PM - 5AM

Temperature

-6 F 11 F 2 F

Cloud Cover

Partly Cloudy Partly Cloudy Increasing

Ridgetop Wind Speed

Light Moderate Moderate

Wind Direction

W NW NW

Snowfall

24hr: 1-2" 12hr: 0"
0" Trace"
           

Wood River Valley

Last Night
5PM - 5AM

Today
5AM - 5PM

Tonight
5PM - 5AM

Temperature

2 F 16 F 5 F

Cloud Cover

Clear Partly Cloudy Increasing

Ridgetop Wind Speed

Light Moderate Light

Wind Direction

W NW NW

Snowfall

24hr: 1-3" 12hr: 0"
0" 0"
   

Soldier Mountains

Last Night
5PM - 5AM

Today
5AM - 5PM

Tonight
5PM - 5AM

Temperature

-2 F 12 F 4 F

Cloud Cover

Partly Cloudy Partly Cloudy Increasing

Ridgetop Wind Speed

Strong Strong Strong

Wind Direction

NW NW NW

Snowfall

24hr: 1-2" 12hr: 0"
0" 0"
           

General Information