Special announcement: Don't forget the free snowmobile Avy Savy class tonight and the group ride on Saturday gaining some free knowledge with your friends and some avalanche professionals to get you on your "A"game! Also again we will be putting on yet another awareness class Tuesday the 19th of January at the Sandpoint Ranger Station in the North entrance conference room.
Bottom Line Selkirks and Cabinets: Snow conditions are superb in the backcountry and really setting up with 5 inches of fresh on the surface in the upper elevations with temps getting cooler again. Kevin and I have been in the Selkirks the past few days and the snow is a little heavy up to 5000 feet, nothing for us North Idaho folks....and it just gets better as you climb from there. I had great sliding conditions today off of Blue Mountain area. There was 5 feet with 5 inches of fresh on a consolidated pack bonding nicely down to the crust layers 3-4 feet deep. Tests showed great stability. The hazard rating will be LOW with some pockets of moderate on all slopes above 4000' in the steep areas as this stuff settles. The stability trend is expected to get better as the cooler air moves in this weekend through the outlook period sunday with cold temps and limited precipitation expected.
Bottom Line St. Regis/Silver Valley: Overall conditions seemed stable. The snow from our last few storms is beginning to really settle out and we are seeing warmer temps in the mountains than valley locations. Due to these warm conditions and sun the south and west aspects are developing a horrible sun crust layer that may give us trouble later. However it has helped to destroy the surface hoar that was present in most locations last week. Large balls of snow are falling off the south sides of trees and some small wet sluffs could be expected. Overall good conditions LOW danger below 6000 and moderate on wind loaded slopes above 6000. Justin.
Have a good safe weekend and remember to have the necessary gear and travel with a partner and look for any changes. Conditions can change.