THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON March 2, 2019 @ 6:19 am
Avalanche Advisory published on March 1, 2019 @ 6:19 am
Issued by Melissa Hendrickson - Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center

St. Regis Basin/Silver Valley

bottom line

The old proverb of "In like a lion" seems to be holding true for us.  The cold weather is still sticking around, which means lots of light, fluffy snow avaliable for wind transport. Wind slab growth will continue through the weekend with cold, windy weather.  Stick around until the end of March and we'll see then if the rest of the proverb holds true as well.  

How to read the advisory

St. Regis Basin/Silver Valley

How to read the advisory

The old proverb of "In like a lion" seems to be holding true for us.  The cold weather is still sticking around, which means lots of light, fluffy snow avaliable for wind transport. Wind slab growth will continue through the weekend with cold, windy weather.  Stick around until the end of March and we'll see then if the rest of the proverb holds true as well.  

2. Moderate

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

2. Moderate

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

1. Low

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Below Treeline
Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
    Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
Avalanche Problem 1: Wind Slab
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If you've been out experiencing it or watching the weather logs, you know that the winds have been switching directions over the past couple of days.  The forecast for the weekend has another 180 shift as well.  Yesterday, we were seeing wind slabs and crossloading above treeline and in the open trees.  Heads up as you are climbing for cracking and whumphing.  

Avalanche Problem 2: Persistent Slab
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Several small storms since Tuesday mean that the persistent weak layers are buried a little bit deeper than the last forecast.  We were finding them almost a meter deep yesterday.  At this depth, the likelyhood of triggering them is low, but the consequences are getting higher as we get more and more snow.  The cold temperatures are sticking around for at least another week, which means there won't be much change down deep in the snowpack.  

recent observations

Wind city!  With all the changing wind directions I feel that I am evening out the windburn on my cheeks.  We toured to Mullan Ridge/ FAA towers and found crossloading that got thicker the closer you got to the top.  They were still fairly soft wind slabs, but heads up where they have formed over harder denser layers (such as old wind slabs). The persistent weak layers were still present in our pits, but not reacting.  They are about to be falling into the deep persistent category.  Also of interest, I help survey a couple of NRCS snow courses this week in the interior of the Coeur d'Alenes.  We are about average for snowpack depth right now, but our water content is still a bit low. We made it out of February without a pineapple express...which was great for riding and sliding, but accounts for the missing density down lower in our snowpack.  Stay warm this weekend and use the weather to help base your decisions on backcountry adventures as well.  Are you prepared for the "what if" situation?

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Spokane NWS
For 2000 ft. to 4000 ft.
Friday Friday Night Saturday
Weather: Patchy Freezing Fog then Mostly Cloudy Decreasing Clouds Partly Sunny
Temperatures: 29 deg. F. 11 deg. F. 20 deg. F.
Wind Direction: S NE NW
Wind Speed: 5 5-8 10
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
For 4000 ft. to 6000 ft.
Friday Friday Night Saturday
Weather: Slight Chance Snow Slight Chance Snow and Breezy then Cloudy Cold
Temperatures: 20 deg. F. 3 deg. F. 9 deg. F.
Wind Direction: W E E
Wind Speed: 14-16 13-23, G32 17, G28
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
Disclaimer

Avalanche conditions change for better or worse continually. Backcountry travelers should be prepared to assess current conditions for themselves, plan their routes of travel accordingly, and never travel alone. Backcountry travelers can reduce their exposure to avalanche hazards by utilizing timbered trails and ridge routes and by avoiding open and exposed terrain with slope angles of 30 degrees or more. Backcountry travelers should carry the necessary avalanche rescue equipment such as a shovel, avalanche probe or probe ski poles, a rescue beacon and a well-equipped first aid kit.  For a recorded version of the Avalanche Advisory call (208)765-7323.