THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON March 5, 2019 @ 7:59 pm
Avalanche Advisory published on March 4, 2019 @ 7:59 pm
Issued by Eric Morgan - Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center

Selkirks/Cabinets

bottom line

Continuing cool weather and no recent snowfall has helped maintain and stabilize the snowpack.  The snowpack has settled and consolidated losing over a foot of overall snowdepth creating more stable snowpack.  Cool air temperatures have been sucking the moisture out of the upper pack and breaking down some of the weaker windslabs creating recycled powder.  

How to read the advisory

Selkirks/Cabinets

How to read the advisory

Continuing cool weather and no recent snowfall has helped maintain and stabilize the snowpack.  The snowpack has settled and consolidated losing over a foot of overall snowdepth creating more stable snowpack.  Cool air temperatures have been sucking the moisture out of the upper pack and breaking down some of the weaker windslabs creating recycled powder.  

1. Low

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Above Treeline
Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.

1. Low

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Near Treeline
Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.

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
  • Type ?
  • Aspect/Elevation ?
  • Likelihood ?
    Certain
    Very Likely
    Likely
    Possible
    Unlikely
  • Size ?
    Historic
    Very Large
    Large
    Small

Extreme upper elevations near ridge tops and exposed slopes in the alpine have taken quite a beating with winds, however a slight change in aspect and mountains that are protected more interior of the ranges from the valley winds and the lake have maintained better snow surface conditions to wind diverging, having less of an effect on the slopes.  If a E or N slope is directly exposed to the general winds, it got hammered, otherwise they remained surprisingly soft.  With that, watch for any isolated pockets of wind slab that may sluff off.  I found some of this near Keokee lake yesterday, but there was not any clean shears or weak layers in the upper pack that you are likely to trigger.  It was mostly loose sluff on >40 degree slopes.  

Avalanche Problem 2: Persistent Slab
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advisory discussion

Excellent sliding and riding conditions with alot of opportunity to go deep and explore.  The brush is well covered and the pack is consolidating nicely.  We have lost 7 inches in the snowpack based on Schweitzer observations.  The upper stuff is quite wind hammered but I am finding alot of good snow out there still.  If you dont hit it now, your next chance will be on a tight spring snowpack if things line up.  This week the snow chances are increasing a little so if your glass is half full, you will be riding on 7 inches of fluff coming in at 20 or below for the next few days and temps staying cool with some cloudy conditions preserving the surface from sun.  Assess the windslab pockets on your own and be aware of some deeper instability persistent weak layers that are out there.  They are deep and holding tight but if something stepped down, it could go big...however unlikely with how tight things are looking, but keep this in mind if you are going big time.

recent observations

With the season changing, the sun angle is steeper and we have recieved alot of wind out of the N and E combined with our prevailing recent winds back out of the S and W.  This has created some wind effected slopes and we are seeing the sun start to have an effect on the solar aspects as our day temperatures rise and lose their ability to fight off solar radiation.  This will be our next phase of sliding conditions as we head into spring.  This week is a good week to get after it with soft sheltered snow to the valley floors all the way up to the alpine and a well consolidated snowpack with alot of opportunities to enjoy and explore.  

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

Sunny today followed by a few small snowstorms tomorrow and tomorrow evening producing 1-3 and 2-4 inches with temperatures cool and around 20 degrees.  winds will be out of the NE until the snow comes which will change coming out of the SW.  

Weather observations from the Region
0600 temperature: 19 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 19 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: 100
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: 111 inches
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.