Mountain Weather Summary

4.18.2019

Special Announcement: Experienced groups had close calls with huge, human-triggered slides last weekend in the Lost River Range and Wednesday 4-17 on Boulder Peak. Both slides occurred in alpine terrain where the snowpack has not yet made the transition to a more predictable, spring/summer snowpack. Shady middle elevation slopes and all alpine terrain should be treated with caution while this initial spell of truly warm weather runs its course - especially with expected low temperatures near or above freezing tonight through early next week and possible rain this weekend. Like teenagers, some slopes will behave like angels...some slopes may lash out at you for no apparent reason...and their moods could change in a flash. Please share what you're seeing HERE.

Bottom Line: We are closed for the season. We would like to thank the many, many people who make the avalanche center a reality: the Friends of the Sawtooth Avalanche Center, local businesses, the guides and ski patrol workers, and the backcountry skiers and riders. It's a remarkable community effort. Thank you for all your help, your donations, your observations, and your enthusiasm.


Snowpack and Avalanche: Some basic points to remember until you put the sleds and boards away for the summer:

- Spring weather can rapidly alter snow conditions and snow stability. Think minutes and hours rather than days and weeks.
- Following storms, short periods of sunshine can quickly create wet loose avalanche instabilities.
- Keep wet slab avalanches in mind, especially during rain events and when we go days without the temperature dropping below freezing. Layers of weak, faceted snow that formed earlier this season have produced several wet slab avalanches this spring and will likely continue to do so in the coming weeks.
- Give cornices a wide berth and don’t linger beneath them.
- Complicated, consequential terrain doesn’t get less complex or serious in April and May; respect the mountains, maintain safe travel procedures, and keep your guard up.


Observations: Even though we’re done issuing advisories, we’ll continue posting observations whenever we get out to play. We encourage you to do the same - please let everyone know what you’re seeing out there, especially if you see or trigger any significant avalanches. We’re trying to collect as much information as possible about wet slab avalanches that release this spring (where, when, etc); let us know if you come across any of these beasts in your travels. There are several ways to let us and others know about what you’re seeing and to learn about what SAC staff and other folks are seeing:

- View Observations
- Season Snowpack Summary
- Submit Observations - pictures are great!
- Read about recent human-triggered avalanches
- Email us at [email protected]
- Send us a text at 208-481-5921
- Visit our Facebook page @sawtoothavalanchecenter to check on our recent posts or to post pictures of avalanches you see
- Visit and tag us on Instagram #sawtoothavy


Mountain Weather: Our weather stations stay in place and report data year-round: CLICK HERE to access data. Links to point forecasts and other tools to help you nail your mountain weather forecast are available on our Weather Tools page on the Weather tab on the website home page.


Events: We will post our annual report later this month.

Thanks for another great season,

Scott, Ethan, Chris, and Ben