Thursday, January 6, 2022

Lots of new snow to enjoy! But ... be careful out there! Avalanche danger is high!

Wendy and Steve xc skiing at Bear Basin in McCall, one of our favorite spots. 

Hi all, 

Winter got a late start in mid-December, but here we are several weeks later, and the amount of snow we've been getting in SW Idaho and Central Idaho has been off the charts! 

This week, following the Christmas-New Year's holiday, it's been snowing like crazy and people who are retired or don't have to work are enjoying one hell of a powder parade at Idaho's ski areas! 

That said, the warm-up that's occurring Thursday in the Boise Mountains will make the new snow heavier and more prone to sliding. Avalanche danger is "considerable" to "high" depending on location. If you go backcountry skiing or snowshoeing, be safe and know that the snow is going to be deep and difficult to break trail. It'd be smartest to stick to established trail networks or ski areas to avoid extreme danger. 

Be aware that Idaho Highway 21 is closed at the present time from Granite Creek, north of Idaho City, to Lowman. That means areas around Mores Creek Summit and the Idaho City Park and Ski areas will not be accessible until the highway reopens. See the Idaho 511 site for the latest road conditions. 

I checked the Mores Creek snotel site this morning, and it's had 16" of new snow in the last two days! Snow depth is 78 inches!   

Given the road closure, it might be better to head up to Garden Valley, Cascade or McCall to enjoy the snow, if you're a xc skier or snowshoer. Closer to home, Bogus Basin also has extensive Nordic and snowshoe trails; I highly recommend them, too.  

See the Bogus BasinBrundage Mountain Resort and Tamarack Resort web sites for more information on their latest conditions for downhill skiing. It's been an epic powder week to say the least. More snow is coming on Friday, with 10" to 12" or more at Tam and Brundage forecast, and 5" at Bogus. Bundle up and be ready for heavy snow conditions!  

See my post at the Idaho Daily Snow for the latest snow forecasts for Idaho. 

If you're a fair-weather skier, the snow will taper off by Friday night, and Saturday-Sunday will be clear and sunny in most locations. High pressure is moving in for the next week or so. 

Sun ValleyGalena Lodge and the Wood River Valley also have getting slammed with snow. Galena and BCRD have the whole Wood River Trail system groomed up and ready to go. World-class xc skiing and snowshoeing.  

McCall Nordic areas have 2-3 feet of snow for a base and excellent conditions. You can choose from  Ponderosa State Park, Bear Basin, Tamarack Resort, Jug Mountain Ranch and the North Valley Trail. Click on the McCall Nordic link for the latest grooming conditions. 

Again, be aware that there's substantial avalanche danger following the big snow storms! See the latest reports from the Sawtooth Avalanche Center and Payette Avalanche Center. It may be best to stick to lower-gradient slopes and do some touring to avoid any potential danger. 

Snow biking has been fun the last couple of weeks while things have been cold and snowy.

While it's been fun to go walking, xc skiing, snow-shoeing, snow-biking or sledding in the Boise Foothills, be aware that the warmer temps in the Boise Valley will continue to melt that snow, with forecast highs in the mid-40s and rain Thursday, Jan. 6 and Friday, Jan. 7. Ridge to Rivers is recommending staying off the trails when they're muddy and slushy in the afternoon.  

In case you were wondering, interesting to see the latest Idaho snowpack map ... we are catching up! 

- SS