Avalanche crew braces for next big winter delivery

The winter avalanche season officially began in the slide-prone Idaho 21 area between Banner Summit and Grandjean on Nov. 1. The District 3 avalanche crew (Bill Nicholson, Mick Riffie and Chantel Astorga) began twice-daily weather forecasting and snowpack monitoring on that date. Recent heavy snowstorms make regular avalanche monitoring critical to driver safety.

The avalanche crew has three new remote weather stations at Canyon Creek, Banner and Fox Trail.  

Nicholson, head avalanche forecaster for the district, said that “the long-range forecast calls for a big winter.”
For three days in mid-November the crew was and on U.S. 12 in District 2 to give an annual avalanche refresher and work on further program developments there.  
The annual D-3 training/refresher was to take place in Lowman on Dec. 2, but a winter storm forecast of nearly 40 inches of snow over a three-day period in early December shelved the training.

Published 12-3-2010