Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Mores Creek Summit Blog: New Goodies for 2017 Winter!

When you access the Mores Creek Summit blog at morescreeksummit.com you might have notice the new look for this winter. But that was not the only change to the blog. The blog sidebar on the right has a collection of new goodies meant to help backcountry tourers with the information they require before heading out to ride the backcountry.

The sidebar has a selection for the temperature, the wind, air relative humidity, and solar radiation measured at the top of Pilot Peak (8142 feet).  The sidebar selection for Pilot Peak Summit data is shown in the screen capture included below. This information is useful during the planning an outing at MCS (Mores Creek Summit). Furthermore, is essential for tracking weather condition impacting the development of the snowpack.
The map selection on the sidebar has been updated with new maps for MCS. There are two versions, *.pdf and *.png. The maps have slope angles that help in visualizing where to place uphill tracks and where potential avalanche terrain might exist during periods of instability. Below the map for Pilot Peak East ridge.
REMEMBER, a topographical map will NEVER replace measuring angles with a phone slope app or a clinometer at the slope we intend to ride. Notice that the maps have elevation, contour lines, and distance are in meters.
These new maps show runs I like to ride with my family and friends at three general areas; East Freeman, West Freeman, and Pilot Peak. These maps are NOT meant to be a catalog of all the ski terrain at MCS!

In addition, a link for CalTopo maps is provided. The provided link will zoom into MCS and show slope angles as well as topographical information in feet. The original set of topo maps for MCS generated a few years ago are still there, at the bottom of the selection in the sidebar.

Another valuable goodie added to the sidebar are Weather resources for Pilot Peak and Boise Mountains. One of my favorites is the probabilistic interface to get the probability of snow for a period of 72 hours.
There is also a link for MesoWest, where weather stations in Idaho are displayed. I suggest configuring this site with an overlay of the southwestern Idaho weather radar, as shown below. There are other useful overlays, such as temp and winds, that allow us to gain insights about weather patterns.

The all familiar links for Southwestern Idaho Snotel Stations and nearby avalanche centers are also available in the sidebar.

We will continue to add new maps and tools to the blog during this winter, so keep visiting the blog.

Happy Holidays!


  1. Love the new goodies. Thanks Santa Chago!!

    1. Never thought I would be call Santa! Thanks!

  2. Thanks Chago for the links to weather data from atop Pilot Peak. I did not know about them.

    My obs from today is that the Dec 20 freezing rain crust will be the first major avalanche concern of the season at Mores Creek Summit. Unlike normal rain crusts that can have some texture to them, this icy crust is slick and will be an ideal sliding surface. It will soon be buried by a slab, so caution will need to be exercised over the upcoming holiday period.


  3. Jim, yesterday as I toured Anthony Lakes backcountry, we ran into the melt-freeze crust you also observed at MCS. We observed only at South, SW, and W aspects at 8000 feet in elevation. There was already some localized wind-loading where this structure became reactive. But we did not observe this crust at same elevation at North, NE, or easterly aspects. I suspect the crust was decomposed by faceting due to very strong gradients. Remember the snow surface was below -10 Deg-C and liquid water is at 0 Deg-C. Anyhow, you are right, I do not welcome this layer at MCS.

  4. Hi, couldn't be happier to see you actively updating your site again. Honestly one of my favorite web sites. It is great that you spend so much time and energy for other backcountry skiers!!


The authors of this blog welcome any comments and suggestions that help with the mission of this blog or that positively strengthen the community represented by this blog.

Your message is of great value. Your comments will be posted as soon as possible.

Messages with profanity, poor taste, or lacking constructive value will not be posted.