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Part 5 of 7: Payette Avalanche Center (PAC) replaces outdated station

Part 5 of 7: Payette Avalanche Center (PAC) replaces outdated station, installs second weather station with motorized-focused sweepstakes grant 

Annual Avalanche Alliance sweepstakes benefits motorized community, rider safety 


The 2022 Avalanche Alliance sweepstakes provided seven grants ranging from $2,100 to $10,000 to national Avalanche Centers in support of motorized-focused projects and programs to improve motorized snow safety. 


This seven-part series details what’s happening at Avalanche Centers across the country and how the sweepstakes is strengthening the motorized snowsports community's connection with Avalanche Centers by supporting the work they are doing for snowmobilers, snowbikers and more.  




Payette Avalanche Center (PAC) - McCall, Idaho 

Grant amount: $9,900


For the Payette Avalanche Center (PAC) in McCall, Idaho, this year’s $9,900 sweepstakes grant will fill the immediate and critical need of replacing the current weather station on Granite Mountain and installing a second weather station in the area. 


“The impact for this is huge for the motorized community when it comes to forecasting and safety, but also for residents that live and work in the backcountry of Idaho,” said PAC Board Member and Motorized Community Liaison, Janna Allen. “Our weather stations in the area are either very old or broken. Last year, we had no data from our Granite Weather Station, which is our closest high elevation weather station.” 


Due to the expansive nature of the PAC forecasting zone - west-central Idaho’s Payette National Forest is 2.3 million acres – and the lack of current forecasting infrastructure, the PAC was falling short on accurately providing critical weather information to serve its large and rapidly growing motorized community. 


The area’s only weather station on Granite Mountain was installed in the early 2000s and stopped transmitting almost a year ago. The only other site in the immediate area is at lower elevation, which does not gather any wind data and often has unreliable snow depth totals.


Since the main data station went offline, the PAC has been piecemealing, often incomplete, data together, Allen said, adding that the broken infrastructure significantly affects the predominant motorized riding zones within the Payette National Forest. 


“Incomplete or no data is not helpful to anybody,” Allen said. “Even for me in my job, I have to go to like four different places to try to get that data, but even then it’s incomplete until I get up to the mountain and actually get my feet on snow, and that’s how it works for the forecasters too.” 





Now, with the $9,900 Avalanche Alliance sweepstakes grant, the installation of two modern weather stations will have a widespread impact on not only the immediate motorized community but also PAC forecasters, motorized rental and guide services and local year-round backcountry communities.


“It helps the ski resorts, it helps our rural communities, even just the safety of the local residents that access their properties via snowmobiles,” Allen added. “That’s really important in Idaho and the area served by this. This grant is significant to provide that data in this area we don’t have.”


To further help in the project’s undertaking, the PAC recently partnered with Boise State University Associate Professor of Geoscience, Hans-Peter Marshall, Ph.D., a global snow scientist and glaciologist, to help guide, install, calibrate and train PAC forecasters while gathering additional data for the motorized zone.  


“The goal is to really elevate our data for the entire zone, which is just historically lacking in data and old systems,” Allen said. 





Payette Avalanche Center



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The 2023 Avalanche Alliance Sweepstakes, which closed December 10, 2023, featured a customized grand prize 2023 Polaris Patriot Boost RMK Khaos Slash 165 2.75" upgraded with a custom ArcticFX Graphics wrap, IceAge Performance Rails, HELLFIRE wheels, STRYKER A-Arms and ELEVATE spindles, SLP MoHawk skis, head, silencer and clutch kit, ZRP master cylinder cover, a lightweight rotor, titanium bolt kit and billet steering post, Pro Armor Bumpers, Exit shocks, Zbroz pull handle, Zbroz stirrups and Seat Concepts seat. First, second and third prizes include a Marlon Xplore PRO II sled deck, KLIM head-to-toe winter package, an Arctic Cat ZR 200 and an Ortovox safety package. 

Now in its fourth year, the Avalanche Alliance sweepstakes unites snowmobilers, snowbikers, manufacturers, avalanche centers and riders in a collective effort to endorse avalanche safety initiatives. Proceeds from the 2023 sweepstakes will be awarded to Avalanche Centers in support of motorized-focused programs with the goal to join forces and raise funds for avalanche education scholarships while expanding avalanche forecasts in popular motorized areas across the nation. 


For more info on the Avalanche Alliance, visit: avalanche-alliance.org


About Avalanche Alliance

Avalanche Alliance’s mission is to raise avalanche awareness and improve backcountry safety for motorized users. With a full spectrum of focuses ranging from sponsoring beacon check stations to supporting avalanche educators, Avalanche Alliance is at the forefront of avalanche safety improvement. For more information, visit avalanche-alliance.org.


About AIARE

AIARE was established in 1998 as a nonprofit educational organization to address the need for a nationally recognized curriculum for avalanche education in the USA. Since that time AIARE has developed research-based Professional and Recreational avalanche training for backcountry users in the United States, South America and Europe. AIARE’s Recreational Program is represented by over 115 course providers and650 AIARE-trained instructors; the Professional Program designs and instructs workplace safety training for professionals working in the avalanche industry. Through these programs, AIARE educates over 19,000 students annually. 


In 2017, AIARE created an official Motorized Program aimed to increase educational resources, participation and awareness in the motorized community. Working alongside experts in the snowmobile community, we’ve trained 48 snowmobilers to professional instructor standards, and separately 52 have received professional certificates to date. AIARE’s created motorized-specific training for recreational users is available across the US west.


AIARE’s partnership with the Live Large University (LLU) scholarship fund is intended to support motorized backcountry riders. While AIARE has a robust network of 115 providers in the US, currently 9 providers exclusively teach motorized-specific programming. The Live Large University scholarship’s goal is to increase the number of trained motorized professionals, improving the AIARE network's ability to  serve the motorized community. The LLU fund awards full and partial scholarships to students taking AIARE Motorized Recreational Courses, PRO 1, PRO 2 and Instructor Training Courses. For more information, visit avtraining.org.


About KLIM

KLIM Technical Riding Gear is a global leader in designing, developing, sourcing and distributing the most advanced powersports apparel for snowmobile, motorcycle and off-road riding. Utilizing the world’s most premium technologies in waterproof, breathable, durable and comfortable materials, KLIM offers gear for the most demanding riders. Driven by the continual feedback and input from dedicated test pilots and passionate customers, KLIM strives to do one thing above all – enhance the riding experience. For more information, visit KLIM.com.


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