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By Devon Barker

I thought I would send in a little snow report. We have more snow than we know what to do with! The good news is that all of that snow will turn into mighty waves this spring! One of these waves is called Pipe Line on the Lochsa River along Highway 12. If you have not been to the Lochsa, come this spring and for those of you, who know all about it, get ready to come to Idaho.

My brother, Jon Barker, works for the State of Idaho on Highway 21 controlling avalanches. This highway runs from the South Fork of the Payette, (another great run) to the town of Stanley, Idaho or as most boaters know it, the put-in for the Middle Fork. He had closed 21 when he got a call from the Lochsa.

They had 9 semi-trucks trapped by an avalanche with one of the trucks being pushed all the way into the river. The driver had to swim out in the middle of winter. Swimming out of a kayak is bad enough, but swimming out of your semi in the middle of winter… he made it out and is okay. Yikes.

Jon and his partner, Riffe were able to do control work with the use of a helicopter and with the Avalancher to secure the road from any additional avalanches. An avalancher is a huge gun that is mounted in the back of truck and is used to shoot the snow to cause a controlled avalanche.

Here in McCall, Idaho we have had about six feet of snow with the last storms. I have lost count of how many feet we have overall. I have to shovel my windows to keep the snow form pushing in and breaking them. Epic winter = Epic surfing so join me on the Lochsa once the snow has melted.


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Avalanche above Lochsa
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Avalauncher along the Lochsa
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Highway 12 takes you to Pipeline surf wave
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Semi caught in snow
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Snow in McCall
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View from heli-copter