Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Salt Lake Area Mountains Issued by Brett Kobernik for Sunday - January 25, 2015 - 6:58am
bottom line

The avalanche danger is LOW but remember that your overall risk is amplified by your terrain choices. Minor shallow wind pockets and shallow loose snow avalanches can be significant for those in severe and unforgiving terrain. Awareness is key to these minor avalanche concerns and the danger is obviously higher if you are unaware of these situations.




special announcement

With a huge amount of thanks to local app developer Garafa..and the unwavering support from Black Diamond and Backcountry.com, we've just launched our UAC iPhone app 2.0 - one stop shopping for current avalanche conditions, weather, road closures, and more. Plus - See a slide? Trigger one? Hear a whumph or see shooting cracks? Take pics and submit your quick and easy report straight to us and help save lives -

current conditions

Skies have cleared out in the high country. Temperatures stayed fairly mild overnight with readings in the mid 20s at the 8000 to 10000 foot stations. Winds are light along the mid elevation ridges from the northwest but a bit gusty above 10000 feet. The snow surface varies greatly from location to location, almost turn to turn as noted by some astute observers. The upper level of the snowpack is showing the damage done by last week's cold temperatures. The near surface faceting process has taken it's toll and produced a significant layer of near surface facets. In protected areas, they have become loose enough that they are sluffing on steeper slopes if provoked.

recent activity

One person was actually caught and carried in a facet sluff which he initiated on a very steep northeast facing protected slope in Days Fork. He ended up uninjured and recovered his lost gear.

Date Region Place Trigger Depth Width Aspect Elevation Weakness
01/24/2015 Salt Lake Chicken Sh#! Ridge Skier 6" Northeast 9300 Facets Details
Avalanche Problem 1
type aspect/elevation characteristics
LIKELIHOOD
LIKELY
UNLIKELY
SIZE
LARGE
SMALL
TREND
INCREASING DANGER
SAME
DECREASING DANGER
over the next 24 hours
description

You can travel through the majority of the backcountry terrain without much concern about avalanche activity today. While we have a mostly LOW avalanche danger, keep in mind that in the steeper, more radical terrain, there are still risks. This is a slight conundrum as we often will get into riskier terrain when the risks of avalanches are lower. Here are things to consider again today:

  • Pockety shallow wind drifts confined to the high alpine. (predominantly on - but not limited to - north to east to southeasterly slopes).
  • Minor loose snow sluffs with the weakening snow surface. (predominantly on the steep shady sheltered terrain).
  • Slight concern for a small amount of wet activity due to daytime heating and warmer temperatures.

A quick note on what we call "sluff management" which is a technique used to avoid getting gobbled up by your own sluff you've created. There are two ways people get caught in their own sluff.

  • First is just underestimating how much loose snow is moving right at your skis or snowboard which ultimately knocks your down.
  • The second is getting hit from behind by a sluff which you are unaware you've triggered that catches up to you as it gains speed and mass. Pro snowboarder Jeremy Jones does an excellent job of describing this type of sluff management in the video below:

Jeremy Jones' Deeper - Sluff Management - Recco Safety tips with Jeremy Jones a Snowboarding video by tetongravityresearch

weather

For today we'll see some low level clouds but mostly clear along the higher terrain. Ridgetop temperatures will reach the low 30s and northerly winds will continue to be slightly gusty along the higher ridges. Monday will bring warmer temperatures and more clear skies. Overall we are in an unusual and somewhat interesting weather pattern. A "closed low pressure system" forming over southern California will push some moisture through our area Tuesday and Wednesday. This starts as a warmer southerly flow then a "cold front" is scheduled to move through on Wednesday. This system may produce enough snow up high to call it a "refresher".

general announcements

Remember your information can save lives. If you see anything we should know about, please participate in the creation of our own community avalanche advisory by submitting snow and avalanche conditions. You can also call us at 801-524-5304, email by clicking HERE, or include #utavy in your tweet or Instagram.

If you trigger an avalanche in the backcountry - especially if you are adjacent to a ski area – please call the following teams to alert them to the slide and whether anyone is missing or not. Rescue teams can be exposed to significant hazard when responding to avalanches, and do not want to do so when unneeded. Thanks.

Salt Lake and Park City – Alta Central (801-742-2033), Canyons Resort Dispatch (435-615-3322)

Snowbasin Resort Dispatch (801-620-1017), Powder Mountain Dispatch (801-745-3772 x 123).

Sundance Dispatch (801-223-4150)

EMAIL ADVISORY  If you would like to get the daily advisory by email you will need to subscribe here.‚Äč 

DAWN PATROL Hotline updated daily by 5-530am - 888-999-4019 option 8.

Twitter Updates for your mobile phone - DETAILS

UDOT canyon closures:  LINK TO UDOT, or on Twitter, follow @UDOTavy, @CanyonAlerts or @AltaCentral

Utah Avalanche Center mobile app - Get your advisory on your iPhone along with great navigation and rescue tools.

Wasatch Powderbird Guides Blog/Itinerary for the Day.  

Lost or Found something in the backcountry? - http://nolofo.com/

Ski Utah mobile snow updates

Discount lift tickets are now available at Backcountry.com.  Thanks to Ski Utah and the Utah Resorts.  All proceeds go towards paying for Utah Avalanche Center avalanche and mountain weather advisories.

To those skinning uphill at resorts:  it is your responsibility to know the resort policy on uphill travel.  You can see the uphill travel policy for each resort here. IMPORTANT: Before skinning or hiking at a resort under new snow conditions, check in with Ski Patrol.  Resorts can restrict or cut off access if incompatible with control and grooming operations.

Benefit the Utah Avalanche Center when you shop from Backcountry.com or REI:  Click this link for Backcountry.com or this link to REI, shop, and they will donate a percent of your purchase price to the UAC.  Both offer free shipping (with some conditions) so this costs you nothing!

Benefit the Utah Avalanche Center when you buy or sell on ebay - set the Utah Avalanche Center as a favorite non-profit in your ebay account here and click on ebay gives when you buy or sell.  You can choose to have your seller fees donated to the UAC, which doesn't cost you a penny.

This information does not apply to developed ski areas or highways where avalanche control is normally done.  This advisory is from the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content. This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always exist.