Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Abajo Area Mountains Issued by Eric Trenbeath for Saturday - February 17, 2018 - 7:03am
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The avalanche danger is MODERATE today on steep slopes facing NW-N-E where recent storm snow and wind drifted snow has added stress to buried weak layers in the snow pack. The danger is greatest on steep, upper elevation, northerly facing aspects where human triggered avalanches up to 2' deep are possible. South facing terrain and lower elevations offer mostly LOW danger.

special announcement

Episode 5 of the UAC podcast "To Hell in a Heartbeat - A Conversation With Tom Diegel and Matt Clevenger About the 12.26.08 Full Burial on Little Water" is live. Matt and Tom talk about the avalanche documented in To Hell in a Heartbeat. Check it out on ITunes, Stitcher, the UAC blog.‚Äč

The UAC Marketplace is still open. Our online marketplace still has deals on skis, packs, airbag packs, beacons, snowshoes, soft goods and much more.

current conditions

What a difference a week can make! Storms with heavy, dense snow last week have more than doubled the snowpack, and up to 30" of snow now exists on upper elevation, northerly facing terrain. Slopes that were bare ground a week ago now have up to a foot of snow on them, and off trail riding is even starting to be possible in some areas. The photos below were taken on 2-9-18, and then again on 2-16-18

Wind, temperature and humidity on Abajo Peak (11,000')

Snow totals at Buckboard Flat (8924')

Snow totals at Camp Jackson (8858')

Avalanche Problem 1
type aspect/elevation characteristics
over the next 24 hours

The snow on the ground is very weak consisting of loose, sugary, faceted snow. The new snow from last week has formed a cohesive layer or slab on top of the old snow. Stability tests show that it is possible to trigger an avalanche where the new snow fails on top of the weaker, older snow. You are most likely to encounter this problem in steep, upper elevation terrain that faces NW-N-E.

Photo of stability test illustrates how the most recent snow has formed a cohesive layer or slab that can slide off the older, weaker snow underneath.


Another beautiful day is on tap with sunny skies, light westerly winds, and temps at 10,000' climbing into the mid 30's. Out next storm is on track for Sunday night into Monday.

general announcements

The UAC has new support programs with Outdoor Research and Darn Tough. Support the UAC through your daily shopping. When you shop at Smith's, or online at Outdoor Research, REI, Backcountry.com, Darn Tough, Patagonia, NRS, Amazon, eBay a portion of your purchase will be donated to the FUAC. See our Donate Page for more details on how you can support the UAC when you shop.

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 occur.