Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Logan Area Mountains Issued by paigeweed for Monday - February 8, 2016 - 6:20am
bottom line

MODERATE (level 2): Heightened avalanche conditions exist in the backcountry. Evaluate the snow and terrain carefully and make conservative decisions. Though avalanches are becoming less likely you should continue to use safe travel protocols and choose conservative terrain to minimize your risk and exposure.




current conditions

The temperature is 24 degrees this morning at the 8400' Tony Grove Snotel, and there's 75 inches of total snow, containing 107% of average water content for the date. The 9700' CSI Logan Peak weather station reports 22 degrees and a steady 18 mph wind from the northwest. You'll still find soft settled powder in protected areas and lower angle slopes are riding fast. The sun has affected south facing slopes.

recent activity
  • A solo backcountry skier was tragically killed by an avalanche near Park City on Sunday January 31. Here is our Accident Report.
  • A Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center backcountry avalanche forecaster was caught, carried, partially buried and injured in a nasty deep slab avalanche in the Skyline Zone on Wednesday(2-3-16.) Accident Report .
  • No new significant avalanches were reported in the Logan Zone in the last few days...

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

A lingering possibility of triggering a dangerous deep slab avalanche exists in outlying terrain and on isolated slopes with shallow snow cover. The slopes we are concerned with have poor snow structure. Weak sugary or faceted snow near the ground overloaded by a slab layer of harder snow creates a potentially unstable situation. Beware areas that avalanched earlier in the winter, since weak snow remained in the bed surfaces and the areas remained shallow. Weak snow structure exists mainly in areas where the total snow is 3' deep or less. Deep avalanches are most likely in shallow rocky upper elevation terrain, but the shallow snow is still also weak in many areas at lower and mid elevations.

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Here's a photo of some well-developed facets that make ascending
difficult; like trying to skin up through very loose sand in places.
(photo credit - T.Weed)

Avalanche Problem 2
type aspect/elevation characteristics
LIKELIHOOD
LIKELY
UNLIKELY
SIZE
LARGE
SMALL
TREND
INCREASING DANGER
SAME
DECREASING DANGER
over the next 24 hours
description

Northwest winds over the past few days may have drifted snow in exposed terrain, and it is possible to trigger wind slab avalanches on some steep drifted slopes at upper elevations.

  • Avoid drifts in leeward catch zones near ridge tops and in and around terrain features like gullies, sub-ridges, scoops and rock outcroppings.
  • These wind slabs will be a bit stiffer and deeper than a few days ago, but still probably generally manageable. But, be aware of trees or other terrain traps on steep slopes below you.
  • Older stiff wind slabs failing on preexisting weak surface snow are also possible in some areas today. Hard wind slabs have the nasty tendency to sometimes allow you to get out on them before releasing.
  • The weight of a smaller wind slab avalanche overrunning a slope with poor snow structure could cause a step-down and a deeper much more dangerous avalanche.
Avalanche Problem 3
type aspect/elevation characteristics
LIKELIHOOD
LIKELY
UNLIKELY
SIZE
LARGE
SMALL
TREND
INCREASING DANGER
SAME
DECREASING DANGER
over the next 24 hours
description

As the snow is warmed by direct sun or today, it'll become moist and may be prone to sluffing on steep slopes. Natural loose wet avalanches may become likely if temperatures rise rapidly, and avalanches might be initiated by snow falling off rocks or trees onto steep slopes below. Roller balls or shallow sluffs indicate the potential and increasing danger of wet avalanches. Loose wet sluffs could gouge down and include significant snow in descent. If the snow you're in starts to become sticky and moist you should avoid steep slopes and head to somewhere less steep or more shady.

weather

Expect a warming trend this week and increasingly fair weather in the mountains as a strong high pressure system dominates the zone. It'll be sunny in the mountains today, with a high temperature at 8500' of around 40 degrees and 15 to 20 mph northwesterly winds on the ridges. It'll be mostly sunny tomorrow, with a high temperature around 44 degrees. Looks like the weather will be nice, sunny, and mild in the mountains while the dreaded inversion builds in the valleys.

general announcements

Please submit snow and avalanche observations from your ventures in the backcountry HERE. You can call us at 801-524-5304 or email HERE, or include #utavy in your Instagram or Tweet us @UAClogan. To report avalanche activity in the Logan Area or to contact the local avalanche forecaster call me, Toby, at 435-757-7578. 

I'll update this advisory throughout the season on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday mornings by about 7:30

This advisory is produced by the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content. It describes only general avalanche conditions and local variations always exist.