Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Logan Area Mountains Issued by Toby Weed for Saturday - December 3, 2016 - 6:16am
bottom line

Heightened avalanche conditions exist at upper elevations in the backcountry this weekend, and you should evaluate the snow and terrain carefully. Triggered deep slab avalanches failing up to 2-feet-deep on weak faceted snow are possible on steep north facing slopes with smooth underlying ground surfaces. An early morning increase in southwest winds at upper elevations created potential for triggered wind slab avalanches in drifted terrain, and increasing westerly winds will continue the drifting this weekend.

  • Very shallow early season snow cover exists in the backcountry, and hitting rocks is still a serious concern.
  • You don't want to take a ride even in a small avalanche, as you could easily be injured with the shallow snow hardly covering up the rocks and dead-fall in avalanche runout zones.



special announcement

You are invited to our annual Pray for Snow fundraiser/party on Wednesday December 7 at the Italian Place in downtown Logan. For tickets and information Go...HERE

Drew's Blog, a Week in Review (Monday Nov 28 - Friday Dec 02) is....... HERE


current conditions

The Tony Grove Snotel at 8400' reports 13 degrees this morning, and a couple feet of snow containing 3 inches SnowWaterEquivalent, 47% of average water content for the date. It's a chilly 6 degrees this morning at 9700' at the CSI Logan Peak weather station, with a noted increase in southwest winds early this morning, currently averaging about 25 mph, with gusts of around 40. You'll find good fast powder riding conditions at upper elevations in the backcountry, and lower angled slopes are still fun. Careful because there is still no solid base to keep you off the rocks. You'll probably want to keep your sled on the upper elevation roadways and in the smooth meadows due to shallow snow. We've heard a few reports of rock damaged sleds...


Remember, the Tony Grove Road is a busy shared use area, so you have to watch your speed around pedestrians and dogs. The road is not maintained for driving in the winter and conditions deteriorated significantly with the storm in the past couple days. If you attempt the drive in your 4x4, be prepared with shovel and winter survival gear. Beaver Mountain welcomes up-hill traffic this time of year as it helps to pack out the slopes, but you should consider it as "backcountry terrain" before they open the lifts to the public.


recent activity

Tuesday, I could see evidence of a good sized natural avalanche on a due north facing slope at around 8700' in East Miller Bowl. The avalanche on a very steep drifted slope was about 2 feet deep and around 40' wide, and it ran a good ways down the bowl into trees below. With clearing yesterday, I could see signs of similar spotty activity on steep north facing slopes in the Mt. Naomi Wilderness.


A fresh natural avalanche on the east side of Miller Bowl (photo from 11/29/2016


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

Areas with heightened avalanche conditions persist on steep drifted slopes at upper elevations after the blustery storm earlier in the week Deep slabs, failing on old faceted basal snow are possible on north facing slopes with smooth underlying ground surfaces. Pay attention to signs of instability like cracking or collapsing.


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

Southwest winds increase significantly early this morning, and drifting of the existent soft surface snow will create an increasing avalanche danger. There's plenty of nice soft snow on the surface which will easily be transported into drifts and wind slabs as westerly wind speeds gradually increase this weekend.

weather

A cool northwesterly flow will prevail today through early Sunday. A cold upper trough will slowly cross the area during the first half of the upcoming week, bringing the coldest temperatures of the season thus far.

Weather Forecast: Tony Grove Lake (41.897,-111.6535), Elevation: 8800'
Today: A 30 percent chance of snow showers. Cloudy, with a high near 23. Wind chill values as low as -5. West wind 10 to 17 mph. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
Tonight: A 30 percent chance of snow showers before 11pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 17. West northwest wind 15 to 17 mph. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Sunday: A 20 percent chance of snow showers. Cloudy, with a high near 30. West wind 15 to 20 mph.
Sunday Night: Snow. Low around 13. Breezy, with a west wind 17 to 26 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.
Monday: A 50 percent chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 15. Windy, with a west northwest wind 28 to 33 mph, with gusts as high as 47 mph. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.
Monday Night: A 20 percent chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 0.

general announcements

The early season is a great time to refresh yourself and practice companion rescue techniques with your partners. 


Check out Avalanche Canada's "Rescue at Cherry Bowl" story HERE

Between now and Jan 15th: Donate to the Utah Avalanche Center by shopping at Whole Foods Market Utah! When you visit any Utah Whole Foods Market locations, bring your re-usable bags, Whole Foods will donate a dime per bag to the Utah Avalanche Center - if you say DONATE my bag credit.

Remember your information can save lives. If you see anything we should know about, please help us out by submitting snow and avalanche conditions. You can also call us at 801-524-5304, email by clicking HERE, or include #utavy in your Instagram.

 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.