Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Moab Area Mountains Issued by Eric Trenbeath for Friday - February 24, 2017 - 6:53am
bottom line

Today there is a MODERATE danger for triggering wind slabs old and new on steep, wind drifted slopes, and a need for heightened avalanche awareness exists. Ominous pillows of wind drifted snow have formed on the leeward sides of ridge crests and terrain features such as sub-ridges and gully walls. The danger will be most pronounced in upper elevation, wind exposed terrain that faces NW-N-E. Avoid steep slopes with fresh wind drifts, and suspect older wind slabs on slopes that have a smooth, rounded appearance, or that have a hollow feel to them.

special announcement

current conditions

It was a cold, blustery day in the mountains yesterday and 3-5" of new snow added to the wintry mix. It's down right frigid this morning at 2 degrees below 0 on Pre Laurel Peak and 9 degrees at the Geyser Pass Trailhead. The WSW winds that blew in the 20-25 mph range most of the day yesterday, have backed off into the single digits this morning. The new snow freshened things up quite a bit in sheltered areas, but wind exposed terrain took a hit. Windward, southwesterly slopes in particular are scoured out, while I observed significant loading and drifting on northerly aspects.

For recent observations go here.

Wind, temperature and humidity on Pre Laurel Peak. (11,700')

Storm totals and temperature in Gold Basin. (10,000')

Snow totals, temperature and snow/water equivalent at the Geyser Pass Trailhead. (9600')

recent activity

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

Yesterday's southwest winds steadily transported a lot of new snow on to leeward, northerly facing slopes, primarily at upper elevations, but some open, mid elevation terrain was affected as well. Along ridge crests, and on the lee sides of terrain features such as sub-ridges and gully walls, ominous pillows of wind drifted snow have formed, and I feel there are many slopes where you could trigger an avalanche today. Recent drifts are up to a foot deep, and in some cases are covering up older wind slabs that formed earlier in the week. The danger is most acute on upper elevation slopes that face NW-NE-E. Avoid, steep, wind drifted slopes, especially those with a smooth, rounded appearance, or that have a hollow feel to them.


An unstable weather pattern will keep us under mostly cloudy skies with threat for occasional snow flurries. High temperatures at 10,000' will be near 20 degrees but blustery, northwest winds will create a significant wind chill.

general announcements

Road conditions: 2-4" of snow fell on the road to the Geyser Pass Trailhead Wednesday night. Several vehicles made it up to the parking lot yesterday, but all wehhl drive is recommended. 

Longtime local skier Craig Bigler lost a ski in the North Woods on Thursday. If you run across it please give him a call at 435-260-1007.

If you are getting out into the mountains, we love to hear from you!  You can SUBMIT OBSERVATIONS ONLINE 

If you would like to have avalanche advisories emailed to you, SIGN UP HERE

Support the Utah Avalanche Center just by buying groceries!

Do you buy groceries at City Market? When you register your Kroger rewards card with their Community Rewards program, they will donate to the Utah Avalanche Center whenever you make a purchase. It's easy, only takes a minute, and doesn't cost you anything. Details here.

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!

The information in this advisory is from the US Forest Service which is solely responsible for its content. This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur.