Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Moab Area Mountains Issued by Eric Trenbeath for Wednesday - December 7, 2016 - 7:18am
bottom line

The avalanche danger remains MODERATE on steep upper elevation slopes that have recent deposits of wind drifted snow.

Elsewhere the avalanche danger is generally LOW.




special announcement

We will be putting on a free Know Before You go avalanche awareness talk next Thursday, December 15, at the Grand County Library at 6:00 p.m. We will be showing an exciting and educational video produced by the Utah Avalanche Center that is an official selection in the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Following will be a powerpoint presentation and question and answer session on staying safe in the winter backcountry.Hope to see you there!

current conditions

The Gold Basin snow stake is reporting 2" of new snow overnight with no current data from Geyser Pass Trailhead. WSW winds blew all day yesterday in the 20-30 mph range shifting to northwesterly last night. They are currently averaging 15-20 mph along ridge tops. It's a very chilly -4 on Pre Laurel Peak and 2 degrees in Gold Basin. It's going to be a cold one up there today with wind chill values down to around -20.

The new snow will provide a bit of a refresh, but the snow surface has taken a hit over the past several days from the wind and sun, and the early season snow pack is beginning to dwindle. Rocks and dead fall lurk just beneath the snow surface posing the threat of injury or damage to a machine. It's been a good early season run, but we need more snow.

Observations are starting to come in and you can see them here. Thanks to Nate Ament for the most recent.

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

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

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


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

Wind slabs old and new continue to present themselves in upper elevation, wind exposed terrain. Though mostly isolated to individual terrain features, a wind slab triggered in the wrong place could take you for a ride over rocks or a cliff and seriously ruin your day. Look for smooth, rounded deposits of wind drifted snow, and be alert to signs of instability such as cracking or collapsing in the snowpack.

weather

Today

Isolated snow showers before 10am. Mostly sunny and cold, with a high near 9. Wind chill values as low as -25. Northwest wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Tonight

Partly cloudy, with a low around 5. Wind chill values as low as -15. Northwest wind 10 to 15 mph becoming southwest after midnight.

Thursday

Partly sunny, with a high near 24. Southwest wind 10 to 15 mph.

Thursday Night

A 30 percent chance of snow, mainly after 11pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 15. Breezy, with a southwest wind 15 to 20 mph.

Friday

A 30 percent chance of snow, mainly before 11am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 26. Breezy, with a west southwest wind 15 to 20 mph.

general announcements

The road to Geyser Pass Trailhead is plowed and clear but slick, and a few folks found themselves off the road over the weekend.  

Grooming of cross country trails has commenced for the season. Matt got out on Saturday and rolled out everything through Gold Basin. We'll have the Ginzu groomer setting track by the weekend.