Weak snow at the ground continues to plague our snowpack. Areas of unstable snow exist on steep, NW-N-E facing slopes right around treeline and above and human triggered avalanches up to 3' deep remain possible in these areas. In our travels yesterday Dave Garcia and I experienced numerous collpases and stability tests continued to be reactive.
https://utahavalanchecenter.org/observations/36601Episode 3 of the UAC podcast is live. We talk with UDOT Avalanche Program Supervisor Bill Nalli on how he and his teams keep the Greatest Snow on Earth from avalanching over the open roads and highways of the state. Check it out on ITunes, Stitcher, the UAC blog, or wherever you get your podcasts.
The UAC Marketplace is online. The holiday auction is closed, but our online marketplace still has deals on skis, packs, airbag packs, beacons, snowshoes, soft goods and much more.
Tuesday's storm brought a much needed dose of around 6" of low density snow to the mountains making for a slight improvement in conditions, and bringing our meager base to within striking distance for off trail skiing and riding. But the bottom line is, we still need a good dump. Coverage now ranges from around 16" to up to 3' in favored locations. A few diehards have ventured off into the woods, but deadfall and ground obstacles are still a serious issue. The strong sun and warm temperatures have affected the snow on exposed aspects.
Clouds are streaming into the area and it's a warm 31 degrees at the Geyser Pass Trailhead. WNW ridge top winds are averaging 15-20 mph.
Base depth at Geyser Pass Trailhead: 14"
Base depth in Gold Basin: 23"
New snow totals in Gold Basin.
Snow totals at the Geyser Pass Trailhead, (9600')
Wind, temperature, and humidity on Pre Laurel Peak (11,700')
Road conditions to Geyser Pass Trailhead: The road is snowpacked and passable. 4wd and good tires are required.
Grooming conditions: Matt groomed all trails and set classic track on Wednesday.
Skiing and riding in the woods is still a risky proposition.
Upper elevation, north facing terrain is finally starting to look like it has a enough snow for turning. The problem is, this is precisely the kind of terrain where you could find avalanche problems. More on that below. Dave Garcia photo.
A few clouds will move over the area today ahead of cold front dropping down from the north on Saturday. High temperatures today at 10,000' will be in the low 30's and westerly winds will average 15-20 mph. A chance for snow showers will develop tonight with the best chance for a shot of snow coming on Saturday night.
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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.