Despite getting a decent shot of snow early this week, conditions are generally pre-season and thin. Your greatest concern will be hitting rocks while trying to make turns or, perhaps, falling. If you do find your way to higher elevations, you'll find a fairly stable snowpack of crusts, facets, and quickly faceting new snow.
The winds have been moving snow along the ridge lines so there is a small possibility of triggering an isolated wind slab at the highest elevations. The new wind drift would be the slab, sitting on the weak layer of faceted snow. These could sound hollow and be cracky. Stay off of steep, wind-drifted slopes to avoid this issue.
Overall, the snow is mostly stable but for small pockets of lingering wind slabs and fast moving sluffs in the low density snow in steep terrain. Below is a generic photo of a shallow, cracky wind deposit.
Snowbasin is open! They have a few runs open and are working hard to add more.
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Looking for a great stocking stuffer for Christmas? Discount lift tickets for Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, Solitude, Deer Valley, Snowbasin,and Beaver Mountain are now available, donated by the resorts to benefit the Utah Avalanche Center. Details and order information here. These make a great holiday gift and all proceeds go towards paying for avalanche forecasting and education!
Please abide by the uphill travel policies of the ski resorts. Info here.
Temperatures this morning are in the twenties, with the low elevations and drainage bottoms still clinging to the teens. Winds have shifted to the northwest, and are generally averaging less than 10 mph. The exception is Mt Ogden, of course, where speeds of 45 mph, gusting to 50 mph, occurred early this morning. Speeds are on the decrease though.
The storm from Sunday/Monday delivered 8-14", with up to 6" at the trail heads. While this was a huge improvement, conditions overall still remain very thin.
The best turning conditions right now are at the highest elevations, on low angle slopes that are grassy or smooth underneath. But access continues to be difficult, and you will hit rocks and stumps. If you are on a sled, it'd be wise to stick to the roads and not chance banging up your machine.
The pit below is from Wednesday, on an 8800' NNE facing slope. Read the full observation here.
No new avalanches reported from the Ogden area mountains.
Today’s weather will be similar to yesterday’s…and tomorrow’s…and the day after…and… The high pressure over Utah isn’t budging, so sunny skies and steadily warming temperatures through the weekend. Highs today at 8,000' will be in the upper 30s, with the overnight low dipping into the teens and low 20s. The northerly winds should decrease through out the day, becoming light by evening. A warming trend through the weekend will send the high temperatures into the low 40s.
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 tweet or Instagram.
To get help in an emergency (to request a rescue) in the Wasatch, call 911. Be prepared to give your GPS coordinates or the run name. Dispatchers have a copy of the Wasatch Backcountry Ski map.
Backcountry Emergencies. It outlines your step-by-step method in the event of a winter backcountry incident.
If you trigger an avalanche in the backcountry, but no one is hurt and you do not need assistance, please notify the nearest ski area dispatch to avoid a needless response by rescue teams. Thanks.
- Salt Lake and Park City – Alta Central (801-742-2033), Canyons Resort/PCMR Dispatch (435-615-1911)
- Ogden - Snowbasin Resort Dispatch (801-620-1017), Powder Mountain Dispatch (801-745-3772 x 123)
- Provo - Sundance Dispatch (801-223-4150)
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DAWN PATROL Hotline updated daily by 5-530am - 888-999-4019 option 8.
TWITTER Updates for your mobile phone - DETAILS
UDOT canyon closures: LINK TO UDOT, or on Twitter, follow @UDOTavy, @CanyonAlerts or @AltaCentral
Utah Avalanche Center mobile app - Get your advisory on your iPhone along with great navigation and rescue tools.
To those skinning uphill at resorts: it is critical to know the resort policy on uphill travel. You can see the uphill travel policy for each resort here.
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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.