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Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Provo Area Mountains Issued by Greg Gagne for Friday - February 9, 2018 - 6:35am
bottom line

The avalanche hazard is Low. However avalanches stepping into deeper faceted layers remain possible in isolated terrain with a poor snowpack structure. Most experienced people continue to avoid the bulls-eye avalanche terrain - steep slopes facing north through northeast at the mid and upper elevations.

Small pockets of fresh drifts may be found along upper elevation ridgelines.




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current conditions

Skies are partly-cloudy and temperatures in the Provo mountains range throughout the 30's F. Winds are westerly, gusting into the 20's at mid elevations, with stronger gusts at higher elevations.

A lack of low elevation snow makes travel difficult in the Provo area mountains.

Timpanogos Divide - 16"

Aspen Grove - 7"

Bunnells - 26"

Although Salt Lake-centric, our Week in Review for February 2-8:


recent activity

No recent reports from the Provo mountains.

Avalanche Problem 1
type aspect/elevation characteristics
LIKELIHOOD
LIKELY
UNLIKELY
SIZE
LARGE
SMALL
TREND
INCREASING DANGER
SAME
DECREASING DANGER
over the next 12 hours
description

Although unlikely, persistent slab avalanches remain possible in isolated terrain. This problem exists on steep slopes facing north through northeast, especially those that are rocky, wind-loaded, or have a thinner snowpack. Although the last reported backcountry avalanche occurred on Jan 31, we continue to receive reports of poor snowpack structure (stronger slab over weaker facets) in isolated areas, particularly outside of the upper Cottonwoods.

The snowpack won't likely give you the usual clues of collapsing or whoomphing, so you will have to pull out your shovel and dig down to look for the poor structure. If you do choose to ride in terrain where this poor structure may be present, be sure to select slopes with clean runouts where you won't end up going into trees or over rocky cliff bands.

Drew provides a nice video description of how to choose terrain to avoid this persistent slab problem where good riding conditions remain.

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

Fresh wind drifts from the west/northwest winds may be found. Although I am not expecting these drifts to be widespread, there may be pockets along upper elevation ridgelines, especially those with an easterly component.

weather

Partly cloudy and continued mild, with mountain temperatures rising into the 40's at the low and mid elevations, and well into the 30's F at the upper elevations. Winds will be out of the west, averaging in the teens with gusts into the 20's mph below 10,000'. Winds will average in the 20's with gusts into the 30's above 10,000', exceeding 40 mph above 11,000'.

A cold front will sag into the region overnight, bringing hopefully an inch or two of snow and cooler temperatures to the Provo mountains for Saturday.

general announcements

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Benefit the Utah Avalanche Center when you buy or sell on eBay - set the Utah Avalanche Center as a favorite non-profit in your eBay account here and click on eBay gives when you buy or sell. You can choose to have your seller fees donated to the UAC, which doesn't cost you a penny

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.