Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Uintas Area Mountains Issued by Craig Gordon for Wednesday - December 7, 2016 - 3:48am
bottom line

At upper elevations, in the wind zone, the avalanche danger is MODERATE today and human triggered avalanches are possible on steep, wind drifted slopes, especially shady slopes facing the north half of the compass and particularly in terrain with an easterly component to its aspect.

The avalanche danger in wind sheltered terrain and on low elevation slopes is generally LOW.

special announcement

Huge thanks to Tyler St. Jeor and the amazing crew at Wasatch County Search and Rescue for organizing and hosting Saturday night's Avy Awareness presentation. Also a big shout out to everyone who attended, especially those of you who generously donated to the UAC. It was great to see the usual suspects, but even more awesome to see lots of new faces looking to stay on top of the Greatest Snow on Earth... thanks for all the support. Click here for more info on our January sled specific avy class and here for the February class.

Heads up- Plowing operations have ceased for Mirror Lake Highway. Wolf Creek Pass is still mostly pavement and access to avalanche terrain is relatively easy. Remember... just cause you can see your rig from a ridgeline doesn't necessarily make the terrain any safer and triggering even a small slide this time of year will reveal stumps, rocks, and general nastiness, easily ruining your day or perhaps your season.

current conditions

Under mostly cloudy skies, we were able to squeeze out a trace to a couple traces of snow from yesterday's cold front. Westerly winds continue to be a nuisance along the high ridges, blowing in the 20's and 30's. Temperatures are in the low teens and single digits, giving us wind chill values of -30 degrees along the peaks. With total snow depths averaging 18"-24" coverage remains thin, but there's quite a bit of supportable body in the snowpack. The snow surface is cold and creamy and riding conditions are quite surfy right now.

Real time wind, snow, and temperatures for the Uinta's are found here.

Recent observations are found here.

Shady slopes are still a little thin, but you could have a blast taking the sled out for a rip on a rock free meadow like this one near Wolf Creek Pass.

Sunny slopes are still a bit brushy and could use a sage cleansing, but the upcoming forecast looks like it'll fill lots of our terrain in with a thick coat of white paint.

recent activity

No recent avalanche activity to report.

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

Along the high peaks westerly winds have been busy at work the past few days and there's plenty of light snow available to move around. Yesterday, Ted and I were on the south half of the range and found very stable snow, but it never ceases to amaze me how the Uinta's can find just enough loose snow and form fresh drifts sensitive to our additional weight. For today, I'm thinking you'll find these mainly along the leeward side of upper elevation ridges, but due to the strength of the wind, especially yesterday morning, I bet there's a slab or two lurking around terrain features like chutes and gullies. Easy to detect by their fat, rounded, chalky appearance, today's drifts are going to be more cohesive and may break wider and deeper than you might expect. And remember... snow cover remains thin and any slide triggered today has the possibility of breaking into older snow near the ground. That combo will reveal stumps, rocks, or deadfall, resulting in an unexpected and possibly traumatic ride.


Skies clear through the day and temperatures don't vary much from where we're at this morning with overnight lows crashing into negative territory under clear skies. West and northwest winds blow in the 20's and 30's along the high ridges. A mild and increasingly moist and unsettled westerly flow develops Thursday and persists into the upcoming weekend. We're cautiously optimistic that a couple inches of water and a few feet of snow develops across the region through the weekend. I'll know more for tomorrow's update

general announcements

Remember your information can save lives. If you see anything we should know about, please participate in the creation of our own community avalanche advisory by submitting snow and avalanche conditions.   You can call me directly at 801-231-2170, email craig@utahavalanchecenter.org

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.

The information in this advisory expires 24 hours after the date and time posted, but will be updated on Thursday December 8th.