Forecaster Blogs

Blog: Week in Review (Apr 6 - Apr 12) - Apr 11, 2018 - Greg Gagne
Progression of danger roses for the Salt Lake mountains for 3/30 - 4/5. (Click on the day of the week for the archived forecast for that day.) Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Low Considerable Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Summary - A significant rain event Friday and Saturday followed by generally stable conditions through midweek. A cold storm system enters the region late in the week. Friday April 6 - A warm storm system enters the state with a mixture of...


Blog: Week in Review (Mar 30 - April 5) - Apr 5, 2018 - Greg Gagne
Progression of danger roses for the Salt Lake mountains for 3/30 - 4/5. (Click on the day of the week for the archived forecast for that day.) Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Low Moderate Moderate Low Low Low Low Summary - A period of general stability in the central Wasatch. For those interested in alpine pursuits on Mount Timpanogos in the Provo mountains, an excellent summary of a recent avalanche cycle can be found here. The photo below highlights some of this activity...


Blog: UAC Podcast - Finding the Line - A Conversation with UAC Pro Observer Mark White - Mar 30, 2018 - Hardesty
In this podcast, we talk with long time Utah Avalanche Center pro observer Mark White. Mark grew up in the Wasatch Range and is one of the last true self-described "ski bums". Mark works as a carpenter in the off season so he can ski the backcountry nearly every day in winter. He grew up ski racing, but now only wants to ski untracked faces (although sometimes an avalanche will beat him to the untracked powder).   Our conversation starts with the story in 2002 when Mark and his girlfriend Marla rescued and recovered a lone and fully buried skier in a debris pile under the run now known as...


Blog: Week in Review (March 23 - 29) - Mar 29, 2018 - Greg Gagne
Progression of danger roses for the Salt Lake mountains for 3/23 - 3/29. (Click on the day of the week for the archived forecast for that day.) Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Considerable Considerable Moderate Moderate Considerable Moderate Moderate Summary - Small amounts of dense storm snow early in the period followed by increasingly stable conditions. Rain to nearly 10,000' on 3/23 creates a stout 2-6" frozen crust that bridges weaker layers underneath....


Blog: Week in Review (Mar 16 - Mar 22) - Mar 21, 2018 - Greg Gagne
Progression of danger roses for the Salt Lake mountains for 3/16 - 3/22. (Click on the day of the week for the archived forecast for that day.) Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Considerable Considerable Considerable Moderate Moderate Moderate Considerable Summary: Another over-achieving storm system during the weekend, followed by high pressure. Warm, wet, and windy system enters the state late in the week.  Friday March 16 - Quiet day with only some minor...


Blog: Kessler Accident Follow-Up - Mar 21, 2018 - Mark Staples
On Thursday, March 8th, two skiers were caught in an avalanche on Kessler Peak in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Read the full report HERE. They were extremely lucky and were not injured or buried. An interesting component to this avalanche was how they got there in the first place. Kessler Peak is a very complex mountain. Avalanche starting zones exist at a variety of elevations and many face several different directions. This terrain makes the snowpack complex, variable and difficult to assess. This terrain also makes it difficult to choose safe ascent routes. A recent study found that 3 out...


Blog: UAC Podcast - Mastery and False Mastery - An Interview with Big Don Sharaf - Mar 16, 2018 - Hardesty
In this podcast, we sit down with 'Big Don' Sharaf. Don has run the gauntlet of a varied and well-traveled 30-year snow career. He has taught avalanche and mountaineering courses for the past 25 years and been a heli-ski guide and avalanche forecaster in Alaska for the past 15 years. In other words, he's got enough mileage in the mountains to have learned a thing or two, including the profound value of humility when staring into the face of the dragon.  In the 1990's, Don was the NOLS "winter God", running and teaching the organization's winter backcountry and avalanche courses out of the...


Blog: Week in Review (March 9 - 15) - Mar 12, 2018 - Greg Gagne
Progression of danger roses for the Salt Lake mountains for 3/9 - 3/15. (Click on the day of the week for the archived forecast for that day.) Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Considerable Considerable Summary - Two significant human-triggered avalanches over the weekend followed by strong warming early in the week. Rain and dense snow late in the week. Friday March 9 - Quiet day with no reported avalanche activity.. Saturday...


Blog: First-hand account of Meadow Chutes Avalanche - Mar 12, 2018
Thank you to Pete for sharing his thoughts and information about the slide. We sincerely appreciate his openess in sharing this essay from which we can all benefit. The only way we learn as a community is by sharing stories. The only way we learn as individuals is by reflecting on our actions and learning from them. The accident report is available HERE. My Avalanche Story By Peter Ingle On Friday January 26, 2018, I was in an avalanche. I am grateful to have survived. I have been skiing the Utah backcountry for nearly three decades and have always been aware of and concerned about avalanches...


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