Forecast for the Logan Area Mountains

Toby Weed
Issued by Toby Weed for
Friday, November 18, 2022
Although unlikely, people might trigger small avalanches of loose or wind drifted snow on very steep slopes. The snow is still so shallow that people could be seriously hurt if they are caught and carried over rocks in even a small avalanche.
We will be issuing intermittent updates and publishing backcountry observations as they arrive. Please let us know what you think the danger is and send us your observations from the backcountry HERE
Learn how to read the forecast here
Weather and Snow
Cold and rather dry weather will persist through the weekend and into next week. Observers report good powder riding conditions and much improved coverage after the mountains picked up more than two feet of new snow with last week's storm.
Feathers of surface hoar are widespread on the snow surface across the zone. If buried intact, the "loud powder" could become a future buried persistent weak layer.
The extreme temperature differences in the shallow snow caused by cold air is causing the snow grains to become weak and faceted (or sugar-like).
Shallow early season snow conditions exist, with only about a foot-and-a-half of total snow covering the rocks on most upper elevation slopes before last week's snow. Although the heavy fresh snow keeps you off the ground, there are numerous shallowly buried land mines out there. Keep your speed down and caution is required to avoid hitting shallowly buried rocks, stumps, or down trees.
Recent Avalanches
See our updated list of observed avalanches from across Utah HERE
Avalanche Problem #1
Normal Caution
I expect to see increasing danger of loose avalanches or sluffs in very steep terrain as the surface snow loosens due to faceting caused by temperature fluctuation. Surface sluffing should be manageable, but avoid being above or below other riders and watch for terrain features like trees or benches that you might be swept into.
A rider triggering a sluff of new snow in West Miller Bowl near Tony Grove Lake. 11-11-2022 (Flygare)
Avalanche Problem #2
Wind Drifted Snow
People could trigger small slab avalanches of wind drifted snow if they venture onto exposed upper elevation slopes. It is always wise to avoid travel on steep slopes with obvious deposits of wind drifted snow.
  • Suspect wind drifts or wind slabs are often smooth and rounded looking, like lenses or flying saucers.
  • Wind slabs often form on the lee side of exposed ridges and in and around terrain features. Watch for and avoid drifts on gully walls, under cliff bands, along sub-ridges, in scoops, saddles, and sinks.
  • Drifted snow is stiffer and more compacted than non-drifted snow, and hard drifts often produce hollow drum-like sounds when you walk on them.
  • Freshly formed wind slabs can be quite sensitive and are often remotely triggered. Older, harder wind slabs can be very stubborn and may not release until you get well out on them, suddenly failing like a big mouse trap.
  • Shooting cracks in drifted snow are a sure sign of instability.
Additional Information
  • Take the all-new online avalanche courses the UAC built for Know Before You Go or take other online courses listed on the KBYG website (Develop skills -> Online Learning).
  • Get your avalanche rescue gear ready for winter. Put fresh batteries in your transceiver and update the firmware. Inspect your shovel and probe. Get your airbag backpack ready by possibly doing a test deployment and update the firmware if it is an electric version.
General Announcements
Please submit your observations from the backcountry HERE.
For a list of avalanche classes from the Utah Avalanche Center go HERE
For information on where you can ride your sled or snowbike, check out this map of the winter travel plan for the Tony Grove and Franklin Basin Areas HERE.
The Tony Grove Road is not maintained for wheeled vehicles in the winter.
This information does not apply to developed ski areas or highways where avalanche control is normally done. This forecast is from the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content. This forecast describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur.