Forecast for the Logan Area Mountains

Issued by Toby Weed for Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - 6:47am

Heightened avalanche conditions exist on upper and mid elevation slopes in the backcountry. Pockets with more dangerous conditions and a CONSIDERABLE danger might be found in exposed upper elevation terrain. Human triggered persistent and wind slab avalanches are possible. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully. Avoid steep drifted slopes at upper elevations.

  • A ride in even a small avalanche could be particularly dangerous due to the hard underlying snow and potential for being raked through rocks or deadfall below.
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Weather and Snow

The Tony Grove Snotel at 8400' reports 16°F and 35" of total snow containing 118% of average SWE (Snow Water Equivalent). The site recorded 27" of new light snow Monday morning. It's 15°F at 9700' at the CSI Logan Peak weather station, with northwest wind currently blowing 9 mph, with gusts to 32 mph. We found very nice deep powder riding conditions near Tony Grove Lake yesterday.

Just beneath the fresh powder, shallow early season snow conditions exist, and hitting rocks or stumps is a significant hazard. Travel cautiously and keep your speed down. The Tony Grove Road is not maintained for wheeled travel in the winter.

Recent Avalanches

With clearing yesterday we could see evidence of a fairly widespread natural avalanche cycle that occurred in the Central Bear River Range during the intense storm Sunday night (12/3/17), which deposited 27" at the Tony Grove Snotel. The storm slab avalanches on north through east facing slopes above 8200' ranged from 40' to 200' in width and were all about 2' deep. The avalanches failed on a layer of sugary faceted snow and/or feathery surface hoar above the stout Thanksgiving crust.

Jensen (12/5/17)

Weed (12/5/17)

Avalanche Problem #1
New Snow

Record warmth around Thanksgiving melted a good deal of snow across the zone, and a solid refreeze last week turned the remaining snow rock hard. A couple brush-by storms deposited an inch or two of snow and this is now weak, faceted and in some areas capped with surface hoar of frost. Persistent slab avalanches could be fairly wide and might run fast and far on the slick underlying snow.

The snow surface at upper elevations Saturday was sparkling with widespread feathery surface hoar or frost crystals. Surface hoar often becomes a tricky persistent weak layer once buried. (Jensen, 12/2/17)

Avalanche Problem #2
Wind Drifted Snow

Monday's light powder snow was easily drifted into stiffer wind slabs in exposed terrain. Dangerous wind slab avalanche conditions probably exist on some slopes. Despite fairly calm conditions at mid elevations yesterday, we could see drifting going on at upper elevations due to northwest winds. Avoid fresh drifts near ridges and in and around terrain features like gullies, rock bands and sub-ridges.

Additional Information

Strong high pressure centered to the west of Utah will maintain a stable northerly flow across the Great Basin through the end of the week.

General Announcements

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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.

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