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Forecast for the Logan Area Mountains

Toby Weed
Issued by Toby Weed for
Friday, February 9, 2024
Elevated avalanche conditions exist on slopes steeper than 30° at all elevations. People could trigger loose or soft slab avalanches of new snow, and avalanches of wind-drifted snow are possible in some exposed upper-elevation terrain. The probability of triggering a dangerous avalanche failing on a buried persistent weak layer is low, but not zero. These remain possible in outlying drifted rocky terrain with shallow snow cover.

Fine, fast, shallow powder conditions are easy to find on slopes less steep than 30° across the Logan Zone. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully, and don't let the good snow conditions cloud your judgment.
  • Cross steep slopes and potential avalanche paths one person at a time.
  • Everyone should recheck and practice with their transceiver, probe, and shovel.
Learn how to read the forecast here
Special Announcements
Want to learn more about how to stay safe from avalanches while riding in the backcountry? Join us Feb 23-24 for an Introduction to Avalanche class. Information and registration here.
Weather and Snow
The backcountry avalanche danger is not as high as it is in areas to our south because we received much less new snow this week. Very nice shallow, fast, and fun powder conditions are found in many areas. Safer lower-angled slopes (less steep than 30°) offer the best riding due to a solid crust formed during last week's warm spell. The fresh snow is not super light, but it has substance and keeps you off the scratchy crust unless you're riding in steeper terrain.
People could trigger loose or soft slab avalanches of new snow on slopes steeper than 30° at all elevations. Evidence of drifting may be hidden under a few inches of fresh powder. Wind slab avalanches are possible and most likely on upper elevation slopes facing northwest through southeast. Dangerous but unlikely hard slab avalanches failing on a deeply buried persistent weak layer are still possible in outlying rocky terrain with shallow snow cover.

The wind is blowing from the west-northwest this morning 15 to 20 mph at the 9700' CSI Logan Peak weather station, where it's 11° F. On Paris Peak at 9500', it’s 10° F, and the wind is blowing a bit over 10 mph with gusts around 20 mph from the west. The Tony Grove Snotel at 8400' reports 18° F and 4 inches of new snow early this morning, with .3" SWE. There is 85 inches of total snow at the site, containing 121% of average SWE (Snow Water Equivalent).

Snow is likely today, with 1 to 3 inches of accumulation possible. Skies will be mostly cloudy, with a high temperature around 22° F at 8500'. The wind will blow from the west 9 to 13 mph. We'll see nice, bluebird, weather this weekend, in the mountains with plenty of sun and colder temperatures that should keep the snow quality pretty good.
Recent Avalanches
No avalanches have been reported in the Logan Zone so far in February. On Tuesday, one party observed collapsing at upper elevations in the Franklin Basin Area. Audible collapsing (or whumpfs) is a red flag indicating unstable snow.
Check out local observations and avalanches HERE.
Avalanche Problem #1
New Snow
  • Soft slab and loose avalanches of new snow are possible on slopes steeper than 30° at all elevations.
  • Stay well away from and out from under overhanging cornices, which may break further back than expected.
  • Avoid recent drifts and soft wind slabs on steep slopes. Drifting of this week's fresh snow created wind slabs on the lee side of major ridges and in and around terrain features like sub ridges, gully walls, mid-slope roll-overs, and under cliff bands. Evidence of recent drifting could be hidden by a few inches of fresh powder.
  • Even small avalanches of soft new snow or wind-drifted snow could run fast and far on the slick crust formed during last week's warm temperatures.
Avalanche Problem #2
Persistent Weak Layer
Large and scary avalanches failing on sugary snow near the ground are unlikely but not impossible. In some outlying areas with shallower snow cover (3 or 4 feet deep), a buried persistent weak layer of faceted snow from the December dry spell may be reawakened by this week's incremental load of new snow. The probability is low, but not zero, and potential hard slab avalanches could be large, destructive, and life-threatening.
  • Avalanches failing on a persistent weak layer may be possible in recently drifted outlying rocky or windswept areas with generally shallow snow cover.
  • Collapsing or whumpfs are obvious signs of instability, but these red flags may not be present when deep hard slab avalanches failing on a persistent weak layer occur.
  • It's a good idea to get your shovel out and dig into the snow to identify areas with poor snow structure before you commit to steeper objectives. Another trick is to probe for areas with shallower snow cover that may harbor buried persistent weak layers.

Additional Information
On Sunday, we checked out the deposition from multiple large avalanches that occurred in January in Woodcamp. Though not historical in size, these slides laid out some pretty impressive debris piles.
General Announcements
-Read Toby's recent blog about wind, drifting, and avalanches HERE
-Sign up for forecast region-specific text message alerts. You will receive messages about changing avalanche conditions, watches, and warnings...HERE.
-For all questions on forecasts, education, Know Before You Go, events, online purchases, or fundraising, call 801-365-5522.
-To report an avalanche or submit an observation from the backcountry, go HERE.
-Come practice companion rescue at the Franklin Basin TH Beacon Training Park. It's free and open to everyone. For easy user instructions, go HERE
-We will update this forecast by 7:30 AM tomorrow.
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.