UDOT PLANNED AVALANCHE CLOSURES!!

Forecast for the Logan Area Mountains

Toby Weed
Issued by Toby Weed for
Wednesday, March 29, 2023
Heightened avalanche conditions can be found on slopes steeper than 30° at all elevations in the backcountry, and there is CONSIDERABLE danger on drifted slopes, especially in northerly facing upper elevation terrain. Large natural cornice falls are possible, and these or people are likely to trigger 1 to 3-foot thick slab avalanches of wind drifted snow. Warm temperatures and maybe a bit of rain will elevate potential for wet avalanches entraining big piles of moist snow on very steep low elevation slopes.
  • Make conservative decisions, evaluate snow and terrain carefully.
  • Stay well away from and out from under ridge top cornices.
  • Avoid being on or below slopes with warmth or rain softened saturated snow.
Low
Moderate
Considerable
High
Extreme
Learn how to read the forecast here
Special Announcements
  • Thank you to everyone who donated to our Spring Campaign. We appreciate your support and look forward to creating new tools to help you stay safe in the backcountry.
  • We are sorry to confirm an avalanche fatality occurred Monday in the Oquirrh mountains. Preliminary report is HERE, https://utahavalanchecenter.org/avalanche/77465
Weather and Snow
We found nice deep powder and generally stable snow at upper elevations in the Central Bear River Ranger yesterday. We stayed in more sheltered terrain and well away from and out from under the big cornices...
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the Bear River Range starting at noon today, and going until Friday at noon. Heavy snowfall and drifting snow will elevate backcountry avalanche danger. Expect warm temps and maybe a bit of rain on the snow will elevate the danger of wet avalanches on sunny and low elevation slopes.

The 8400' Tony Grove Snotel reports 26° F and there is 137" of total snow. The wind picked up steam again overnight and is blowing from the south-southeast averaging 42 mph last hour, (with gusts close to 60 mph) at the 9700' CSI Logan Peak weather station.

Here is the NWS point forecast (36 hrs) for high elevations in the Central Bear River Range:
Today: A 40 percent chance of snow showers after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 36. Breezy, with a south wind 16 to 24 mph, with gusts as high as 37 mph. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
Tonight: Snow showers. The snow could be heavy at times. Low around 21. Southwest wind 14 to 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 7 to 11 inches possible.
Thursday: Snow. Steady temperature around 24. Wind chill values as low as 10. West wind 13 to 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for the Bear River Range south of the state line. Unsettled, cold, and snowy weather will last through the remainder of the week and the coming weekend, with a possibility of a bit of a break Friday night and (maybe some sun) Saturday.
Recent Avalanches
  • On Saturday, I went up to Maple Bench and checked out several very large and long running natural avalanches that occurred in the Wellsville Range overnight, (3-24/3-25). The very broad ~3' deep soft slab avalanches ran the full width and length of several the classic large avalanche paths and crashed down onto Maple Bench, southwest of Mendon. (see photos in "additional info" below)
  • A skier reports intentionally triggering a two-and-a-half foot deep soft slab avalanche on a northeast facing slope at around 8000' in elevation in the Emigrant Summit Area. report HERE
  • For a list of recent avalanches in the Logan Zone go HERE
  • It was a bit more active in the Wasatch Range in the last few days due to wind drifted snow. Find a list of all recent observations & avalanches from across Utah HERE.
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Avalanche Problem #1
Cornice
Type
Location
Likelihood
Size
Description
This morning south winds continue to increase at upper elevations, and they continue to drift snow into lee slope avalanche starting zones. Expect to find sensitive huge cornices and freshly formed wind slabs in drifted upper elevation terrain. Avalanches of wind drifted snow are possible on drifted slopes at all elevations, but conditions are much less dangerous in sheltered terrain and where the powder is not affected by the wind.
  • Large natural cornice falls are possible, and/or 1' to 3' thick wind slabs are likely for people to trigger in windy terrain at upper elevations.
  • Avoid corniced slopes and stiffer drifts on steep slopes near ridges and in and around terrain features like cliff bands, sub-ridges, mid-slope break-overs, and gully walls.
  • The overhanging cornices on the high ridges are huge this year, and recent storms have built them further out and made them unstable, so people should continue to stay well away and out from under them.
Avalanche Problem #2
Wet Snow
Type
Location
Likelihood
Size
Description
​​​​​​Avalanches of wet snow are possible on low elevation slopes.
  • Warm temperatures and rain on the snow could cause a rapid rise in danger of wet loose avalanches entraining large piles of moist snow.
  • The snow on lower elevation slopes is quite a bit deeper than it normally is this time of year, especially on shady forested slopes. This means avalanches may be possible in unexpected places. We have seen numerous wet avalanches at low elevation this year even in places where we've not really seen any avalanches before.
Additional Information
Watch this Video...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_Kn8UrKT2Q..
A natural avalanche dusted riders with a dust cloud at Sundance Yesterday. The avalanche stopped well before it came into the area, but the dust cloud continued for hundreds of yards.
Here is a look at a broad crown off Pleasant View Point in the Wellsville Range, where widespread large natural avalanches occurred Friday night.
Here is a view of the runout of the monster natural avalanche the roared out of Hell Canyon Friday night.
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 snow-bike, check out this map of the winter travel plan for the Logan and Ogden Ranger Districts HERE, and a close up of the Tony Grove and Franklin Basin Areas HERE.
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.