UDOT PLANNED AVALANCHE CLOSURES!!

Forecast for the Logan Area Mountains

Toby Weed
Issued by Toby Weed for
Wednesday, April 12, 2023
Exceptionally warm temperatures will elevate the avalanche danger to HIGH on backcountry slopes steeper than 30°. Very dangerous avalanche conditions will develop, large natural cornice falls and wet avalanches are likely and are possible on steep slopes at all elevations.
*Wet avalanches on steep slopes at very low elevations and in the foothills may threaten unsuspecting people, children, or pets.
Low
Moderate
Considerable
High
Extreme
Learn how to read the forecast here
Avalanche Warning
What: The avalanche danger for the warning area will very quickly rise to HIGH today with daytime heating.
Where: For the mountains and foothills of Northern Utah, including the Wasatch Range...Bear River Range...Wellsville Range...Oquirrh Mountains...Stansbury Range...Cache Valley...Ogden Valley...Uinta Mountains
Impacts: Exceptionally warm temperatures will create widespread areas of unstable wet snow. Natural and human-triggered cornice falls and wet avalanches are likely. People should avoid being in avalanche terrain (off of and out from under slopes steeper than 30°) and stay clear of avalanche run-outs on all aspects and elevations.
Special Announcements
The final UAC report for the Upper Weber Canyon avalanche accident on March 9 has been published and is available HERE. The UAC would like to thank Park City Powder Cats for sharing information about the timeline of the accident and allowing UAC staff access to the avalanche after the incident.
Weather and Snow
Temperatures stayed well above freezing overnight, preventing a good refreeze of the saturated snow. Exceptionally warm temperatures will quickly soften up the snow this morning, and very dangerous avalanche conditions will develop again. Above normal heat will also warm up and soften the snow on shady north facing slopes down low, where there is a ton of snow holding out this spring.
Low elevation snow is rapidly melting, but wet slides could come down into places where people don't normally have to worry about avalanches this time of year, like on day hiking trails, along the rivers, and even on steep slopes in your neighborhood benches and foothills.
*PEOPLE SHOULD CONTINUE TO AVOID BEING IN AVALANCHE TERRAIN AND STAY CLEAR OF AVALANCHE RUNOUTS.
The 8400' Tony Grove Snotel reports 41° F and 132" of total snow. At the 9700' CSI Logan Peak weather station, it's 39° F and the wind is blowing from the south-southwest around 20 mph.

Here is the NWS point forecast (36 hrs) for Logan Canyon:
Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 59. East southeast wind 5 to 14 mph becoming south southwest in the afternoon.
Tonight: A chance of rain showers before 3am, then rain and snow showers likely. Patchy fog after 1am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 25. Southeast wind 6 to 11 mph becoming west northwest after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.
Thursday: Snow showers, mainly before noon. Patchy fog before 7am. High near 36. West wind 9 to 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.
Clouds and showers will cool things down for a couple days, then skies will clear, the sun will be out, and temperatures will be on the rise again this weekend.
Recent Avalanches
  • Widespread natural wet avalanches occurred every day this week in the Wellsville Range. Large natural cornice falls and overrunning loose avalanches triggered long running and dangerously large wet slabs. I was quite relieved to see no cars parked at the Rattlesnake TH Sunday, after seeing the huge debris pile from a massive natural avalanche....HERE
A recent large natural avalanche triggered by a cornice fall in the Wellsvilles. Rattlesnake Canyon, N Ridge of Mitton Pk, 4-9-23
  • A close call occurred on Tuesday in Hillyard Canyon, Cub River Idaho, when a rider triggered a soft slab avalanche, that caught and carried two others in his party. Both deployed airbags, and one ride was partially buried. The party had to probe for a sled which was found completely buried about 5' deep. report is HERE
  • For a list of recent avalanches in the Logan Zone go HERE.
  • There was tons of recent natural wet avalanche activity in the mountains of Northern Utah. Find a list of all recent observations & avalanches from across Utah go HERE.
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Avalanche Problem #1
Wet Snow
Type
Location
Likelihood
Size
Description
  • Exceptional warmth will quickly soften up the snow this morning and increase potential for wet avalanches at all elevations.
  • In many areas melt water is finding weak layers and pooling on crusts, creating unstable wet slab avalanche conditions.
  • Although many sunny lower elevation slopes have burnt off or are very shallow, dangerous wet avalanche conditions exist on shady forested slopes and in steep northerly facing terrain, where wet loose avalanches can gouge the saturated snow to the ground and fan out broadly.
  • Avalanches from higher up could come down into low elevation terrain that has already melted off, so people should generally avoid being under steep snow covered slopes.
Avalanche Problem #2
Cornice
Type
Location
Likelihood
Size
Description
The heat is causing dangerous conditions up high with huge unstable cornices, and softening deep hard slabs. Large cornice falls and several feet thick wet slabs are likely at upper elevations. Warm temperatures have increased the likelihood of natural cornice failures, and some will certainly calve off large pieces. These are likely to trigger avalanches on slopes below.
  • People should stay well away from and off of slopes under the HUGE overhanging cornices, which are found on the major peaks and ridges.
  • 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.
Additional Information
This fresh large natural wet avalanche in Old Logway Canyon in the Wellsvilles was visible from across Cache Valley yesterday morning. (4-10-23)
Significant fresh natural wet avalanche activity was visible yesterday afternoon in Pine Canyon in the Wellsville Mountain Wilderness. (4-11-23)
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.