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Forecast for the Moab Area Mountains

Issued by Eric Trenbeath for Sunday, April 17, 2022
The avalanche danger is generally LOW but the La Sals are a big little mountain range comprised of large, complex, radical terrain. Unstable snow may still exist on isolated terrain features and here are some things to keep in mind:
  • Loose wet avalanches will be possible as the day heat up. Look for signs of instability such as rollerballs and pinwheels, and get off of steep slopes if they become wet and sloppy.
  • Unstable slabs of wind drifted snow may exist in upper elevation, wind exposed terrain. Recognizable by their smooth, rounded appearance, they may sound hollow underneath. Look for them on the leeward sides of ridge crests and terrain features such as gully walls and sub ridges.
Practice safe travel techniques and only expose one person to danger at a time. Even a small avalanche can be dangerous in consequential terrain.
Low
Moderate
Considerable
High
Extreme
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Special Announcements
Today is our last regularly scheduled forecast.
Road Conditions: Bare dirt down low, mud and a few inches of rutted snow on the upper end.
Grooming: Done for the season.
Weather and Snow
Today will be sunny, warm, and breezy as high pressure builds to the west. Westerly winds will blow in the 15-20 mph range and high temps will be in the upper 40's. Conditions remain dry through the upcoming week with the next hint of a storm on the horizon for Friday.
Snowpack
Wind and warm temperatures have created variable, springtime conditions. Most surfaces are sun and or wind crusted with the effects of heat even creeping up into the higher north faces. Winds over the past week have blown and drifted snow on to leeward slopes though there has been less available for transport the past couple of days. Remain on the lookout for isolated wind slabs in the high country where even a small avalanche could be dangerous in consequential terrain. As things warm up you'll need to be alert to signs of loose wet instability such as rollerballs and pinwheels, and sloppy wet snow. Get off of, and out from under steep slopes if they become wet and sloppy.
Gold Basin SNOTEL site (10,000')
Storm Totals in Gold Basin
Wind Station on Pre Laurel Peak (11,700')
Ad
Avalanche Problem #1
Normal Caution
Type
Location
Likelihood
Size
Description
Low danger doesn't mean no danger and even a small avalanche can have large consequences in the wrong terrain. As you travel in the mountains keep the following in mind:
  • Loose wet avalanches will be possible as the day heats up. Signs of instability include pinwheels, rollerballs, and small "point release" sluffs. Stay off of steep slopes when these signs are present, or if they become wet and sloppy.
  • Isolated, unstable wind slabs may still exist in upper elevation, wind exposed terrain. Remain on the lookout for unstable areas of wind drifted snow, especially in consequential terrain where even a small triggered wind slab could carry you over a cliff. Wind slabs are recognizable by their smooth rounded appearance and they may sound hollow underneath.
Minimize your risk by continuing to observe safe travel techniques. Maintain awareness of the terrain and only expose one person to danger at a time.
General Announcements
Who's up for some free avalanche training? Get a refresher, become better prepared for an upcoming avalanche class, or just boost your skills. Go to https://learn.kbyg.org/ and scroll down to Step 2 for a series of interactive online avalanche courses produced by the UAC.
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.