UDOT PLANNED AVALANCHE CLOSURES!!

Forecast for the Provo Area Mountains

Dave Kelly
Issued by Dave Kelly for
Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Welcome back winter! Last weekend's storm deposited anywhere from a few inches to a couple of feet throughout the range with another storm moving in Wednesday through Thursday morning. The Bunnells Ridge Weather Station at 8800 feet in elevation currently has 8" snow on the ground and we would expect that there is 12-18" at higher elevations in the Provo Mountains.
Avalanches are possible if you're traveling in the mountains. The main issue will be fresh deposits of wind-drifted snow that could produce slab avalanches. However, in some places where 2-3 feet of snow may accumulate, the new snow alone may produce soft slab avalanches or sluffs of new snow. Wind drifts look rounded and pillowy and form on the leeward side of terrain features. Be particularly cautious in steep terrain during periods of increased snowfall and winds.
As we get up and running this season please consult the updated Salt Lake Advisory and check out our observations page.
Low
Moderate
Considerable
High
Extreme
Learn how to read the forecast here
Weather and Snow
Keep an eye out for fresh wind drifts and places that held more snow from last weekends storm. Steep north through southeast facing gullies with rocky run outs come to mind as locations that may harbor deeper snow from the last storm.
Look for signs of instability such as cracking and collapsing while traveling up or down slopes.
A fresh blanket of snow can be incredibly beautiful! The problem is that it hides all the rocks, stumps, logs, and other things that may serious injuries if you're caught in even a small avalanche.
We still have an early season snow pack with just enough snow to trigger slides as we saw from recent avalanche activity. As well as thinking about whether a slope has the potential to slide, factor in where you will end up if you are swept off your feet.
Recent Avalanches
Check out the video and write up of a close call where a skier went over a rock band on Sunday.
Check out our observations page for the latest updates from around Utah. Please keep these observations coming.
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Additional Information
A Few Things to Remember:
  • It doesn't matter what you're doing in the mountains-going for a hike, hunting, trying to ski, board, snowshoe or firing up the snowmachine: be prepared for avalanches
  • Triggering any avalanche regardless of its size can produce serious trauma because of a thin snowpack
  • Hitting rocks and stumps is a real danger. Don't end your season early from hitting one of these obstacles
  • Treat ski resorts as backcountry terrain and check out the UAC site for resort uphill travel policies

Even if you're not planning to get onto the snow, it's never too early to start thinking about avalanches. A few things to consider doing:
1. Attend USAW and learn more about avalanches and decision making. (scroll down to the bottom of this page for more info and links)
2. Sign up for an avalanche class.
4. Take the all-new online avalanche courses the UAC built for Know Before You Go or take other online courses listed on the KBYG website (Develop skills -> Online Learning).
5. Get your avalanche rescue gear ready for winter. Put fresh batteries in your transceiver and update the firmware. Inspect your shovel and probe. Get your airbag backpack ready by possibly doing a test deployment and update the firmware if it is an electric version.
Sign up for the 15th Annual Utah Snow and Avalanche Workshop (USAW) on two nights, November 2nd and 9th. Sign up and get more info for the first session HERE and the second session HERE.
The Avalanche Professional and Ski Patrol Snow and Avalanche Workshop (PROSAW) will be during the day of November 7th. Sign up and get more info HERE. (note - PROSAW will be offered both in-person and virtual).
General Announcements
Check out this great Winter Outlook 2022-2023 video put out by our partners at the National Weather Service.
Please submit your observations from the backcountry HERE.

This information does not apply to developed ski areas or highways where avalanche control is normally done. 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.