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Forecast for the Uintas Area Mountains

Issued by Craig Gordon for Monday, March 25, 2019 - 3:08am
Expect two very different avalanche problems today-
WET SNOW AVALANCHES-
Nearly all aspects and elevations will take on heat today and the danger for WET SNOW avalanches starts out as LOW this morning, but rapidly rises to CONSIDERABLE as the day heats up. Human triggered avalanches are LIKELY and natural avalanches POSSIBLE on all steep, sun baked slopes.
DRY SNOW AVALANCHES-
In the wind zone at and above treeline you'll find MODERATE avalanche danger. Human triggered DRY SNOW avalanches are POSSIBLE on steep leeward slopes facing the north half of the compass. Limited to a small percentage of the terrain available to ride in today, if you're getting into steep, technical terrain facing the north half of the compass remember, there may be a rogue drift or two large enough to boss you around.
Low
Moderate
Considerable
High
Extreme
Learn how to read the forecast here
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Weather and Snow
Yesterday's over-producing storm delivered an evenly distributed 6" of light density snow across the range and weekend storm totals are closing in on a foot. Skies cleared late last night and temperatures rapidly dipped into the teens where they sit this morning. West and southwest winds blew in the 30's Sunday afternoon, but calmed down around 10:00 last night, and currently blow in the teens and low 20's. On a go-anywhere-base and a phat Uinta snowpack, riding and turning conditions are about as good as they get.
Above is hourly data from Upper Moffit Basin (9,126') and Windy Peak (10,662'). To view more regional weather stations click here.
Our main man Ted Scroggin was in the Whitney Basin Saturday and notes low angle slopes are the ticket today where you'll have more of a cushion protecting your ride from the crusty snow surfaces which developed last week. More on Ted's travels here.
Recent Avalanches
A few shallow drifts, breaking 8"-12" deep, were easily triggered on steep, leeward slopes yesterday.
Recent trip reports and avy activity found HERE.
Ad
Avalanche Problem #1
Wet Snow
Type
Location
Likelihood
Size
Description
Temperatures rapidly climb out of the teens this morning and yesterday's light density storm snow will take on heat in a hurry, immediately reacting to its first taste of intense spring sunshine. Of course, wet avalanche activity is a timing thing and you'll want to stay ahead of the curve and not overstay your welcome. As the day heats up, simply get off of and stay out from under steep sun-exposed slopes. In addition, think about your exit strategy for the end of the end day or if it heats up quicker than you expect, and plan to avoid terrain traps like gullies and road cuts where wet, cement-like avalanche debris can stack up very deeply.
Avalanche Problem #2
Wind Drifted Snow
Type
Location
Likelihood
Size
Description
Winds bumped into the upper 20's and 30's Sunday afternoon, whipping up a few fresh drifts, like the one Ted found Saturday in the image above, and these will be reactive to our additional weight today. Limited to steep, leeward slopes in the wind zone, today you'll want to look for and avoid any fat, rounded piece of snow, especially if it sounds hollow like a drum. Out of the wind, upper elevation wind sheltered terrain harbors weak surface snow and while mostly manageable in size, a large loose snow sluff in steep, technical, north facing terrain could knock you off your skis, board, or sled and take you for an unexpected ride.
And finally don't forget-
Cornices are ginormous and may break back further than you might expect. You definitely wanna give these large, unpredictable pieces of snow a wide berth and not ruin someones day below by inadvertently knocking a boxcar size piece of snow down on them.
Additional Information
High pressure builds today producing sunny skies with temperatures soaring into the 40's. West and southwest winds blow in the 20's and 30's along the high peaks. Warm, dry weather is on tap through Wednesday, and then it looks like a more active and stormy period develops for the last half of the work week.
General Announcements
The information in this advisory expires 24 hours after the date and time posted, but will be updated by 7:00 AM Tuesday March 26th, 2019.
If you're getting out and about, please let me know what you're seeing especially if you see or trigger and avalanche. I can be reached at craig@utahavalanchecenter.org or 801-231-2170
It's also a good time to set up one of our very popular avalanche awareness classes. Reach out to me and I'll make it happen.
This information does not apply to developed ski areas or highways where avalanche control is normally done. This advisory is from the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content. This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur.

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