Storminess in the Salt Lake Valley didn't translate to much snow stacking up on the eastern front, only a couple inches of cold, white smoke in the past 24 hours. Currently, under mostly cloudy skies, temperatures are in the single digits and westerly winds are light, blowing just 10-15 mph even along the high peaks. Riding and turning conditions improve with each little blast of snow. Snow depths across the range average about 3'.
We are working to get the entire Uinta weather network back online. In the meantime, above is 24 hour data from Trail Lake (9945').
Jeff Duenwald surveys his weekend turns on a south facing slope (lookers left portion of the image) with no old snow near the ground. Looks pretty straight-forward, but here's the problem... as snow stacks up and terrain turns white, even slopes we're familiar with can appear uniform and small nuances in aspect can mean the difference between riding safely and triggering an avalanche. So here's your exit strategy, simply swing around to south facing slopes or lower elevation terrain which had no old snow prior to the big Thanksgiving storm and you can ride without the worry of avalanches breaking to weak snow near the ground.
A true, big mountain BA, Jeff is in his mid 70's and is on the snow nearly everyday. He's been tagging big mountain approaches and ascents since the 60's. His longevity in the mountains is rooted in making smart decisions, not by rolling the dice or taking chances.
Plowing is done on Mirror Lake Highway, but Wolf Creek Pass is still open. However, just 'cause you can see your rig parked near Wolf Creek, doesn't mean the terrain you're choosing to ride is good to go.
Remember- this is the time of year where most of us get tricked thinking there isn't enough snow to avalanche. Unfortunately, this is also the type of setup when most close calls and accidents occur. If you are getting out and about, be prepared for your own self rescue. Wear and know how to use an avalanche beacon, shovel, and probe.
A happy cat realizes winter is finally here as the Mirror Lake Highway from the Evanston side of the range is closed.
No new avalanche activity to report, but lots of collapsing still reported throughout the range.