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Forecast for the Uintas Area Mountains

Craig Gordon
Issued by Craig Gordon for
Saturday, February 10, 2024
Please... let's keep it tight, be patient, and step out cautiously the next few days, allowing the snowpack to adjust to the big midweek storm

CONSIDERABLE avalanche danger is found near and above treeline. Human triggered avalanches are LIKELY around the compass on steep, rocky, leeward slopes, particularly those facing the north half of the compass, and especially those in the wind zone. Any avalanche triggered has the distinct potential to break deeper and wider than you might expect, producing a very dangerous slide.

MODERATE avalanche danger is found on steep, lower elevation slopes, primarily those facing the north half of the compass. Not widespread and trending in the right direction, triggering a rogue, wind drifted, storm snow pocket is still POSSIBLE.

Here's your exit strategy-
Looking for LOW avalanche danger? Well then, don't hide under the beds, but don't roll the dice either. Simply steer your snow vehicle to low elevation, wind sheltered terrain, especially south facing slopes with no steep terrain above or adjacent to where you're riding. Human triggered avalanches are UNLIKELY in terrain with these characteristics.
Low
Moderate
Considerable
High
Extreme
Learn how to read the forecast here
Weather and Snow
Nowcast- It's been an amazing nine day run of storms, with just a few days off in-between to recover. But late last night, Elvis left the arena and his entourage follows to the four corners. Tabulating the evenly distributed setlist since the residency began on February 1st, we hear all the hits along with just over three feet of snow and nearly four inches of H2O near the center stage at Trial Lake. With clearing skies overnight, temperatures cratered into the single digits and a few low-lying locations register just below zero degrees. Barely a whisper of northerly winds blow just 5-10 mph near the high peaks (though our anemometers might be laden with rime). On a go-anywhere base, riding and turning conditions are all-time, and yeah... it's over-the head and over-the-hood.
Forecast- Get it before the sun beats you to the punch. A stunning day is on tap with mostly sunny skies, light winds blowing from the north, and high temperatures climbing into the mid 20's. Overnight lows dip into the single digits.
Futurecast- The powder party is over as high pressure takes hold, lasting through a good portion of the upcoming work week.
During Thursday's storm, Mark stomped around the Moffit Peak environs... most importantly, he did it safely and with clear intent! Here, Mark offers sage advice on how to ride safely and still have a blast with all the new snow.
Recent Avalanches
Viz has been less than ideal, but on Thursday, we did get a report of a remotely triggered slide (from a distance) by a small crew of riders. Not huge, but the big red is... the avalanche broke on weak snow close to the ground on a steep, heavily wind loaded, rocky slope in the Currant Creek Peak area.

For more Uinta observations and recent avalanche activity click HERE.
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Avalanche Problem #1
Wind Drifted Snow
Type
Location
Likelihood
Size
Description
Found mostly on the leeward side of mid and upper elevation north facing ridges, recent drifts are now camouflaged with fresh snow. And while they may be hard to detect, once triggered, they're gonna pack a punch and can easily roll ya. Your best bet is to simply avoid fat, rounded pieces of snow, especially if they sound hollow like a drum.

Avalanche Problem #2
Persistent Weak Layer
Type
Location
Likelihood
Size
Description
Mark and his crew were in Smith-Moorehouse yesterday and reports one booming collapse in a big open meadow. Otherwise, given all the new snow it's been relatively quiet. Mark's got a great write up and trip report HERE.
Persistent weak layers lurking deep in the snowpack have been largely dormant. But fact is... they still exist and I suspect they're irritated from the sudden shock of the midweek storm. Steep, rocky slopes with a thin snowpack are highly suspect and just need a trigger like us to roll along and knock the legs out from underneath. Today isn't the day to tease the avalanche dragons, pull on its tail, or try and outsmart it... it'll bite back hard! Avoiding avalanche terrain is key. Simply stay off and out from under steep wind drifted slopes, especially those facing the north half of the compass. Once triggered, an avalanche will break deeper and wider than you might expect, delivering a knockout punch to your day.
Additional Information
The Uinta weather station network was upgraded this summer and all that real-time info is found HERE. Simply click on "western Uinta" tab and then "weather stations" tab.

We are always looking for snow and avalanche observations or just general riding conditions. So... if you see something, say something. You can reach me directly at [email protected] or 801-231-2170.
Also, if you're looking for more avy education opportunities for yourself, your crew, or your club please don't hesitate to reach out to me and we'll find a presentation, class, or clinic for ya!
General Announcements

Issued at 0400 on Saturday, February 10th this forecast will be updated by 0700 Sunday, February 11th, 2024.
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.