Wasatch-Cache National Forest  In partnership with:  Utah State Parks and Recreation, Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center-Logan, and Utah State University College of Natural Resources.

               

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Logan area Avalanche advisory

 

 Sunday December 25, 2005                     

Hello and Merry Christmas, this is Toby Weed of the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center in Logan.  Itís Sunday December 25th at 7:00 am.   This advisory is brought to you in part by the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center in Logan, with help from Ron and James down at Import Auto.

Current Conditions:

Although it's certainly not like powder we've come to expect around here this time of year, you can find decent snow conditions at higher elevations in the region.  Last week's warmth and rain at lower and mid-elevations made a soggy mess out of the approach conditions.  Nightly refreezes have turned trailheads and seasonally un-maintained access roads at lower elevations into tilted skating rinks. You'll find a real danger of uncontrolled slides in your vehicle, even on very low angle grades, when you suddenly loose traction on the thick melt-slickened water ice.  I'm not kidding, and in many cases you'll face more danger to yourself and equipment before you even park your vehicle than in the backcountry. The list of scary trailheads include but are not limited to:  Providence Canyon, Right Hand Fork, Left Hand Fork, High Creek, and Woodcamp. The snow conditions are pretty good once you make it to upper elevations, with 6 inches to a foot of heavy new snow from Thursday above about 8000'. Under thin high clouds at 6:00 this morning, it's already a balmy 35 degrees atop Logan Peak.  It'll be a warm one in the mountains today.

 

Avalanche Conditions:

 A bunch of you got out yesterday, and no new avalanches were reported or observed. Crusts formed  at lower and mid-elevations and on sunny upper elevation slopes. The wind-drifts or fresh slabs from Friday and last week are now mostly glued in place, and deeply buried weak layers aren't active region wide.  Avalanches are generally unlikely in the backcountry today, but they are still possible on some very steep slopes.  Watch for steep pockets in the rocks or generally shallow areas where last week's winds may have drifted-in a slab.  You still might trigger pockety slab avalanches on slopes steeper than about 40 degrees.  Also, be wary of slopes that get soggy on the surface as the day warms.  If you notice spontaneous roller-ball development or natural sluffing, it's time to head home or at least onto a shadier slope.

 Bottom Line:

There is a LOW avalanche danger on the majority of slopes in the backcountry.  Avalanches are generally unlikely, but you'll  find a MODERATE danger, with the possibility of avalanches on some very steep, previously wind-drifted or sun-warmed slopes.

 Mountain Weather:

We'll see beautiful weather this Christmas day, with mild temperatures and increasing cloudiness.  The ridge moves eastward tonight opening the door for a potentially interesting week weather-wise.  Look for light snow to begin late tonight, continue on Monday, and increase in intensity Monday night.  Another storm is hot on the first's heels and should begin to affect our region late Wednesday.

General Information: 

 For a list of our upcoming classes and awareness talks, go to our education page

Snow nerds, check out the new Snow Profiles page.

Please send backcountry observations to [email protected], especially if you see or trigger an avalanche in the backcountry.

  This advisory will expire on Monday morning, but I will update it again on Tuesday night.

The information in this advisory is from the U.S. Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content.  This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur. 

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National Weather Service - Salt Lake City - Snow.