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.


                        The Utah Avalanche Center Home page is:

                                          (click on) Utah Avalanche Center in Logan for our home page                                    


Logan area Avalanche advisory

Sunday January 22, 2006

Hello and good morning, this is Toby Weed of the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your Logan area backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  It's Sunday January 22nd 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

Current Conditions:

Surprisingly, yesterday's snowstorm produced significant accumulations of super light powder in the Bear River Range.  The storm, which was billed as a weak splitting system, dropped a fat foot and a half of very light snow containing an even inch of water on the 8400' Snotel site at Tony Grove.  This fell on top of a couple feet of fine powder from Wednesday.  I couldn't believe my senses yesterday as I piloted the old sled through feet of airy fluff.  Usually I find difficult trail breaking conditions when the new snow is knee-deep, but yesterday's clean smoke-like snow was so light it didn't take much effort at all to move through.  Riding and turning produced over-the-head and continuous face-shots. The few people I met in the backcountry could barely hide their ear-to-ear grins.  Powder conditions in the Bears are fantastic on slopes facing any compass direction and at all elevations.  Mountain temperatures are in the single digits this morning, and there's a light northerly breeze.

Avalanche Conditions:

Despite generally stable conditions in the backcountry, I have a few avalanche concerns today.  It will still be easy to trigger small soft slabs and significant loose snow avalanches or sluffs on steep slopes.  I triggered a couple broad but shallow slab avalanches yesterday by dropping cornices on steep east and northeast facing slopes.  With such light snow involved, these were fairly harmless avalanches, but similar slides could be dangerous if they swept you off a cliff or into a tree.  Also, I've received reports of some areas where obvious recent wind-drifting caused a danger of wind slab avalanches.  Cracking, collapsing or deposits of overlying stiff snow are all signs of potential avalanches.  Despite low recorded wind-speeds for the past couple days, some areas are more prone to the effects of westerly and northwesterly wind than others.  Also, with tons of super-light snow everywhere, it didn't and won't take very strong winds to build up sensitive drifts and cornices in exposed terrain.  If the winds pick up even a little in the next couple days, the  danger of wind slab avalanches could rise drastically within minutes on some steep slopes.  Huge overhanging cornices also could present danger to anyone unaware of their presence or physics-defying state of balance.  It's best to give any corniced ridge lots of room because these big kahunas can be very deceptive and could break farther back than expected.

Bottom Line:

There is a MODERATE avalanche danger, with new snow and wind-drift avalanches possible on some slopes steeper than about 35 degrees in the backcountry.  Any significant increase in wind in the next couple days will cause the danger to be more widespread and the wind-drifts to be deeper.  On sheltered and lower angled slopes there's a LOW danger and avalanches are unlikely.

Mountain Weather:

Today will be partly to mostly cloudy, and mountain temperatures should stay below about 20 degrees. It will be cold and clear tonight with upper elevation temperatures dropping close to zero and northwest winds increasing slightly.   A high pressure system will dominate the weather pattern for much of the upcoming work-week.  Fair weather in the mountains and hazy or smoggy conditions in Cache Valley are likely to develop.

General Information: 

 We will be helping the USU Outdoor Recreation Center present a Level 1 Avalanche Class for snowmobilers January 27-29.  Please pre-register for this class with the ORC.

For a list of our upcoming classes and awareness talks, go to our Education page . For a list of recent avalanches in  the regional backcountry go to Avalanche List.  Snow nerds, check out the new Snow Profiles page.  You may enjoy our Images Page.

Please send backcountry observations to [email protected] or leave a message at 755-3638, especially if you see or trigger an avalanche in the backcountry. We really want to hear from you, even if you think your observation is unimportant.    The information you provide may save lives...

 This advisory will expire on Monday morning.  I will update it by 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. 


National Weather Service - Salt Lake City - Snow.