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

Tuesday January 24, 2006

Hello, this is Toby Weed of the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your Logan area backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  It's Tuesday January 24th at 9:00 pm.  This advisory is brought to you in part by the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center in Logan with help from The Trailhead, now on 100 N in Downtown.

Current Conditions:

You'll still be able to find nice powder-like soft snow conditions on lots of slopes, with the exception of those facing due south that have developed crusts.  After several days of cloud-cover and chilly temperatures, it got downright toasty today in the high country.  Highs nearly reached 35 degrees on the 9500' Logan Peak and 45 at 8400' at Tony Grove.  The midday warmth caused southerly facing slopes to get somewhat moist, and the re-crystallized surface snow elsewhere to be a bit sticky.  Trail breaking wouldn't have been too difficult if the glop didn't build up on my ski bottoms, adding 30 lbs of weight to each forward step.  8000' temperatures tomorrow should range from overnight lows in the upper teens to midday highs in the thirties.  There's 108 inches of snow on the ground at the Tony Grove Snotel site.

Avalanche Conditions:

Avalanches are unlikely on most slopes in the region, with a couple possible exceptions on some steep southerly facing slopes. The past couple days, midday solar warming caused a danger of moist point-release avalanches on south facing slopes.  Today, I noticed roller balls littering slopes that were smooth a couple days ago.  I also spied a couple significant natural point-releases, which appeared to have stepped down to a buried sun-crust. You might encounter similar conditions on Wednesday, and although generally manageable, such avalanches are especially dangerous if someone triggers one with you below, in its path.  Last night a northerly breeze kicked up, averaging in the mid-twenties after a weekend with almost no recorded wind.  It found lots of soft snow on the ground to build into ridge-top drifts.  In some cases these drifts built up on freshly formed weak sugary snow, and they may still be sensitive to your weight.  During the past few clear and cold nights, conditions were perfect for surface snow re-crystallization and the formation of feathery frost crystals or surface hoar.  Widespread weak layers developed on many slopes in the region and if buried intact, they are likely to haunt us once slabs develop.  We might prevent future avalanches on some slopes if we can thoroughly track-up the weak surface snow now.

Bottom Line:

There is a LOW danger and avalanches are generally unlikely on most slopes in the backcountry.  The exceptions can be found on steep sunny slopes with warmth-moistened snow and on upper elevation slopes prone to wind-drifting.  There is a MODERATE danger and avalanches are possible on southerly facing slopes steeper than about 35 degrees and any slope with deposits of recently wind-drifted snow.

Mountain Weather:

The high pressure and its inversion will continue to rule the weather on Wednesday.  But southerly  winds will herald the approach of a new batch of westerlies, and high clouds are likely to begin streaming into the region by afternoon. Some light snowfall is possible Wednesday night and Thursday, and intensification with significant snowfall is likely on Thursday night.  Periods of snowfall will continue through Saturday.

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 Wednesday night.  I will update it again on Thursday 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.