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


Thursday February 2, 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 Thursday February 2nd 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 Simmons Flexi-ski of Providence.

Current Conditions:

The Snotel site at Tony Grove picked up over 5 inches of water in the past productive week and is now showing 126 inches of total snow on the ground.  Strong westerly winds built out cornices and drifted lots of snow into lee slopes.  At lower elevations, rain-soaked snow is now mostly supportable although punchy.  Up high you'll find deep, somewhat heavy powder and some pretty substantial drifts.  I found reasonable trail-breaking conditions today as the heavy new snow allowed me to float fairly well.  You might find tricky riding conditions especially at higher elevations, where one slip off a beaten track might lead to auguring-in the machine and needing the helping hand of your buddy.

Avalanche Conditions:

Snowfall this week came in nice even increments, which allowed the snowpack on most slopes to adjust to the new weight before more came. No one reported avalanches today in the Logan area, and I didn't observe any naturals during this morning's clear spell.  The heavy wet snow appears to be holding on well to most slopes, and the suspect buried weak layers seem to be able to bare the new load.  Natural avalanches will be unlikely on Friday, but the weight of a person might be enough to trigger one in lots of places.   I'm still able to find a clean shear under a foot-and-a-half to three feet of freshly deposited snow, and I triggered several ominous shooting cracks today.  I am concerned that any avalanches you might trigger on steep wind-drifted slopes could be significantly large to be quite dangerous.  Most steep slopes in the region haven't been tested with this week's new load, and I plan to give them a bit more time before I really stick my neck out. 

Rapid solar warming could easily be an issue on Friday if the sun's warmth is trapped by some lingering cloudiness. Very warm temperatures fed by a southerly wind are likely even at high elevations on Saturday.  As all the fresh new snow is initially warmed, the surface could get saturated and wet avalanches will be increasingly possible on steep sunny slopes.

Bottom Line:

There's still a CONSIDERABLE danger in the backcountry, with avalanches possible on many  slopes steeper than about 35 degrees with significant deposits of wind-drifted snow.  Upper elevation slopes facing north through southeast are the most suspect.  On the majority other steep slopes in the region, the danger is MODERATE.  Wet, new-snow avalanches will be increasingly possible with solar warming.

 Mountain Weather:

 Once any residual moisture clears out of the region, a ridge of high pressure will bring fair weather and warming temperatures tomorrow.  Southwesterly winds will pick up early Saturday ahead of the next quick-hitting Pacific storm.  Forecast mountain temperatures are ridiculously high, and heat related issues may cause problems in the backcountry.  It looks like we could get another quick foot or so and more westerly winds Saturday night.  The early part of next week looks fairly dry.

General Information: 

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 Friday night. I will update it again on Saturday morning by about 7:00.

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.