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

Monday April 3, 2006

Hello, this is Dave Kikkert with the Logan area backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory from the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center.  It's Monday April 3rd at 9:30 pm.  This advisory is brought to you in part by the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center in Logan with help from The Trailhead.

Mountain Weather:

A winter storm watch goes into effect at noon for a storm approaching from the southwest and expected to impact out area primarily Wednesday into Thursday.  Tuesday will be warm, with high temperatures in the mid 40's at 9,000' and near 50 at 7,000'.  It should be mostly cloudy in the morning with rain showers possible, increasing by midday.  Southwest winds will be near 30 mph with the initial rain / snow line near 9,000'.

Current Conditions:

My tour today felt more like a hike in the tropics than a day in the mountains.  As far as I can tell it was the warmest day of the year on Logan Peak, with a high of 40The snow got damp and sticky on most slopes today, including mid elevation shady slopes. Continued warm temperatures and rain will bring much of the same tomorrow.  There may still be some drier snow on the uppermost northerly facing slopes; however it doesn't seem worth wallowing through the low and mid-elevation mush, not to mention the rain.

Snow and Avalanche Conditions:

Unfortunately, a 27 year old snowboarder died Monday in a out-of-bounds area near Brighton Ski Resort.  Initial reports indicate that the avalanche was triggered when a large cornice the man was traveling on collapsed.  For more information go the the Utah Avalanche Center.  Tuesday, continued warm temperatures will cause cornices to be cranky and sensitive, and large cornices should be avoided.  The warm temperatures are also making the snowpack cranky and wet avalanche activity is the main concern Tuesday as well as some wind-slabs along the highest ridges.  The snow on most slopes got wet today, with many mid and lower elevation slopes getting soggy all the way to the ground.  Overnight lows are forecast to be in the mid 30's at 8,000' and many low and mid-elevation slopes will likely not get more than a superficial refreeze.  Tuesday, the combination of saturated snow, warm temperatures and rain will make wet-avalanches possible on steep slopes below 9,000'.  Southwest winds will be in the 30-35 mph range on Tuesday.   While there is not a whole lot of snow to move around, there should be enough to form some shallow, hard slabs on the lee side of ridges and around the usual terrain features.  I would expect these drifts to be mostly near ridgelines at the higher elevations. 

Bottom Line:

There's a MODERATE avalanche danger on any slope steeper than about 35 degrees with wet, saturated snow as well as on upper elevation wind-drifted slopes steeper than about 35 degrees.  If we get significant rainfall tomorrow the danger of wet avalanches may rise to CONSIDERABLE on some steep slopes. 

General Information: 

If you're confused by some of our avalanche terms check out the cool new Avalanche Encyclopedia

For a list of recent avalanches in the regional backcountry go to Avalanche List.  Snow nerds, check out the new Snow Profiles page.  Check out our Images Page for pictures of recent local avalanches.

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...

Toby Weed will update this advisory Tuesday evening.

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.