Utah Avalanche Center in Logan


 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


December 26, 2006

Hello, this is Dave Kikkert with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory from the Utah Avalanche Center in Logan.  It's Tuesday December 26th, Boxing Day, and its about 8 pm.  This advisory is brought to you in part by the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center in Logan with help from Import Auto.

Current Conditions:

Its currently a warm 26 degrees on Logan Peak with a westerly wind around 25 mph.  It has been windy in the Logan Area Mountains since Christmas evening, with hourly averages between 25 and 30 mph, with stronger gusts.  You can still find some dense, settled powder on shady slopes protected from all the wind.  However, there isn't much snow at low elevations.   Remember to stay on route with your machine until you get up high to where there's plenty of snow, so as to avoid resource damage

Avalanche Conditions:

At upper elevations, the persistent westerly wind has scoured many windward slopes down to the rocks and deposited the snow on the lee sides of ridges, forming stiff wind slabs.  Today, I was able to trigger a hard slab avalanche in upper Bunchgrass Canyon by dropping a refrigerator sized cornice block onto the slope below.  The avalanche was about 2 feet deep, 150 feet wide, and ran about 150 feet downslope.    Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures to post; however you can find a profile of the crown here.  The slab ran on a thin layer of facets formed last week.  The problem with these harder wind slabs is that they are often a bit more stubborn and may allow you to get out on them before releasing.  Also, new snow Wednesday and Thursday could push the slabs on some slopes closer to their tipping point, in addition to forming new drifts.  Outside of wind-affected terrain, the snowpack appears quite stable. However, I would keep in mind the lingering potential for an isolated hard slab avalanche on steep, shady, and shallow or rocky slopes above about 8500'. 

Bottom Line:

There is a MODERATE avalanche danger on steep, upper elevation slopes with recent deposits of wind-drifted snow.  This means that human triggered avalanches are possible and that there are places out there where you could trigger an avalanche.  If we get a lot of snow Wednesday and Thursday, the avalanche danger could rise to CONSIDERABLE, especially if accompanied by strong winds. 

Mountain Weather:

A complex looking pacific storm system will move through the region beginning late tonight and continuing into Thursday morning.  While exact timing and amounts are uncertain, the National Weather Service has issued a snow advisory for the mountains of northern Utah from 10 pm this evening into Thursday morning.  The forecast is for 10 inches of snow at upper elevations by Wednesday night, with more possible by the time things wrap up Thursday.  Winds are forecast to be from the southwest Wednesday near 20 mph.

General Information:

***Check out images of last weekend's impressive hard slab avalanches........... And new pictures of a large avalanche in Upper White Pine Canyon.

The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center-Logan will present the 3rd annual fundraiser on Friday, January 19th at the Bullen Center in downtown Logan.

Toby Weed will update this advisory by Thursday evening.  Advisories are updated on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and weekend mornings by about 7:00.   Logan Area advisories are accessible through the new statewide toll-free avalanche information line at, 1-888-999-4019.

Please send backcountry observations to [email protected] or leave us a message at 755-3638, especially if you see or trigger an avalanche in the backcountry.  I'm a little starved for information from you these days.  Your observations are necessary, and the information you provide may save lives. 

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.