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

January 02, 2007

Hello , this is Toby Weed of the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  It's the second day of 2007, Tuesday January 2nd, and its 9:00 in the evening.  This advisory is brought to you in part by the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center in Logan with help from Voile.

Current Conditions:

We found nice soft re-crystallized snow today at upper elevations on non-wind-damaged slopes facing west, north, and east.  South facing or sunny slopes and off-aspect mid-elevation slopes are a bit variable and crusty.  You can ride and turn anywhere, but you'll find a shallow snowpack with many shallowly buried obstacles except at the highest elevations.  The snow in the Central Bear River Range is generally supportable, with a nice widespread surface layer of settled or reconstituted  powder.  Unfortunately, snow conditions are wind-blasted, sun-crusted, and somewhat punchy in other areas like the Wellsville Wilderness and the Dry and Garden City Canyon Areas.  In some places where the snow is shallow, you sink into bottomless sugary or faceted snow to the ground.

Avalanche Conditions:

Avalanches are generally unlikely on steep slopes in the region, but you could still trigger rouge wind slab avalanches on very steep slopes in isolated terrain.  Today's 20 mph northwesterly winds did not build many apparent sensitive drifts, but on Wednesday, the winds will shift around from the southwest and snowfall may commence by afternoon.  With the storm, fresh drifts will form, many on top of existing weak surface snow, and the avalanche danger in the backcountry will likely rise by Thursday.  It's a little early to speculate, bit it's possible that some slopes may get enough of a load with this storm to activate old buried weak layers.  In other words, there's a chance that some avalanches later in the week could step down into old snow and be dangerous and destructive.

For cool pictures of some of 2006's avalanche activity, including last week's avalanches, visit our Images Page.

Bottom Line:

There's a LOW  avalanche danger on most slopes in the backcountry, and avalanches are generally unlikely.  You should continue to use normal caution and safe backcountry travel techniques.  West winds today will cause a MODERATE danger in exposed terrain on steep slopes with fresh deposits of stiff wind deposited snow.  You might trigger wind slab avalanches on upper elevation slopes facing the eastern half of the compass.   Accumulating snowfall accompanied by moderate southwesterly winds on Wednesday night will probably cause the overall danger in the backcountry to rise to MODERATE by Thursday.

Mountain Weather:

A moist westerly flow will develop over the region on Wednesday, with pre-frontal precipitation in the form of snowfall beginning by evening.  The cold air will arrive on Thursday and should intensify precipitation.  This storm will probably split once again, with the brunt of the energy heading to the south, but hey, we'll take what we can.

General Information:

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.

These advisories are updated on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and weekend mornings by about 7:00.  This advisory will expire on Wednesday evening.  I will issue an updated advisory on Thursday evening.  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.