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.


                        The Utah Avalanche Center Home page is:

                                          (click on) Utah Avalanche Center in Logan for our home page           


Logan area Avalanche advisory

January 7, 2007

Hello and good morning, this is Toby Weed of the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  It's Sunday January 7th, and its 7:10 am.  This advisory is brought to you in part by the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center in Logan with help from

Current Conditions:

Snow fell for much of the day yesterday in the mountains, and it was quite windy.  Westerly winds sustained hourly averages in the 30 mph range for most of the day, with gusts near 60 mph recorded on Logan Peak and almost 90 mph on Mount Ogden.  Yesterday's snow was fairly light and fluffy, and Snotel sites recorded a congruous 3/10ths of an inch of water accumulation across the region.  I found great powder riding and turning conditions, bit I couldn't see more than a few feet in front of my face.  With the light fluffy snow and the roaring winds yesterday afternoon, my tracks filled in almost as quickly as I could make them.  Even in the shelter of the forest, I completely lost my up-track to the drifting powder, not 20 minutes after I had put it in.  Very poor visibility and wind chill kept most of us off of exposed ridges at upper elevations, and most observers reported early departures from the backcountry due to the rather extreme weather. 

Avalanche Conditions:

Nobody reported avalanches yesterday, but I think most of us were hiding in sheltered terrain or long gone by the time things really got active.  By around 2:00, I was able to trigger some small soft slab avalanches on steep test slopes.  At one point, my presence initiated shooting cracks about a foot deep, which propagated from my skis about 30 ft in either direction across the lip of a steep rollover. There were several reports of triggered soft slab avalanches in the Wasatch Range yesterday, with a number of these remotely triggered.  So far all of these included only new snow and none stepped down into existing buried weak layers.  I'm a bit uncertain about avalanche conditions today.  Yesterday's accumulated snow was light and fluffy, and my tests showed fairly good stability.  On the other hand, I did not get into the exposed terrain I'm most concerned about, and I completely avoided steep wind drifted slopes even in the generally sheltered terrain where I was.   Keep in mind that yesterday's fresh drifts might be today's triggered stiff or soft wind slab avalanches,  and in places these could be 2 to 3 feet deep.  Today you'll need to watch for and avoid fresh drifts near ridge-tops or cross-loaded around terrain features like gully walls, rock outcroppings, or sub-ridges.   Significant drifting also occurred at mid-elevations and in areas that are generally sheltered.  Any steep slope with a significant deposit of wind drifted snow is suspect today.

Bottom Line:

Today there's generally a MODERATE avalanche danger, with triggered avalanches possible on steep slopes in the backcountry.  In exposed terrain and on steep slopes with significant recent deposits of wind drifted snow however, triggered wind slab avalanches are probable, and the danger is CONSIDERABLE.  The danger is not limited to, but is most prevalent on upper elevation north through southeast facing slopes steeper than around 35 degrees.  Avalanche training and experience are certainly essential for safe travel in exposed upper elevation terrain today.

Mountain Weather:

Clouds will roll back in over the region today, but more than a flake or two of snowfall is unlikely.  It will start to warm up a bit in the mountains, with today's high temperature forecast to climb into the mid-twenties.  A west wind will increase this afternoon and be fairly strong overnight, and a few inches of snow may accumulate at upper elevations.  High pressure will build into the region for Monday and Tuesday.  A potentially potent Pacific storm will begin to affect the region on Wednesday as a deep trough of low pressure develops over the Great Basin.  Look for a potentially productive weather pattern next week, with a series of juicy storms possible.

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.

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

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