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

Saturday January 27, 2007:

Hello, this is Toby Weed of the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your Logan Area avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  It's Saturday January 27th, and it's 8:00 in the morning.  Sorry about the late posting, my computer crashed as I was working this morning.  This advisory is brought to you in part by the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center in Logan, with help from the Trailhead.

Current Conditions:

In far gone days when mariners relied on wind to fill their sails, they might be trapped for weeks by slight or no winds in the Intertropical Convergence Zone.  Becalmed sailors named the windless equatorial region sandwiched between the trade winds to its north and south the doldrums.  Imagine being stuck on a vessel for what must have seemed an eternity, with little hope of moving.  I can relate as a becalmed powder hound, with no change in the weather or snow conditions in sight.

With an optimistic outlook and a good attitude, you will find fun snow conditions above the murk afflicting the valley.  On shady mid-elevation slopes and in the trees you can find soft sugary snow that might remind you of powder, and there's nice  dust-on-crust conditions on shady slopes at upper elevations.  In places you sink deeply into rotten base layers, often  clear to the ground.  You have to be very cautious not to stick your ski tip under a branch or tag shallowly buried rocks.  It's getting pretty easy to spin your track into bottomless sugary snow at mid-elevations or in the dark forests where the snow is shallow and lacking substance.  With cooler temperatures today you'll find upper elevation sunny slopes supportable and many areas with fine spring-like corn snow conditions.

Avalanche Conditions:

Avalanches remain unlikely on most slopes in the region, but there are a few exceptions.  On very steep slopes with a shallow and weak overall snowpack you might trigger dry point-release avalanches or sluffs and although these are fairly controllable if you stay on your feet and out of the way, some could entrain enough snow to push you off a ledge or into a rock or a tree.  You should continue to practice safe travel techniques, practice rescue scenarios as a team, and avoid developing bad backcountry habits. 

Bottom Line:

On the majority of slopes in the backcountry there's a LOW danger and avalanches are generally unlikely in the region.  However,  you could trigger small soft slab or dry loose point-release avalanches on  very steep isolated slopes.  These are most possible on shady slopes at mid-elevations and in areas with shallow overall snow cover.  You should continue to use normal caution.

Mountain Weather:

Hope is rapidly diminishing for any kind of storm, fresh snow, or atmospheric mixing in the foreseeable future, and it looks like Cache Valley could be submerged in poisonous murk for some time to come.  Mountain temperatures will be in the mid twenties today, with light northwest winds, clouds developing, and a chance for a flake or two.

General Announcements: 

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 7:30.     I will update this advisory again on Sunday morning.  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.