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

Sunday January 28, 2007:

Hello, this is Toby Weed of the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your Logan Area avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  It's Sunday January 28th, and it's 7:00 in the morning. This advisory is brought to you in part by the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center in Logan, with help from

Current Conditions:

You need to get above the valley haze, breathe some fresh air, and stop complaining about the snow conditions.  It'll be mostly sunny again in the mountains today, with high temperatures at 9000' forecast near 30 degrees.  Trail and track conditions are very good thanks to the hard work of the various groomers.  Un-groomed trails are a bit choppy, but you'll find enjoyable conditions once you're up at higher elevations.  Backcountry snow conditions are about as variable as they can get, and many areas are pretty well tracked out.  But hey, at least you can breathe, and you should enjoy what snow we have since springtime is fast approaching.

Avalanche Conditions:

Avalanches remain unlikely on most slopes in the region, but there are as usual some exceptions.  On very steep slopes with a shallow and weak overall snowpack you might trigger dry point-release avalanches or sluffs, and some may gouge down to the ground and involve a significant amount of snow.  Although these avalanches are generally controllable and even fun if you stay on your feet and out of the way, some could entrain enough snow to bury a fallen skier in a gully.  And you certainly don't want to let such a slide push you off a ledge or into a rock or a tree.  I haven't observed any recent slab avalanches and you haven't reported any, but there may be areas where a person might trigger small old rogue wind slab avalanches on a few very steep slopes. 

Although I've only been around the Logan Area for a few years, I'm now finding the weakest, rottenest snow I've yet seen in the region.  If you poke around in the mid-elevations and on slopes with shallow snow cover you'll see what I mean.  In particular, I'm concerned about a super weak layer consisting of large sugary grains made up of well developed depth hoar that's around a foot below the snow surface in many areas.  If it ever snows again (as it generally does this time of year) and a slab forms, significant full depth avalanches will become likely.  For today you should continue to practice safe travel techniques, take the time to practice rescue scenarios as a team, and avoid developing bad backcountry habits. 

Bottom Line:

 There's a LOW danger on most steep slopes in the backcountry, and avalanches are generally unlikely in the region.  There are some exceptions, and you could trigger loose dry point-release or small slab avalanches on isolated very steep slopes.  Significant sluffs are most possible on shady slopes at mid-elevations and in areas with shallow overall snow cover, while isolated slabs are an unlikely possibility on exposed slopes at higher elevations.  You should continue to use normal caution and proper backcountry safety protocols.

Mountain Weather:

 A light flow aloft won't allow much atmospheric mixing, and the smoggy inversion will stay in place for a while longer.  Some relief and mixing is possible around Wednesday night, with a chance for a little snow.  With an optimist's outlook, there's a possibility that this could open the door for a westerly flow, which could spell a threat of some warm advection snowfall favoring Northern Utah late in the week.

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.   This advisory will expire on Monday morning.  I will update again 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.