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 statement

Wednesday April 4, 2007

Hello and good morning, this is Toby Weed of the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your Logan Area backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  It’s Wednesday April 4th and it’s 7:30 in the morning.  This advisory is brought to you in part by the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center in Logan with help from Avalanchetools.com.

Due to lack of snow in the backcountry we’ve discontinued our regular advisories for the season. We will continue to issue avalanche statements through the month of April for weekends or to reflect significant changes in weather or backcountry snow and avalanche conditions.

Current Conditions:

Spring is definitely here, and you can find supportable, smooth and soft conditions in the backcountry.  As usual in the spring, you’ll be rewarded for an early start by better and safer snow conditions, and you’ll have plenty of time for yard work or spring recreation options since you’ll also get back down to town early.  Mountain temperatures stayed well above freezing overnight and will likely warm into the 50s today.  Any surface refreeze won’t last long today.  The few inches of drifted fresh snow at upper elevations from Monday is a far cry from powder. It more closely resembles mashed potatoes and still needs to cook down for a while into friendlier firm corn snow.  We found better spring snow conditions yesterday on mid and lower elevation slopes.  With regional Snotel sites reporting a little more than 60% of average water in the snowpack and dry ground at lower elevations and on higher sunny slopes, we are looking at a much earlier end to the season than we’ve seen in the last couple years.  You should get out and enjoy the remaining snow while you can… Numerous avalanche paths in the region where large natural avalanches ran down to lower elevations in late February or early March offer reasonable access for those on foot and willing bushwhack a little.  

 The Franklin Basin Road is closed to wheeled vehicles due to muddy season conditions, and you must ride snowmobiles over snow and not on mud or sagebrush.  Motorized access to the backcountry is severely limited if not impossible from this and other melted-out trailheads.  You can park up on the paved, Tony Grove Road and access upper elevation snow, but expect congestion and a tight turnaround….

Avalanche Conditions:

Despite increasing cloud cover, mountain temperatures are forecast to be warm today in advance of a weak storm.  Loose wet avalanches will become more likely on all steep slopes as the snow heats up during the day.  These will entrain all of the soft surface snow and could reach a significant size, especially on big slopes.    Although you can normally escape wet point-release avalanches that you trigger, they can be quite dangerous to anyone in the line of fire.  It’s best to avoid problems, stay out from under steep slopes warmed by daytime heating, and leave when the new snow on the slope you’re on gets sloppy or saturated.

Sustained westerly winds in the last several days raked the fresh snow from exposed slopes and drifted it into fetch areas. Although only a couple inches of new snow fell on Monday, yesterday we found sensitive drifts in the 1’-1.5’ deep range on exposed slopes at upper elevations.  I noticed rapid stabilization of these during the day, but you might be able to trigger wind slab avalanches on a few very steep drifted upper elevation slopes. You should avoid any obvious drifts on steep slopes, and as always be cautious if you encounter stiff, wind-blown snow.    

Bottom Line:

We are no longer issuing danger ratings.  However, although currently generally unlikely, human triggered avalanches are possible on some steep slopes in the region.

Mountain Weather:

Expect increasing clouds, mild temperatures, and breezy conditions in the backcountry today.  Snow or rain showers are possible this afternoon, with little accumulation likely.  Mountain high temperatures will be in the 50s today and will hover around freezing tonight. Expect a clearing and warming trend as we head into the weekend.

General Information:

Check out photos of avalanches in the Logan Area on our images page.

Go to the Avalanche Encyclopedia if you have any questions about terms I use in the advisory.  I also recommend the recently-released Media Page, which shows the forecast danger for our coverage areas across the state.

Please e-mail me at [email protected] or leave me a message at 755-3638 if you see or trigger avalanches in the backcountry.  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.