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

Saturday December 8, 2007

Hello and good morning, this is Toby Weed of the Utah Avalanche Center with your Logan Area backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Itís Saturday December 8th and itís about 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.

†††††††††††† Current Conditions:

Although we didnít pick up anywhere near as much snow as points to our south, itís good to finally see more than an inch or two pile up on our dismal snowpack.The Tony Grove Snotel at 8400í so far picked up about 10 inches of new snow from the storm, and thereís 22 inches on the total snow stake this morning.Just south of the Logan forecast zone, the Ben Lomond Peak Snotel picked up 2.5 inches of water and probably a bit over 20 inches of snow in the last 48 hours.South winds on Logan Peak have remained on the low side throughout the storm while temperatures steadily dropped, now reading 13 degrees at 9400í.

Powder conditions at upper elevations steadily improved yesterday, with the new snow filling in and smoothing out old tracks on the popular grassy slopes south of Tony Grove Lake.Driving up the Tony Grove Road is likely to be a challenge today with the new snow on an icy base, so if you try it be prepared to get yourself unstuck.The snow is still too shallow for off trail riding, but folks have been having fun on the snow covered roads in the high country. Remember, with a high concentration of different types of users on the Tony Grove Road itíll be necessary to keep your speed down especially when you pass pedestrians.

††††††††††† Avalanche Conditions:

No avalanches reported in the Logan Area, but yesterday I triggered numerous shooting cracks and a few audible collapses.The shallow preexisting snow is cursed by brittle crusts sandwiching layers of loose facets.

This weekend the sacred fresh white stuff is falling on a mixed bag of old snow surface conditions, and in many places itís piling up on shallowly buried facets or weak, rotten granules resembling large sugar grains. This problem exists on upper elevation shady slopes that had snowcover before Thanksgiving. The new snow is creating a slab which may avalanche if underlying weak snow fails. Itíll take a certain load to cause such a failure, and as the new snow piles up your additional weight on a slope might just be enough.

Watch for obvious signs of instability like woomphing noises, hollow sounding drifts, and shooting cracks.

Bottom Line:

Thereís a CONSIDERABLE danger today and you probably could trigger an avalanche on some upper elevation north facing slopes steeper than about 35 degrees. The danger is MODERATE in most other areas, with triggered avalanches possible. An increase in wind speeds may cause the danger to rise or become more widespread.

Mountain Weather:

A heavy snow warning continues for the region, but weíll see a slow down or even a bit of a break in the snowfall for a few hours Today. 5-9 more inches are forecast through tonight.Things should taper down to showery conditions tomorrow.An active and wintry pattern is in store for next week.

General Information:

††††††††††† The 4th Annual Pray for Snow Fundraiser/Party last night was a big success!Thanks for showing your support.

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

Please e-mail backcountry observations to me at [email protected] or leave me a message at 755-3638.

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.