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

Sunday December 9, 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 Sunday December 9th 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 Import Auto.

†††††††††††† Current Conditions:

Lots of you got out this weekend to enjoy the fine powder conditions at upper elevations, but most of the people I talked to also reported hitting rocks. I noticed numerous wheeled vehicles made it all the way up the snow packed road to Tony Grove Lake.Remember, the road is not maintained in the winter, and you have to be prepared to get yourself unstuck.As usual in the early season you have to share the road with lots of different users and itíll be necessary to keep your speed down especially when you pass pedestrians.

††††††††††† Avalanche Conditions:

Control work at ski areas in the Central Wasatch continues to produce full depth avalanches, and there were a few close calls in the backcountry near SLC.Even with a few people getting up into upper elevations in the Bear River Range no avalanches have been reported in the Logan Area.Iím still getting reports of woomphing, which means unstable conditions exist.The shallow preexisting snow is cursed by brittle crusts sandwiching layers of loose facets. My pit tests show a fair amount of variation, but the most notable included very easy failures on a thin layer of facets from around Thanksgiving and moderate compression failures in areas with sugary depth hoar on the ground. The slab depths where I dug were in the 20Ē range.

This problem exists on upper elevation shady slopes that had snowcover before Thanksgiving. The new snow is the upper part of a slab which may avalanche if underlying weak snow fails. Itíll take a certain load to cause such a failure, and your additional weight on a slope might just be enough. Watch for obvious signs of instability like collapsing or woomphing noises, hollow sounding drifts, and shooting cracks.

Bottom Line:

The danger is MODERATE on most upper elevation slopes steeper than 35 degrees areas, with human triggered avalanches possible. However, there are still a few pockets with a CONSIDERABLE danger on upper elevation north facing slopes in some areas.

Mountain Weather:

A fast moving cold front will move southward over the region today in route to the Four Corners Region where it will stall and be fueled by tropical moisture.Light snow is possible this afternoon and evening in the Northern Mountains with accumulations of an inch or two possible.The next chance for decent snowfall in our area comes on Thursday evening.A potentially potent storm may be shaping up for the coming weekend, with the timing looking like Saturday night.

General Information:

††††††††††† The 4th Annual Pray for Snow Fundraiser/Party Friday 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.