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.


       The Utah Avalanche Center Home page is: http://www.avalanche.org/~uac/

             (click on) Utah Avalanche Center in Logan for our home page           


Logan area Avalanche statement

Saturday December 15, 2007

Hello and good morning, this is Toby Weed of the Utah Avalanche Center with your Logan Area backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  It’s Saturday December 15th and it’s 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:

There’s good powder conditions in the backcountry, but expect to find hidden rocks if you venture off smooth grassy slopes or roadways. It’s a chilly 3 degrees at the Campbell Scientific weather station at 9400’ feet on Logan Peak, with a 20 mph wind blowing from the northwest.  With luck, we’ll get an inch or so of snowfall during the day today.  There’s only 23 inches on the ground at the Tony Grove Snotel containing 3.1 inches of equivalent water.  That’s 1/3rd of the average for the date.  I’ve found thin snow cover across the Bear River Range, with around 2’ of snow or less on most slopes, even at the highest elevations. 

It’s a good idea in the early season to practice with all your rescue equipment.  I recommend putting a transmitting beacon in your pack and burying it for you partners to find using their probes.  Now is a good time to work out any bugs in your party’s rescue preparedness.  

            Avalanche Conditions:

We’ve received reports of two more human triggered avalanches in the backcountry near Brighton in the Central Wasatch.  These were in the same area where an accident occurred on Thursday, with approximately 3’ deep slabs releasing on weak sugary snow from before Thanksgiving.  The snow near the surface and throughout the pack is weakening under the influence of the sustained arctic temperatures.  Sublimation and resultant faceting is taking the stored energy out of last week’s slab structure, while creating potential future problems with weak snow.

 Although no avalanches have been reported in the Logan Area the potential still exists on some steep shady slopes at upper elevations.  You can tell a lot by poking around on suspect slopes.  Watch for slopes with both a slab and a buried weak layer. Slab avalanches up to around 2’ deep are possible on some slopes. Watch for obvious signs of instability like collapsing or woomphing noises, hollow sounding snow, and shooting cracks, and reassess your route if any of these red flags are present.  You might encounter some smallish wind slabs in exposed terrain at upper elevations.

Bottom Line:

  Due to lack of snow and resulting terrain anchors, there’s a LOW danger in most places. However, the danger is MODERATE on some shady upper elevation slopes steeper than about 35 degrees. Human triggered avalanches are possible in areas with weak preexisting snow.

Mountain Weather:

Very cold temperatures and a few snow showers will persist over the region today as an active weather pattern continues.  A weak ridge of high pressure will remain over the region this weekend, keeping a lid on valley inversions.  A storm system well to our north will bring clouds and a minor threat for a few snow flakes today and tonight.  The ridge will weaken on Monday ahead of a moist Pacific storm scheduled to affect the region on Tuesday and Wednesday.  What this storm lacks in dynamics may be made up for with copious amounts of moisture.  Another, more potent system is on track for later in the week.   

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'm very interested to know what you're seeing out there.  Please e-mail observations to me at [email protected] or leave me a message at 755-3638, especially if you see or trigger an avalanche in the backcountry. We keep all observations confidential.

This advisory will expire in 24 hours from the posting time.

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.