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

Tuesday January 8, 2008

Hello and good morning, this is Toby Weed of the Utah Avalanche Center with your Logan Area backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Itís Tuesday January 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 Import Auto.

†††††††††††† Current Conditions:

A couple inches of cold fluff fell overnight in the mountains, only making backcountry conditions a bit more powdery. Most upper elevation slopes picked up a good two feet over the weekend, and area Snotel sites reported 2 to almost 4 inches of accumulated snow water equivelent.Deep snow from the weekend storms caused difficult travel conditions yesterday, with trail breaking or getting the sled stuck the main issues.This kept us out of trouble, as most of the big avalanche paths in the region stayed unattainable and so remained untrackedÖSaturdayís wet wind-blasted snow set up like plaster once temperatures dropped, but we found good powder conditions up in Franlin Basin yesterday, thanks to Sundayís nice additional foot of graupely snowfall.Itís a chilly 3 degrees at the 9400í Campbell Scientific weather station on Logan Peak with a 15 to 20 mph west wind.Expect increasing snowfall and winds this afternoon into evening.

††††††††††† Avalanche Conditions:

We have reports of a large intentionally triggered avalanche in the Central Wasatch Range backcountry, and ski areas continue to report sizable explosive triggered avalanches. Locally; I could see evidence of natural soft slab and wet avalanches from Saturday, but I didnít see any not covered by Sundayís graupel-filled powder.Reports of solid feeling conditions, free of red flag indicators from the Logan Peak Area jive with my own observations from Franklin Basin.

The problem, and a good thing, is that the potential Deep Slab instability caused by faceted or sugary snow near the ground is now so deeply buried that your weight alone is probably not enough to activate it.So, you might not get any tell-tail signs of danger until you actually trigger the slab from a shallow spot. Potential large hard slab avalanches could be several feet deep, very broad and deadly.Possible trigger spots include rocky or generally shallow areas, like cliffy areas or upper elevation slopes scoured by previous northwest winds.

Starting this afternoon, increasing snowfall and strengthening southwest winds will cause a rising danger.Watch for the dangerous combination of depth hoar and recent drifting at mid and lower elevations.

†††††††††††††† Bottom Line:

There is a MODERATE danger and you could trigger dangerous avalanches on some steep slopes in the backcountry, mainly in exposed upper elevation terrain.Use good snow assessment and safe travel techniques to minimize your risk.With heavy snowfall and strong wind in the forecast, the danger will likely rise and become more widespread this evening and overnight.

†††††††††††††† Mountain Weather:

As yet enother winter storm approaches, the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the mountains of Northern Utah for midday today through tomorrow evening.Light snow will develop this afternoon and intensify tonight.A southwest wind will also intensify tonight, shifting from the northwest tomorrow but likely remaining strong and gusty.Snowfall in the mountains will be heavy at times tonight and tomorrow.

General Information:

I will give a free avalanche awareness talk for snowmobilers at Renegade Sports on Thursday January 10th at 7:00.

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.