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 Advisory

Saturday January 19, 2008

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 January 19th, 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 Avalanchetools.com.

 Current Conditions:

Temperatures should warm up some today as the flow shifts around from the west ahead of an incomming arctic storm system.  A westerly wind appears to be intensifying a bit as I write, with the Campbell Scientific weather station on Logan Peak now reporting 30 mph gusts.  Its already a balmy 8 degrees at 9400’.  Upper elevations picked up several inches of fluff in the last few days, with the Tony Grove Snotel reporting ˝ inch of water equivelent gain in the last 72 hrs.  There’s 70 inches of total snow on the ground containing 85% of the average water for the date.  We’ve been able to find nice powder conditions across the Bear River Range, especially on sheltered slopes.

Avalanche Conditions:

 No significant recent avalanches reported or observed in the Logan Area.  As the next storm approaches, I like to look closely at future suspect layers and keep an eye on potential weaknesses developing on or near the snow surface.  The top foot of the snowpack is now varied and complex, with preserved weak snow, sun and wind crusts, and light density fluff all in the mix.

 Earlier in the week in some exposed areas, strong north winds built small wind slabs on small grained sugary snow called near surface facets.  Now buried under a few inches of powder, some of these tricky old hard wind slabs could still be sensitive to your weight, perhaps allowing you to get out on them a ways before releasing.  New wind slabs will develop today as westerly winds will easily drift the light surface powder into upper elevation starting zones. These should be fairly obvious, smooth and chalky in appearance, and perhaps somewhat hollow sounding.

I still must mention the unlikely possibility of dangerous and un-survivable deep slab avalanches.  There may be isolated slopes in the region where a deep slab is not well anchored to underlying smooth terrain and where it is thin enough for the instability to be activated by your weight or that of a smaller overrunning wind slab avalanche.  It will likely take a large trigger to initiate such an avalanche, so be wary of putting more than one person and one sled on a slope at one time.  A few of you weighting a suspect slab together might just do the trick.            

 Bottom Line:

  There’s a MODERATE danger on steep drifted slopes and wind slab avalanches are possible in exposed terrain, especially at upper elevations.  The danger is generally LOW in sheltered terrain and on the majority of steep slopes in the backcountry.  Although currently unlikely, deadly triggered deep slab avalanches are still possible on isolated slopes with existing weak snow near the ground.  Use good snow assessment and safe travel techniques to minimize your risks.

 Mountain Weather:

  A warmer westerly flow aloft is in store for today and is already apparent on Logan Peak.  A cold storm is forecast to move slowly southward over the region, bringing periods of heavy snowfall to the mountains by Sunday evening.  A solid foot of snow is likely in the mountains by Monday morning.   Stormy and arctic conditions are likely to persist for a few days, complete with blowing and drifting snow and a very cold wind chills.

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.

The second annual avalanche awareness ride is Saturday Feb. 2nd and we’d love to see all of you there!  Proceeds help to support snowmobile specific avalanche awareness projects. Details can be found at http://www.avarides.com/

- January 24th, 26th and 27th, Avalanche Fundamentals, Level 1 Class (Certification), presented by Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center in Logan. Classroom, Thursday 6:00 at the Logan Ranger District offices at 1500 E. hwy 89… ($90, Please pre-register with the friends at [email protected]) Field Sessions, Saturday and Sunday January 26th and 27th, 8:00

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.