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

7:30, Monday February 11, 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 Monday February 11th, at 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 EK USA.

Current Conditions:  A freezing mist driven by strong west winds in the Central Bear River Range on Saturday capped off the powder destruction with rime-crust formation on the snow surface at all elevations.  The crust ranges from thick and even supportable on exposed west facing slopes to thin and zipper-like in more sheltered east and northeast facing terrain.  A thin surface crust in some areas was also reported by an observer near Logan Peak, but it doesn’t sound like the rime event was as widespread in the Southern Bear River Range and the hateful crust may not even exist in sheltered terrain. Expect slightly cooler temperatures, moderate northwest winds, cloud cover, and perhaps a few snowflakes in the mountains today.

  Avalanche Conditions:  A few bus-sized chunks of cornice rolled down the middle of the main Cornice Ridge bowl over the weekend, and there were a few wet avalanches and lots of roller balls on sunny slopes.  Otherwise, things appear fairly well locked up. Yesterday, I could still see some lingering evidence of last Thursday’s natural wind slab avalanche cycle.  Mostly blown-in crowns and a few deposition piles are apparent at all elevations, but most of the avalanches were fairly small and not many are still visible. Cooler temperatures, a northwest breeze, and cloud cover should shut down wet avalanche activity on all but the lowest elevation slopes today.

You might find a few lingering sensitive cornices and isolated wind slabs on very steep slopes in exposed terrain.  Last week slabs formed on a few slopes plagued by buried persistent weak layers and although now unlikely, there’s still a possibility that you might trigger a dangerous avalanche in places.  I’m still leery of lower elevation slopes with generally shallow and hence, weaker snow.

   Bottom Line:  There’s a LOW danger and avalanches are generally unlikely on most steep slopes in the backcountry.  However, pockets with a MODERATE danger of slab avalanches exist on isolated slopes steeper than about 40 degrees with significant deposits of previously wind-drifted snow, and a few large cornices could still be sensitive to your weight.  Use good snow assessment and safe travel techniques to minimize your risk.

   Mountain Weather:   Expect moderate northwest winds, cloud cover, and a few light snow showers today, with less than an inch of accumulation likely.  A high pressure system will control the weather pattern tomorrow with mostly sunny skies and mountain temperatures warmer by as much as 10 degrees.  An energetic storm will affect the region on Wednesday, but most of the energy will probably be focused to our south.

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

Check out the images page for photos of some of last week’s avalanches.

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 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.