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 18, 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 Monday February 18th, 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 Black Diamond.

Current Conditions: The snow in the backcountry is generally supportable, and you can ride almost anywhere, but itís getting a bit harder to find any untracked and desirable terrain.†† With some knowledge of the local terrain or willingness to explore, you can find reasonably good reconstituted and shallow powder conditions on sheltered slopes facing the northern third of the compass.Most likely youíll also encounter less than perfect snow conditions along the way.Exposed slopes at upper elevation are wind damaged in everyway possible from strong winds during the last week from just about every direction. Sunny slopes are crusted at all elevations, and you might even find some nice smooth, firm, and spring-like snow on a few slopes in the morning.The winds at the CSI weather station on Logan Peak are currently out of the northeast and have been from the northwest overnight with hourly wind speeds averaging in the teens and gusting into the 30 mph range.Itís currently 10 degrees up at 9400í and a chilly 3 down here in the foggy valley.

Avalanche Conditions:†† Folks were able to find and trigger a handful of wind slabs in the Central Wasatch backcountry over the weekend at the highest elevations or on very steep slopes.Nobody has reported avalanches locally since Valentine's Day when there were several natural wind slab releases (photo)  (2-14 photos).

 

After several windy days and a short blizzard last week, sustained northwesterly winds over the weekend formed drifts with the small amount of available snow unbound by existing sun-crusts.Some wind slabs probably formed in avalanche starting zones plagued by weak frost crystals or surface hoar and/or a slick rime or sun-crust.You might trigger fresh or older wind slabs on very steep slopes, especially at the highest elevations.Remember that hard wind slabs tend to be rather stubborn, meaning they might allow you to get well out on them before releasing.

The solar oven effect may come into play in sheltered sunny terrain and wet avalanches may be possible around midday on warmth softened slopes.Remember to leave or reassess your route if the snow on the slope youíre on gets moist and sloppy.

 

†† Bottom Line:Overall today youíll find a LOW danger in the backcountry and avalanches are generally unlikely.However, there are some pockets with a MODERATE danger, and avalanches are possible on a few steep slopes.You might trigger wind slab avalanches on very steep slopes in exposed upper elevation terrain or loose wet avalanches on a few sheltered mid-elevation sunny slopes.Avoid obvious drifts or moist surface snow on steep slopes and use good snow assessment and safe travel techniques to minimize your risk.

†† Mountain Weather:†† A storm passing to our north and east will bring cloud cover and a chance for a little snowfall today.West winds will gradually shift around from the north.Expect similar conditions as another storm grazes by tomorrow.Itíll dry out, bringing fair weather to the region in the first part of next week.A moist and productive system looks to be lining up for later in the week.

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

Check out the images page for photos of some of last weekís 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.