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, Tuesday March 4, 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 Tuesday March 4th, 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 Voile USA.

Current Conditions:   The National weather service has issued a Snow and Blowing Snow Advisory for the mountains surrounding Cache Valley through early tomorrow morning.  Expect a few inches of accumulating snowfall today and gradually diminishing northwest winds.  Strong west winds at elevation overnight drifted any available transportable snow off windward and onto leeward slopes, building out cornices and forming stiff drifts and hard slabs. The CSI weather station on Logan Peak reports northwest winds averaging in the teens this morning, but overnight average speeds for several hours were in the mid-thirties and the station reports gusts up to 58 mph.  It is now ten degrees at 9400’ and 30 down in Logan Town.

  Avalanche Conditions:  

 A ski area in the Ogden Area triggered a few medium sized hard wind slab avalanches with explosives yesterday including one at lower elevations on a north facing slope.  Probably a good thing most people are avoiding obvious drifts and hard slabs in the backcountry. The winds most certainly have been the major factor since the weekend, and a few hard wind slabs probably built up in areas with existing buried weak layers, (weak snow photos).  

Overnight much of the lingering and available soft snow was blown into the trees, hard wind slabs continued to develop in fetch areas, and huge cornices built-out and got huger.  You should watch for and avoid large cornices and obvious drifts or wind slabs on steep slopes. A few inches of new snow later today might obscure these potential hard slab traps.  Possible clues include smooth, chalky looking or stiffer feeling snow, hollow drum-like sounds, or shooting cracks.  Soft wind slabs consisting of drifted new snow may well become an issue on some steep slopes later in the day with significant deposits of new snow.


Bottom Line:  Overall there’s a MODERATE danger in the backcountry, and triggered wind slab avalanches are possible on slopes steeper than about 35 degrees.  Pockets with a CONSIDERABLE danger can be found in exposed upper elevation terrain on steep slopes with significant deposits of wind drifted snow.  Heavy snowfall and strong winds could cause a more widespread danger, with a few long-running natural new snow avalanches possible tonight.   Use good snow assessment and safe travel techniques and avoid steep drifted slopes in the backcountry today.

  Mountain Weather: The National weather service has issued a Snow and Blowing Snow Advisory for the mountains of Northern Utah through 4:00 tomorrow morning.  The Bear River Range will pick up 3 to 5 inches today and an inch or two overnight tonight, with gradually diminishing northwest winds.  We’ll see lingering clouds and a few snow showers tomorrow and then gradually warming conditions for the balance of the work week.  The next storm looks to be about a week out….

General Announcements: 

The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center in Logan is presenting an Avalanche Fundamentals, Level 1 Class (Certification), starting March 14, with field sessions on the 15th, and 22nd.  Please register in advance with the Friends via e-mail or for more information contact [email protected].

 Check out the images page for photos of some of this season’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.

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.