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


7:30, Friday March 14, 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 Friday March 14th, at 7:30 in the morning.  Today’s advisory is brought to you in part by the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center in Logan with help from Beaver Mountain.

Current Conditions:  Winds and snowfall diminished overnight, but a few inches of somewhat heavy new snow will do wonders to help smooth out the well-worn and heavily tracked old snow in the backcountry.  Yesterday we found solid and supportable refrozen snow under a couple inches of fresh on sunny slopes and softer re-crystallized snow in shady areas.  Currently northwest winds are averaging less than 5 mph at the Campbell Scientific weather station on Logan Peak and its 14 degrees.   The Snotel at Tony Grove picked up about 7 inches of new snow containing 9/10ths of an inch of water in the last 24 hours.

  Avalanche Conditions:  We’ve received numerous reports from yesterday of small, easily and intentionally triggered soft slab avalanches and new snow sluffs in the Northern Utah backcountry and ski areas.  These soft new snow avalanches were less than a foot deep and up to around 50’ wide.  In most cases, failure appeared to be occurring within the new snow; a slabby or heavier layer capping a thin layer consisting of lighter and weaker stellar snowflakes.  We triggered a few small soft slabs and sizable sluffs yesterday during the storm in the Wellsville Canyon Area, and we noted better apparent stability on sunny crusted slopes than on shady slopes with softer underlying old snow.

Triggered soft wind slab avalanches and sizable sluffs will again be likely today on steep slopes.  These new snow avalanches should mostly be quite manageable and should present much less danger to someone on a fast sled than to a fallen skier or a pedestrian hiking up a gully.  Avalanches are most probable in exposed upper elevation terrain and on slopes facing the eastern half of the compass. 

Beware the Ides of March…..Don’t get overconfident or fooled by the somewhat shallow but heavy new snow; you may find small avalanches entraining lots of mass.  Many avalanche slide paths in the area are well filled-in and smooth, so even relatively small avalanches might run fast and far.

Bottom Line:  There’s a MODERATE danger in the backcountry and triggered new snow avalanches are possible on slopes steeper than about 35 degrees.  In exposed terrain there may be some slopes with significant deposits of drifted snow and a CONSIDERABLE danger, most likely on upper elevation slopes facing the eastern half of the compass.  That means on these slopes you are likely to trigger avalanches and a few naturals are not out of the question.

Mountain Weather: The National Weather Service will continue a Snow Advisory for the mountains through noon, but we’ll see little additional accumulation as the action slides southward.   A moist westerly flow will continue through the weekend, but it doesn’t look like we’ll see a period with exceptionally heavy snowfall.  Expect an inch or two today and an inch or two tomorrow. 

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.