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, Sunday March 16, 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 Sunday March 16th, 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 Import Auto.

Current Conditions:  North winds may be fairly strong in the mountains today, and if so that will likely cause a fair amount of drifting at upper elevations with several inches of fluffy new snow on shady slopes still unaffected by solar heating.   I found fun and smooth, not-so-dust-on-crust conditions this weekend and there are many slopes across the region where you can find safe and enjoyable conditions.  I was quite impressed in the past couple days by the powerful heating produced by even short windows of higher angle sunshine between clouds.

 Its 10 degrees at 9400’ and it looks like the wind sensor at the CSI weather station is still rimed-up, so local northeast windspeeds are unknown.  They’re from the northeast and light to moderate on Mount Ogden.  The Central Bear River Mountains picked up a couple inches of new snow in the 24 hours with Beaver Mountain showing 3 inches on the remote depth sensor.

  Avalanche Conditions: 

It was an active day in the Central Wasatch Range backcountry on Friday with several sizable triggered and natural avalanches reported, including a few with people taking unexpected and potentially dangerous rides.  It was somewhat active again in the canyons above SLC yesterday, with notoriously persistent small faceted or sugary grains to blame (Wasatch Advisory).  Locally, with less new snow, we have much less of a problem with persistent slabs….However, I observed some fairly sizable natural loose wet avalanches yesterday on sunny slopes in Wood Camp involving the few inches of fresh snow.   And by mid-afternoon we were able to initiate small wet avalanches on steep west facing slopes in the area.

Triggered soft and stiffer wind slab avalanches are possible on steep upper elevation slopes with significant deposits of drifted snow.  The danger of persistent slabs will be greatest on drifted slopes in exposed upper elevation terrain and on slopes with existing weak layers facing the northern third of the compass.

Don’t be betrayed by the somewhat shallow new snow; you may find even smallish wet 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 far or fast.


Bottom Line: 

There’s a MODERATE danger in the backcountry and triggered wind slab or wet avalanches are possible on slopes steeper than about 35 degrees.  You might trigger persistent or fresh wind slab avalanches in exposed upper elevation terrain on steep slopes with significant deposits of drifted snow.  There’s a LOW danger and avalanches are unlikely at lower elevations and in sheltered terrain and on slopes with less than around a foot of new snow.  Solar warming could cause a MODERATE danger of wet avalanches on steep slopes with saturated surface snow.


Mountain Weather: The National Weather Service has continued a Snow Advisory for the northern mountains as a Pacific trough moves on through the state.  A few inches of snow are likely to accumulate.  A dirty ridge of high pressure will build into the region for the coming week, but we may be brushed by a few systems passing to our north and some snow is possible.

General Announcements: 

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.