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, Saturday April 5, 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 Saturday April 5th, 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 Simmons Flexi-Ski of Providence.  

Current Conditions:

We should see cloud-cover and cooler temperatures today, which should slow down the melting.   There’s still a bit of nice spring powdery snow on upper elevation north facing slopes in the backcountry, but heating from the intense high-angle spring sun in the last few days melted the fresh surface snow down into slush and there are now surface crusts on most other slopes.   Even though you can ride anywhere these days, you should be sure to keep motor vehicles in terrain that’s open.  Riding on public lands designated as “closed to motor vehicles” or as a National Forest Wilderness only jeopardizes the future of our sport, and fines for MV trespass have been recently increased.  (MV wilderness trespass photos) .    It is currently 18 degrees at the CSI weather station at 9400’ on Logan Peak with a gradually diminishing wind from the northwest now averaging in the mid teens.

  Avalanche Conditions: 

It was active on Thursday, with several triggered slab and loose wet avalanches reported in the backcountry of Northern Utah.  At least two people were caught and carried by avalanches in steep terrain in the Central Wasatch and one of these was injured while escaping to the flank of the avalanche into rocks.  Locally, a snowmobiler triggered a wind slab under the large cornice on Cornice Ridge and natural wet avalanches have been fairly common on steep sunny slopes in the heat of the last couple days, (new photos).

Freshly formed and isolated lingering wind slabs exist in exposed terrain and along the highest ridge-lines.  Triggered wind slab avalanches continue to be possible on very steep upper elevation slopes with significant deposits of drifted snow.  Drifts should be fairly obvious, and you should avoid them on steep slopes.

The huge cornices in the region now present an obvious danger, especially when it’s windy or warm.  Large cornices may well still be sensitive to your weight today and may break further back than you expect.   It is always a good idea in the spring to stay out from under these monsters,  


Bottom Line: 

  There’s a LOW danger on most slopes steeper than about 35 degrees in the backcountry, and avalanches are generally unlikely.  The exceptions and pockets with a MODERATE danger can be found on very steep and exposed upper elevation slopes where freshly formed and lingering wind slabs exist along with some huge overhanging cornices.  Wet avalanches may become possible on some steep slopes this weekend as warmth from intense spring sunshine turns the crusty surface snow into slush.

Mountain Weather: Should be mostly cloudy today with a chance for a little snowfall.  The next cold front will move through the region tomorrow night and bring a better chance for a few inches of snowfall through Monday.  Expect an active spring weather pattern in the next five days with temperatures staying 5 to 10 degrees cooler than normal.

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.