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 April 7, 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 Monday April 7th, 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:

If you’re still trying to decide This could be the last day you’ll be able to find any nice cold and dry snow, since it’ll warm up significantly over the weekend.


e National Weather Service in Salt Lake City has issued a Heavy Snow Warning  for the mountains of Northern Utah for this morning through 8:00 tonight.  The mountains around Logan should pick up several inches of new snow today, with up to a foot possible on favored high elevation slopes. It is currently 18 degrees at the CSI weather station at 9400’ on Logan Peak, and after averaging less than 10 mph overnight, a west wind picked up a bit of steam in the last couple hours and is now averaging in the low teens.  

  Avalanche Conditions: 

Not much to report as far as recent avalanche activity across the state is concerned.  We’ve received reports of a few small and easy to deal with ridge-top wind slabs in the Central Wasatch.  Locally, on Friday a snowmobiler triggered a wind slab under the large cornice on Cornice Ridge, and natural wet avalanches were fairly common on steep sunny slopes last week, (photos).

As today’s snow piles up on steep slopes, the avalanche danger will rise.   Freshly formed or forming soft slabs consisting of today’s new snow will likely be the biggest threat, with dry sluffs and cornice falls also possible.  For the most part, potential new snow avalanches should be easy to initiate and very manageable, but you’ll want to pay attention to the possible consequences of even small avalanches.  It doesn’t take a whole lot of moving snow to push you into or through trees or to pile up deeply in one of our numerous avalanche collecting gullies.   The huge cornices in the region now present an obvious danger, especially when it’s stormy, windy, or warm.  Large cornices could 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 off of and out from under these monsters.

I don’t expect much of a problem with wet avalanches today, but as soon as the intense, high angled spring sun comes out and temperatures rise back up near normal for this time of year the fresh snow will quickly become saturated and prone to wet avalanching.  This scenario is likely to play out in the next few days, and you should avoid steep slopes with saturated surface snow. 


Bottom Line: 

  There’s a LOW danger this morning in the backcountry, and avalanches are generally unlikely.  The danger will rise to MODERATE and triggered soft slab avalanches and dry sluffs will become more possible as today’s new snow piles up on steep slopes, especially in exposed upper elevation terrain. The danger of wet avalanches will increase on steep slopes with saturated fresh snow in the next couple days, as soon as the intense spring sun peaks out or temperatures rise to near normal for this time of year.

Mountain Weather: A Pacific Storm will affect the region today, with 6 to10 inches of accumulation likely and more possible in favored upper elevation areas.  It should clear up as a shot-lived high pressure system builds in overnight.  The next storm will move into the region late tomorrow and linger into Wednesday.  Looks like a warming trend for later in the week.

 General Announcements: 

                  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 motor vehicle trespass have been recently increased.  (MV wilderness trespass photos)

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. 

As the kids are out on spring break, I’m heading south for a few days and will not update this advisory as usual on Wednesday.  I will issue advisories for the coming weekend, with the next on Friday.  Go to the Wasatch Advisory for updated and relevant backcountry avalanche information.

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.