Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Logan Area Mountains Issued by Toby Weed for Wednesday - December 18, 2013 - 7:19am
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Heightened avalanche conditions exist and there's a Level 2 or MODERATE danger on drifted slopes at upper elevations. Avoid steep rocky and drifted terrain and steep slopes with a stiffer slab above weak faceted or sugary snow where you still might trigger dangerous wind slab avalanches. A ride in any size avalanche could be very nasty due to lack of snow in runout zones. Very shallow and rocky early season snow conditions exist across the Logan Zone. Evaluate the snow and terrain carefully.

current conditions

The Tony Grove Snotel at 8400' reports 35 degrees this morning, and there is 22 inches of total snow containing 52% of average water equivalent for the date. The 9700' Logan Peak weather station reports 28 degrees and south southwest winds averaging around 30 mph, with gusts in the mid forties earlier this morning. Conditions are quite variable, wind-jacked and sun-crusted in exposed terrain, rotten and unsupportable in more sheltered and shady areas. Hitting buried rocks is becoming more likely in more places because the shallow snow pack continues to weaken and become even more unsupportable. The Tony Grove Road is not maintained for wheeled travel in the winter, and the road is currently very snowy, icy, and treacherous in places. A sled or a 4-wheel-drive vehicle and chains are recommended. You still have to stay on the roads or in smooth grassy meadows with your sled or you'll sink right through the sugary snow, and you could do significant damage to your sled or yourself by hitting rocks. The lifts at Beaver Mountain are still closed due to shallow snow conditions, but they allow you to hike uphill, and welcome the help packing out what's there.

Faceted snow is widespread, very weak and getting weaker. This photo was taken on 12-17-2013 in the White's Bedground Area off Red Pine Ridge.

A video observation from Red Pine Ridge 12-17-2013 is HERE

recent activity

Other than a few sluffs, no significant avalanches were recently reported or observed in the Logan Area. But, on Monday I triggered several good audible collapses and shooting cracks in Steep Hollow. These are red flags indicating the existence of unstable snow.

Avalanche Problem 1
type aspect/elevation characteristics
over the next 24 hours

Heightened wind slab avalanche conditions continue in upper elevation terrain. In some areas wind slabs built up on top of preexisting very weak sugary or faceted snow, which is widespread in the region. You'll find wind slabs in exposed terrain, especially in and around terrain features like gullies, scoops, sub-ridges, rock outcroppings and cliff bands. You don't want to be caught and carried by any size avalanche, with very shallow snow and sharp rocks in runout zones. Collapsing and/or shooting cracks are obvious red flags requiring you to reevaluate your route, and you should continue to avoid steep rocky and drifted terrain in the backcountry.


Expect mostly sunny skies in the mountains again today, with 8500' high temperatures around 41 degrees and moderate west southwest winds. Clouds will move in and southwest winds will increase a bit overnight and we could see a little snow. Snow is likely tomorrow, but accumulations look light, with less than an inch of accumulation forecast. Unsettled and moist weather should continue through the weekend, with more (significant?) accumulations possible Friday Night and Saturday...

Check out our one stop weather page........HERE

general announcements

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Remember your information can save lives. If you see anything we should know about, please participate in the creation of our own community avalanche advisory by submitting snow and avalanche conditions. You can also call us at 801-524-5304 or 800-662-4140, email by clicking HERE, or include #utavy in your tweet or Instagram.

I'll issue advisories on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday mornings. 

This advisory is produced by the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content. It describes only general avalanche conditions and local variations always exist.