Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Logan Area Mountains Issued by Toby Weed for Saturday - January 25, 2014 - 7:02am
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While the danger is LOW on many slopes, heightened avalanche conditions remain in places, and there's a Level 2 or MODERATE danger in the backcountry. You could trigger dangerous and destructive persistent slab avalanches on slopes with poor snow structure, where a thicker or more cohesive slab sits on top of very weak sugary or faceted snow. The danger is greatest in extreme terrain and on very steep drifted upper elevation north, northeast, and east facing slopes that have not already avalanched. Shallower areas on an existing slab are potential trigger points. Although unlikely, in some areas you still might trigger dangerous avalanches remotely, meaning from a distance or below. Evaluate the snow and terrain carefully, and continue to avoid very steep previously drifted slopes.

current conditions

It's a good weekend to get out in the backcountry, with clean air, fair weather, and mostly stable snow conditions. I found nice supportable, fast, and smooth riding conditions yesterday, with lower angled terrain the most fun, but we're starting to drop through deteriorating supportable surface snow into loose bottomless facets again, especially at mid elevations. Supportable snow up high is allowing for fast and efficient travel, though sunny slopes are a bit crusty and lots of upper elevation slopes are wind-jacked or scoured to the ground. The Tony Grove Snotel at 8400' reports 29 degrees and 46 inches of total snow containing 75% of average water content for the date. It's 25 degrees at the 9700' Logan Peak weather station, and I'm reading west northwest winds averaging around 16 mph this morning Heightened avalanche conditions remain on steep slopes in the backcountry, mainly at upper elevations.

Rippled surface snow from north facing terrain in Providence Canyon. 1-24-2014 (Pagnucco)

recent activity

Many large natural avalanches on upper elevation slopes in the Logan Area Mountains from almost two weeks ago are still quite visible, like this one in upper Cottonwood Canyon in the Mount Naomi Wilderness. (Flygare)

  • No new avalanches were reported locally since last Friday, 1-17-2014, when a Utah rider triggered a large deep slab avalanche above Bloomington Lake in southeast Idaho. He was caught and carried, but was able to accelerate out of and escape the avalanche as it hit the lake with huge pile of debris and enough force to break the ice around the shores of the lake. Report....... HERE
  • On 1-11-2014, a Utah rider triggered and was caught, carried and fully buried and injured by a very large deep slab avalanche north of the Idaho State Line. More info. .. HERE
  • On 1-13-2014, a 19-year-old rider was caught and completely buried by a HUGE avalanche in the "Fairgrounds" on the east side of Logan Peak. Remarkable story and accident report...... HERE
  • Evidence of a widespread natural deep slab cycle was well observed during fair weather in the last week. See your observations and photos HERE

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

Despite widespread poor snow structure, general snow stability is gradually increasing with time, and it is growing ever more unlikely that you could trigger a dangerous persistent slab avalanche. Problem is, if you do trigger one, it could be large, destructive, and potentially deadly. The chance of triggering large and destructive deep or persistent slab avalanches is diminishing, but you still might trigger large and destructive avalanches, especially on very steep previously drifted slopes at upper elevations that didn't avalanche during the impressive cycle almost two weeks ago. Very steep, rocky, north, northeast, and east facing slopes above around 8000' in elevation are the most suspect. Although now rather unlikely, it still may be possible to remote trigger deep slab avalanches in some areas, and you might be able to trigger large avalanches from the flats below very steep slopes... Audible collapsing and shooting cracks are relevant red flags.


It'll be mostly sunny again today, with 8500' high temperatures around 34 degrees and a moderate northwest wind. High pressure conditions and the inversion will control the valley weather through at least the weekend. A weather disturbance dropping out of Western Canada will likely graze our region on around Monday, and some light snowfall is possible and colder air likely in the mountains of northern Utah. Hopefully enough cold air to turn over the inversions and let some fresh air into the valleys. The models hint at a change to a more moist pattern toward the end of the week, with small storms breaking down the ridge pattern and perhaps bringing us a little snow.

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

general announcements

For a safer powder option; Discount lift tickets are available at Backcountry.com - Thanks to Ski Utah and the Utah Resorts, including Beaver Mountain. All proceeds go towards paying for Utah Avalanche Center avalanche and mountain weather advisories.

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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.

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I'll issue these 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.