Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Logan Area Mountains Issued by Toby Weed for Tuesday - December 15, 2015 - 7:13am
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MODERATE (level 2): ​Heightened avalanche conditions exist and you could trigger dangerous persistent slab avalanches on slopes steeper than about 30 degrees in drifted terrain, mainly at upper elevations. Evaluate the snow and terrain carefully and continue to practice wise travel protocols.

current conditions

Much less snow fell in the Central Bear River Range than in Logan City. The Tony Grove Snotel at 8400' reports only about 5 inches of light fresh accumulation yesterday, containing only 0.2" of water. There's 27 inches of total snow at the site containing 64% of average water content for the date. Northwest winds are drifting some of the light snow around, with the CSI Logan Peak weather station currently reporting single digit hourly average wind speeds, and it's 7 degrees at 9700' this morning.

Very weak faceted snow is widespread at mid and upper elevations in the Bear River Range, and it's now capped by a rather inconsistent rime or rain-crust. A heavier slab layer is now developing on top of the loose faceted snow.

Loose faceted snow crystals plague the shallow snowpack in the Logan Zone, now capped by plaster-like heavy snow and rime from last week. (12-8-2015)

Very shallow, early season conditions exist, and you are still likely to hit rocks or woody debris in most areas. The Tony Grove Road is not maintained in the winter for wheeled vehicles, and road conditions are icy, snowy, drifted-in and treacherous, so come prepared. As far as I could see, only sledders made it very far up the road last week. The Tony Grove Area is a shared use area and very popular in the early season, so please watch your speed, use patience, and be respectful of other users. For easier access to the shallow powder, Beaver Mt. allows uphill travel and appreciates early season users packing down the weak snow. Remember while the lifts are closed, the area is considered backcountry.

It's time to dust off and check the condition of your avalanche rescue equipment. Review and practice Companion Avalanche Rescue with our video..........HERE****

recent activity

Ski areas in the Ogden and Salt Lake Area mountains report some activity from control work yesterday, with mostly loose new snow activity, but a few triggered avalanches stepping down to the rocks involving old weak and sugary snow. No avalanche activity has been reported in the Logan backcountry recently.

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

Very weak faceted snow is widespread across the zone at mid and upper elevations. Last week's moist snow and rime capped the sugary old snow with a plaster-like coating. This will probably hold things together for a little while and allow a heavier slab to form. In some areas the very weak snow will be overloaded more quickly than it will in others. Heightened conditions exist on drifted slopes in the Central Bear River Range, and dangerous conditions may exist at upper elevations in some other areas in the Logan Zone, on slopes where significant new snow accumulated. Drifted upper elevation terrain in the Wellsville Range and in the upper reaches of the Front Canyons are the most suspect, with potentially dangerous conditions on any steep slope with a foot or more of new or drifted accumulation. Pay close attention to signs of unstable snow like whoompfing and shooting cracks, and be willing to reevaluate your plans. In these conditions you might trigger avalanches remotely, from a distance or worse, from below!


Snow is likely in the mountains today but little is expected in the way of measurable accumulation. 8500' high temperature of around 20 is expected, along with moderate north northwest winds that will push the wind chill factor down to around 0 degrees F. It'll be mostly cloudy tonight, with a low temperature around 8 degrees, stronger north northwest wind, (with wind speeds expected in the upper teens), and a chance for a little snow. Unsettled, wintery weather is expected to continue through the week.

general announcements

Please submit snow and avalanche observations from your ventures in the backcountry HERE. You can call us at 801-524-5304 or email HERE, or include #utavy in your Instagram or Tweet us @UAClogan. To report avalanche activity in the Logan Area or to contact the local avalanche forecaster call me, Toby, at 435-757-7578. 

I'll update this advisory throughout the season on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday mornings by about 7:30

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.