Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Logan Area Mountains Issued by Toby Weed for Monday - December 18, 2017 - 6:49am
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Snow in the backcountry is stable and the avalanche danger is Low.

  • Avalanches are unlikely, but possible in some isolated, very steep, or drifted terrain.
  • Use normal caution. Avoid fresh wind drifts in steep terrain.

special announcement

Don’t know what to buy your favorite skier for Christmas? Discount lift tickets for Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, Solitude, Deer Valley, Snowbasin,and Beaver Mountain are now available, donated by the resorts to benefit the Utah Avalanche Center. Details and order information here. These make a great holiday gift and all proceeds go towards paying for avalanche forecasting and education!

Now is a great time to sign up for an avalanche class. Go HERE for a list of UAC classes.

current conditions

The mountains picked up an inch or two of fresh snow over the weekend, which capped widespread weak snow consisting of sugary facets and potato chip sized surface hoar. The Tony Grove Snotel at 8400' reports 21°F and 27" total snow containing 85% of average SWE (Snow Water Equivalent). It's 19°F at the 9700' CSI Logan Peak weather station, with west-southwest wind currently blowing around 15 mph, and gusting to 31 mph. Observers report nice smooth dust-on-crust conditions with shallow powder on smooth settled snow in more sheltered terrain.

  • There is more total snow and better coverage in the central and northern Bear River Range and at upper elevations.
  • Shallow early season snow conditions exist, and hitting rocks or stumps is a significant hazard. Travel cautiously and keep your speed down.
  • The Tony Grove Road is not maintained for wheeled travel in the winter.

Weak surface snow develops during periods of high pressure. Feathery surface hoar is actually frost growing on the snow surface 12/14/17.

Super-sized surface hoar (12/15/17)

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

We've noticed and observers report increasing instances of localized shallow collapses and cracking. A layer consisting of very weak faceted snow directly above the solid Thanksgiving crust appears to be gradually getting weaker and will certainly be a matter of concern with future loading.

Backcountry snow is mostly stable now and avalanches are unlikely. Even so, small avalanches are possible, especially freshly formed wind slabs at upper elevations in isolated, very steep, or extreme terrain.

  • Drifting will continue to create shallow wind slabs on upper elevation slopes, and some may be sensitive to human triggers.
  • Avoid fresh drifts in steep terrain near ridges and in and around terrain features like gullies, saddles, rock bands, scoops, and sub-ridges.
  • Sluffs or loose avalanches entraining dry surface snow are possible in steep terrain.
  • A ride in even a small avalanche could be particularly dangerous now due to hard underlying snow and real potential for being raked through rocks or deadfall below.

High pressure will bring dry and mild conditions to Utah early this week. A cold Pacific storm system will generate warm and windy conditions early Wednesday, followed by much colder temperatures and snow late Wednesday through Thursday. It'll be cloudy today in the Logan Zone, with 8500' high temperature near 31°F and west-southwest wind 7 to 10 mph. Mostly cloudy tonight, with a low around 24°F and south wind around 8 mph. Tomorrow will be partly sunny with a high temperature near 36°F and 7 to 11 mph south wind.

general announcements

With rather meager snow conditions and nice weather in the mountains, now is a great time to practice companion rescue techniques with your backcountry partners.

EMAIL ADVISORY: If you would like to get the daily advisory by email you will need to subscribe here.

Benefit the Utah Avalanche Center when you shop from Backcountry.com or REI: Click this link for Backcountry.com or this link to REI, shop, and they will donate a percent of your purchase price to the UAC. Both offer free shipping (with some conditions) so this costs you nothing!

Benefit the Utah Avalanche Center when you buy or sell on ebay - set the Utah Avalanche Center as a favorite non-profit in your ebay account here and click on ebay gives when you buy or sell. You can choose to have your seller fees donated to the UAC, which doesn't cost you a penny.

Remember your information can save lives. If you see anything we should know about, please help us out by submitting snow and avalanche conditions. You can also call us at 801-524-5304, email by clicking HERE, or include #utavy in your tweet or Instagram.

This advisory is from the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content. This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur.