Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Logan Area Mountains Issued by Toby Weed for Friday - January 5, 2018 - 7:09am
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Snow in the backcountry is gradually stabilizing, but areas with heightened avalanche conditions could still exist on steep northwest through east facing slopes at upper elevations. Dangerous human triggered avalanches are becoming less likely, but remain possible on steep slopes with poor snow structure.

  • Evaluate snow and terrain carefully.
  • A ride in even a small avalanche could be particularly dangerous due shallow snow and the potential for being dragged through rocks below.

special announcement

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. All proceeds go towards paying for avalanche forecasting and education!

current conditions

The Tony Grove Snotel at 8400' reports 33°F and 40 inches of total snow containing 97% of normal SWE (Snow Water Equivalent). It's 29°F at the 9700' CSI Logan Peak weather station, and the wind is from the south, 10 mph with a 32 mph gust. There's not really any powder and upper elevation slopes were hammered by last week's sustained west wind, but sheltered shady slopes have nice soft and fast recrystalized surface snow. The snow continues to stabilize, and no new avalanches were reported so far in the new year.

  • The Tony Grove Road is not maintained for wheeled travel in the winter.
  • Shallow snow conditions exist, and I've seen several badly damaged sleds in the past week. Travel cautiously and keep your speed down.

We found variable riding but great digging conditions in the Tony Grove Area yesterday

recent activity

No avalanches were reported recently...

  • On 12/26/17, a very lucky 20-year-old rider was rescued by his party after being caught, carried, mostly buried, and pinned against a tree in Boss Canyon near the Idaho State Line in the Franklin Basin Area. View the Report

Here's a view looking down the Boss Canyon avalanche. The avalanche was on a very steep north facing slope in deep timber.

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

Persistent slab avalanches are possible on steep slopes with poor snow structure. We found reasonably good stability yesterday in the Tony Grove Area, but slopes with suspect poor snow structure probably exist in some areas in the Logan Zone, especially in previously drifted, shallow rocky areas and in outlying terrain. With clear dry nights, the snow in the backcountry continues to become faceted and weak.

  • Pay attention to possible signs of instability like cracking and whumpfing or collapsing. But remember these signs are not always present when persistent avalanches occur, and you have to dig into the snow to confirm or discount poor snow structure.
  • Avoid stiff previously drifted snow in steep terrain near ridges and in and around terrain features like gullies, saddles, rock bands, scoops, and sub-ridges.

High pressure aloft will persist across the region through tonight. A weak storm system will cross the area Saturday into Saturday night, with high pressure quickly returning on Sunday.
Today: Partly sunny, with a high near 43. Southeast wind around 10 mph becoming west in the morning.
Tonight: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 28. West wind 7 to 10 mph becoming south southeast in the evening.
Saturday: Snow likely. Cloudy, with a high near 35. South southeast wind 10 to 14 mph becoming southwest in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

Models are now in good agreement that a stronger Pacific storm with potential to bring widespread and significant snow to most of Utah will impact the area in the middle of next week. Keep your fingers crossed, and stay tuned. We'll be watching this one carefully.

general announcements

We're excited to introduce for the 2017/2018 winter the Utah Avalanche Center podcast, hosted by forecaster Drew Hardesty and produced by KUER's Benjamin Bombard. The podcast will include engaging stories, interviews, and lessons learned - all things avalanche to help keep people on top of the snow instead of buried beneath it - and easily found on ITunes, Stitcher, the UAC blog, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Now is a great time to practice companion rescue techniques with your backcountry partners. Here's our rescue practice video.

Go HERE for a list of UAC classes.

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 observations. 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.