Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Logan Area Mountains Issued by Toby Weed for Monday - January 8, 2018 - 6:53am
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Avalanche conditions will get more dangerous in the next couple days, as rain, heavy snow, warm temperatures, and strengthening wind create a slab overloading widespread weak sugary or faceted snow. Heightened avalanche conditions exist in the backcountry today, and human triggered avalanches are possible.

  • Use normal caution.
  • Evaluate snow and terrain carefully.




special announcement

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.

current conditions

The Tony Grove Snotel reported 5 inches of new snow over the weekend, containing 0.5" SWE (Snow Water Equivalent). It's 30°F at 8400' and there's 43 inches of total snow containing 98% of normal SWE . It's 29°F at the 9700' CSI Logan Peak weather station, with 15 mph south wind, with gusts around 40 mph. A few inches of very welcome and nice (although somewhat moist) new snow freshened things up nicely in the backcountry.

  • The Tony Grove Road is not maintained for wheeled travel in the winter.
  • Shallow snow conditions exist, and we've seen numerous badly damaged sleds recently. The new snow will hide rocks and down trees.
  • Travel cautiously and keep your speed down.

recent activity

No avalanches were reported over the weekend, but one party reports triggering a large collapse or whumpfing sound, which indicates instability. The second person in the party to cross the slab up-track initiated the collapse on a west facing slope above Swan Flat Rd at around 8600'.

There was a close call 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

Avalanche Problem 1
type aspect/elevation characteristics
LIKELIHOOD
LIKELY
UNLIKELY
SIZE
LARGE
SMALL
TREND
INCREASING DANGER
SAME
DECREASING DANGER
over the next 24 hours
description

Persistent slab avalanches are possible, mostly on steep shady or north facing slopes with poor snow structure. Slopes with suspect poor snow structure exist in previously drifted shallow rocky areas, and in outlying terrain. Sugary faceted snow is so weak in some areas that the few inches of moist snow that fell over the weekend might be enough to cause avalanches.

  • Pay attention to possible signs of instability like cracking and whumpfing or collapsing. But remember these signs are not always present when persistent slab avalanches occur, and you have to dig into the snow to confirm or discount poor snow structure.

  • I triggered some full depth cracking at low elevations in the Wellsville Range on Friday.

Avalanche Problem 2
type aspect/elevation characteristics
LIKELIHOOD
LIKELY
UNLIKELY
SIZE
LARGE
SMALL
TREND
INCREASING DANGER
SAME
DECREASING DANGER
over the next 24 hours
description

Gradually increasing south and southwest wind ahead of the incoming storm will drift the fresh snow in exposed terrain, depositing it on leeward slopes and in and around terrain features. Shallow wind slab avalanches consisting of drifted fresh snow are possible, especially where last week's surface snow was exceptionally weak.

  • Wind slab avalanches up to around a foot deep are possible in exposed terrain at upper elevations.
  • Watch for and avoid stiffer drifted snow on the lee side of major ridges and in and around terrain features like sub-ridges, cliff bands, gullies, and scoops.
  • In sheltered terrain, shallow soft slab avalanches and loose snow avalanches or sluffs consisting of dry or moist fresh snow are possible in steep terrain.
  • A ride in even a small avalanche could be particularly dangerous due shallow snow and the potential for being dragged through rocks below.
weather

Looks like a good moisture producing storm setting up, and we expect plenty of snow in the mountains of northern Utah. A low pressure system advancing toward the California coast will pump moisture north across the region the next couple of days. The low pressure will track east across Arizona midweek, resulting in periods of rain and snow across Utah beginning late this afternoon and continuing through Wednesday. The rain/snow line will be fairly high tonight and tomorrow, expected at around 8000' ‚Äč

  • Today will be mostly cloudy, with a high temperature at 8500' near 39°F. South southwest wind around 15 mph.
  • Snow is likely tonight. Low around 31°F. South southwest wind 16 to 21 mph. 1 to 3 inches of snow possible.
  • Snow is likely tomorrow, mainly after 11am. Cloudy, with a high near 39°F. Breezy, with a south wind 16 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 39 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
general announcements

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!

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.