Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Logan Area Mountains Issued by Toby Weed for Thursday - March 15, 2018 - 7:01am
bottom line

There is MODERATE danger in the backcountry. Heightened avalanche conditions exist, and human triggered avalanches are possible.

  • Evaluate snow and terrain carefully.




current conditions

Temperatures dropped a few degrees below freezing at all stations overnight, and a several inches of snow fell in the mountains. A few more inches of snow is expected today, with forecast temperatures hovering just below freezing. An increasing moderate southwest wind will drift the fresh snow at upper elevations into lee slope avalanche starting zones. Heightened avalanche conditions exist, with human triggered storm snow, wind slab, loose wet, and more dangerous persistent slab avalanches possible.

  • The Tony Grove Snotel at 8400' reports 5 inches of new snow with 0.5" SWE in the last 24 hrs. It's 25°F, and there's 68 inches of total snow, with 84% of normal SWE.
  • It's 19°F at the 9700' CSI Logan Peak weather station this morning, and there's a 5 to 10 mph southeast wind, gusting to around 20 mph.

recent activity

In the past couple very warm days, natural wet loose avalanches have been running off the mountains in the Logan Zone like hot candle wax.

Natural wet avalanche activity on the west face of Cherry Peak, 3/13/18


Yesterday, I found what looks a recent natural avalanche off Providence Peak in 3 Terraces Bowl. The 2' deep. 100' wide persistent slab avalanche was a few days old. It appears to have been naturally triggered by cornice fall.

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

Shallow soft slabs and loose avalanches involving last night's storm snow are possible, mainly at upper elevations. Increasing moderate southwest wind will drift the fresh snow in exposed terrain, and cause a rising danger of wind slab avalanches and cornice falls.

  • Avoid drifted snow in and around terrain features like sub-ridges, gullies, and cliff bands.
  • Stay well clear of ridge-top cornices, which often break further back than expected and can trigger avalanches on steep slopes below.
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

Heightened persistent slab avalanche conditions exist in areas with shallow snow and poor snow structure. The warmth from the past several days softened the slab layer, increased the creep and glide rate of the snow, and moistened up weak sugary faceted layers.

  • Wet or heat related persistent slab avalanches are still possible today in areas with saturated weak snow.
  • Avoid steep rocky or forested slopes with shallow snow cover and poor snow structure.
Avalanche Problem 3
type aspect/elevation characteristics
LIKELIHOOD
LIKELY
UNLIKELY
SIZE
LARGE
SMALL
TREND
INCREASING DANGER
SAME
DECREASING DANGER
over the next 24 hours
description

Cooler temperatures will help, but snow is still soft and saturated in some areas. Natural and triggered loose wet avalanches are possible at lower and mid elevations.

  • Roller balls, pinwheels, and natural sluffs indicate possible loose wet activity
  • Move off and out from under steep slopes if you are sinking into slushy or sticky snow
weather

The broad area of high pressure aloft across the western states will generate a warming trend across Utah through the end of the week.

  • Today: Snow showers. Some thunder is also possible. High near 31. West southwest wind 7 to 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
  • Tonight: Snow showers likely, mainly before midnight. Cloudy, with a low around 18. West southwest wind 7 to 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.
  • Friday: A 30 percent chance of snow showers after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 32. South southwest wind 8 to 15 mph. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
general announcements

We have discount lift tickets for Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, Solitude, Snowbasin,and Beaver Mountain. Details and order information here. All proceeds from your purchase go towards paying for avalanche forecasting and education.‚Äč

Episode 6 of the UAC podcast "A Conversation with Tom Kimbrough, Hemingway of the Wasatch" is live. We explore ideas about lifetime exposure to risk and what role Buddhism has played in his life as a climber, skier, and soon-to-be octogenarian. We talk about what has changed over the years in snow science and the role of mentorship in the world of avalanche forecasting and other professions and pursuits. Check it out on ITunes, Stitcher, the UAC blog.

The UAC Marketplace is online. The holiday auction is closed, but our online marketplace still has deals on skis, packs, airbag packs, beacons, snowshoes, soft goods and much more.

The UAC has new support programs with Outdoor Research and Darn Tough. Support the UAC through your daily shopping. When you shop at Smith's, or online at Outdoor Research, REI, Backcountry.com, Darn Tough, Patagonia, NRS, Amazon, eBay a portion of your purchase will be donated to the FUAC. See our Donate Page for more details on how you can support the UAC when you shop.

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 Check it out 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.

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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 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.