Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Logan Area Mountains Issued by Toby Weed for Monday - March 19, 2018 - 6:44am
bottom line

Heightened avalanche conditions exist, and there is MODERATE danger in the backcountry. Human triggered cornice falls and wind slab avalanches are possible on drifted upper elevation slopes. Loose wet avalanches entraining saturated fresh snow will become more likely on sunny slopes as temperatures warm during the day.

  • Evaluate snow and terrain carefully.
  • Avoid overhanging cornices and steep drifted slopes at upper elevations, and sunny slopes with saturated snow.

I will update this advisory on Wednesday morning, 3/21




special announcement

Episode 7 of the UAC Podcast "Mastery and False Mastery - An Interview with 'Big' Don Sharaf" is live. With a snow career spanning over 30 years, Don has enough mileage in the mountains to have learned a thing or two, including the profound value of humility when staring into the face of the dragon. Listen in on our conversation about the idea of mastery and if such a thing can exist in the avalanche world. Check it out on ‚Äčthe UAC blog, ITunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.

current conditions

You'll find good shallow powder riding in the backcountry, with the best in sheltered upper elevation terrain. Heightened avalanche conditions exist, with human triggered cornice fall and wind slab avalanches possible at upper elevations. High angled spring sun will cause an increasing danger of loose wet avalanches entraining the weekend's fresh snow on sunny slopes.

  • The Tony Grove Snotel at 8400' reports 16°F, and there's 71 inches of total snow, with 85% of normal SWE.
  • UDOT Hwy 89 Logan Summit also reports 16°F, with 3 to 5 mph north winds.

recent activity

We noticed a few small soft triggered wind slabs and surface sluffs on very steep slopes in the Tony Grove Area yesterday. No other avalanche activity was reported from the backcountry over the weekend.

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

Human triggered cornice falls and wind slab avalanches 1 to 2 feet deep are possible in drifted terrain at upper elevations.

  • Wind slabs consist of denser drifted snow, they may be rounded and chalky looking, and are often hollow sounding.
  • Avoid stiffer drifted snow in and around terrain features like sub-ridges, gullies, scoops, 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

Solar heating from high angled spring sun will quickly saturate the fresh snow in sunny terrain and cause an increasing danger of loose wet avalanches or sluffs on steep slopes. Natural and triggered avalanches entraining the fresh snow will become increasingly likely as daytime temperatures warm up.

Quick note: Natural wet sluffs tend to catch more people than any other kind of natural avalanche.

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

Dangerous deep or persistent slab avalanches are unlikely yet still possible in isolated drifted areas with shallow weak snow. I've found suspect conditions recently on steep forested slopes, in shallow rocky terrain, and in outlying or rarely visited areas.

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: Partly sunny, with a high near 29. West northwest wind 5 to 11 mph.
  • Tonight: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 17. West wind 8 to 11 mph.
  • Tuesday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 35. West southwest wind around 10 mph.
general announcements

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

The UAC Marketplace is still open. 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.