Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Logan Area Mountains Issued by Toby Weed for Wednesday - March 21, 2018 - 7:09am
bottom line

The danger is LOW on most slopes, backcountry snow is generally stable, and avalanches are unlikely this morning. Increasing south wind and warm daytime temperatures will cause a rising danger of triggered shallow wind slab and loose wet avalanches.

  • Use normal caution.
  • Avoid steep slopes with drifted or saturated snow.

I will update this advisory by 7:30 Friday morning, 3/23

special announcement

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!

current conditions

You'll still find pretty good shallow powder riding limited to due north facing slopes this morning, but the snow surface is likely to get a bit damp even on high north facing slopes as temperatures rise in advance of a moist Pacific storm, tapped into tropical moisture. Use normal caution in the backcountry today, as shallow human triggered wind slab avalanches and cornice falls are possible in exposed upper elevation terrain, and warm daytime temperatures will cause increasing danger of loose wet avalanches entraining the weekend's fresh snow on steep slopes.

  • The Tony Grove Snotel at 8400' already reports 30°F, and there's 69 inches of total snow, with 83% of normal SWE.
  • UDOT Hwy 89 Logan Summit reports 27°F, with 3 to 5 mph east winds.
  • South wind increased overnight on James Peak, now blowing 25 mph from the south-southwest, and it's 22°F.

recent activity

A few small soft triggered wind slabs and surface sluffs were reported on steep slopes in the Tony Grove Area over the weekend and on Monday. Observers noticed evidence of some fresh wind slab activity and an older deep slab on upper elevation northeast facing terrain in the Wellsville Mountain Wilderness, visible from Cache Valley with clearing on Monday morning.

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

Human triggered wind slab avalanches are possible in drifted terrain at upper elevations.

  • 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.

Natural and triggered wet loose avalanches entraining fresh snow will become increasingly likely as daytime temperatures warm up.

  • It's time to retreat if you start sinking into soft wet snow, or if the snow around you is getting saturated or sticky.
  • Roller balls, pinwheels, and natural sluffs indicate potential for wet avalanche activity.

Dangerous deep or persistent slab avalanches are unlikely yet still possible in isolated very steep terrain with shallow weak snow.

  • Avoid very steep rocky or treed slopes with shallow snow and poor snow structure.

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: A chance of snow before noon, then a chance of snow showers after noon. Cloudy, with a high near 41. South wind 9 to 14 mph increasing to 16 to 21 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 50%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
  • Tonight: A slight chance of snow showers before midnight, then a chance of snow after midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 33. South southwest wind around 17 mph becoming southeast after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
  • Thursday: Snow before noon, then rain and snow. High near 42. Breezy, with a south wind 22 to 29 mph, with gusts as high as 43 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.
general announcements

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.

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.