Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Logan Area Mountains Issued by Paige Pagnucco for Friday - March 30, 2018 - 6:36am
bottom line

The avalanche danger is LOW. Low danger does not mean no danger as conditions exist in drifted terrain at upper elevations where you could trigger cornice falls and small wind slab avalanches. Loose wet avalanches entraining fresh snow are also possible with seasonal daytime warmth.

  • Practice safe travel protocols and carry avalanche rescue equipment.
  • Avoid treacherous ridge top cornices, steep drifted slopes, and slopes with saturated fresh snow.

I will update this advisory by 7:30 Saturday morning, 3/31/18.




special announcement

The newest issue of the Powder Cloud, the newsletter of the Utah Avalanche Center is hot off the presses. You can always grab a cup of coffee and while away the time by looking at new and old issues of the Powder Cloud, other essays, and blogs. Look for them in the menu above or click here.

The UAC Marketplace is still open. Our online marketplace still has deals on skis, packs, airbag packs, beacons, snowshoes, soft goods and much more.

current conditions

Sun and warmth have affected the nice powder on all but north facing slopes while those facing the sun have crusted over. Moderate northwesterly winds kept heating in check yesterday though mountain temps rose to nearly 40 F. Triggered cornice falls and wind slab avalanches are still outlying possibilities today and warming will create a rising danger of loose wet avalanches entraining fresh snow.

  • The Tony Grove Snotel at 8400' reports 28°F, and there's 69 inches of total snow, with 84% of normal SWE.
  • The UDOT weather station at Hwy 89 Logan Summit reports 32°F, with west northwest winds blowing 10-20 mph.

Mark Staples explains what happened to our persistent weak layers:

recent activity
  • With recent clearing natural avalanches are visible in the Wellsville Mountain Wilderness.
  • We observed evidence of numerous natural sluffs and a few small wind slabs in very steep upper elevation terrain in the Central Bear River Range Monday, and observers report triggering significant sluffing on steep slopes in the Tony Grove Area again on Tuesday.

A couple natural avalanches in steep terrain near Naomi Peak (viewed on 3/26). A small cornice-fall triggered wind slab (left) and dry sluffs entraining powder snow.

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 wind slab avalanches and cornice falls are the main issue to look out for in drifted terrain at upper elevations. Winds are forecast to increase this afternoon and any dry snow left will be available for transport.

  • Avoid 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.


Though this skier-triggered cornice break is near Jackson, WY, it clearly demonstrates the harsh consequences of getting too close to the edge. (The unlucky skier fell 1000' vertical and remains in critical condition.)

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

Remember that risk is inherent in mountain travel. One can never diminish it entirely and for some of us this is part of the attraction. To minimize our exposure we can travel in appropriate terrain and strive to understand snow and avalanches. Confidence in your own and your partners rescue skills is imperative. We are moving into the season where early starts and early departures should become standard.

*Loose wet avalanches and triggered pushalanches are possible with warming temperatures and abundant sunshine. When the snow becomes saturated it is time to find lower angle and/or shadier terrain.

  • Always carry avalanche rescue equipment
  • Practice safe travel protocols by only exposing one person at a time
  • Be mindful of changing conditions throughout the day and adjust your travel plan accordingly
weather

High pressure aloft will generate a warming trend across Utah through the weekend with a minor disturbance passing through on Saturday. Winds could be a bit gusty this afternoon.

Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 41. Breezy, with a west northwest wind 16 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 39 mph.
Tonight: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 28. Breezy, with a west northwest wind 20 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 39 mph.
Saturday: A 30 percent chance of snow showers, mainly before noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 42. Breezy, with a west southwest wind 16 to 22 mph. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Saturday Night: A 20 percent chance of snow showers before midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 30. West wind 16 to 20 mph.
Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 45. West southwest wind 15 to 18 mph.

general announcements

We have lift tickets for Snowbasin and Powder Mountain remaining. The tickets are discounted an additional 20%. Details and order information here. All proceeds from these go towards paying for avalanche forecasting and education!

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 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.