In partnership with: The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Forecast Center, Utah Department of Public Safety Division of Comprehensive Emergency Management, Salt Lake County, and Utah State Parks
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Good morning, this is Evelyn
Lees with the
A cool, dry front moved
The cooler temperatures combined with clear overnight skies will give the sunny slopes a short window of supportable corn crusts this morning, which are thickest below about 10,000’. But start early, as the crusts will become breakable by about . To help you with those alpine starts, we will be doing an early morning corn report on the (801) 364-1581 line by for the rest of the season. Also, a few patches of soft snow remain on very shady, upper elevation slopes.
Our spring snow pack is
undergoing a typical melt-freeze cycle, which is unfortunately a bit heavy on
the melt side of things. The overnight
refreezes of the surface snow are generally shallow, and it is taking only a
few hours of sun and heating for the crusts to become breakable, followed by a rapid
transition to wet slush. Once this
happens, the strength of the surface snow is gone, and it’s time to change
aspect or go home. Yesterday, a backcountry traveler near
So early starts and early finishes are the guidelines for spring travel on sunny slopes. Remember, snow heats up fastest on steeper slopes and around rocks. If you’re out for a full day, work the terrain to stay on the aspects and elevations that are cooler.
In addition to wet snow sluffs, there are isolated locations and times when you could trigger a “corn slab” just as the crusts are heat up. Several were reported last week, averaging a foot deep. If you can push your ski pole through a relatively thin melt-freeze crust, or if you hear and feel collapsing in the snow, head to a different slope.
Anther concern is the potential for glide avalanches on steep slopes underlain by rock slabs. Glide cracks have been observed on some of this type of terrain. There also remains an isolated chance of triggering an avalanche that could fail on a deeper weak layer, especially on steep shady slopes and in thin snow pack areas.
On sunny slopes, the avalanche danger is generally LOW early this morning but will rise to MODERATE by midmorning with heating. There is also a MODERATE danger of triggering a deep dangerous hard slab avalanche in steep terrain, especially in thinner snowpack areas.
hot, sunny day is in store for the northern
Wasatch Powderbird Guides will fly a few runs in American Fork today. For more information call 521-6040 ext. 5280.
To report backcountry snow and avalanche conditions, especially if you observe or trigger an avalanche, you can leave a message at (801) 524-5304 or 1-800-662-4140. We have a new avalanche and backcountry observation page that we’d like to encourage folks to try out. It can be found on our home website at avalanche.org. You can also fax an observation to 801-524-6301.
The information in this advisory is from the U.S. Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content. This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur.
Tom Kimbrough will update this advisory by Thursday morning.
Thanks for calling!
For more detailed weather information go to our Mountain Weather Advisory
For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: