Wasatch Cache National Forest

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Avalanche advisory

Monday, April 8, 2002 07:30 AM



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Good morning, this is Drew Hardesty with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Monday, April 8, 2002, and it’s 7:30 a.m.


Current Conditions:

This may have been our best refreeze in a little while.  Under clear skies, overnight temperatures were in the low 20’s at 11,000’ to 30 degrees at 8000’.  Winds are in the twenties along the upper ridgelines and are out of the northwest.    


We are doing an early morning corn report on the (801) 364-1581 line by 6:00 am for the rest of the season.


Avalanche Conditions:

This is our second night with a decent refreeze, effectively putting a lid on our wet cycle from Friday and Saturday.  For today, the upper portion of the snowpack will have set up pretty well, so standard springtime precautions should be observed.   When the snow crusts soften, it’s time to get off of and out from under steep slopes.  Either change to a cooler aspect or choose another sport for the rest of the day.  Hanging out or building jumps in runout zones is probably a bad idea.  Below the refreeze at the low and mid-elevations on the northern exposures, the snow remains damp, loose, and generally unsupportable.  Heavy explosive control work conducted yesterday at the Canyons pulled out three wet slabs, with some running to the ground.  All were on the north facing ski runs on the lower mountain below 8000’.  One wet debris pile was reported to be 25’ deep, damming a creek in Willow draw.


There is still a chance of deep slab avalanches that may release naturally or be triggered by smaller wet sluffs.  This year’s snow pack contains some very weak layers that formed in January, and is unusually susceptible to this type of slide.  While there are only isolated places where these deep avalanches could occur today, the slides would be large and dangerous. Avalanche activity would be most likely on and below steep rocky areas, especially where glide cracks are visible.  Full depth glide cracks have been observed in upper Stairs and Broad’s Fork where the snow is underlain by smooth, rocky slabs. 


Bottom Line: 

The avalanche danger is LOW this morning, increasing to MODERATE by midday with daytime heating.  Both human triggered avalanches and natural avalanches will be possible.  There remains a danger of full depth avalanches releasing naturally, especially in very steep rocky terrain. 


(Ogden Area and Western Uinta Mountains)

Same as Salt Lake Mountains.  


(Provo Area Mountains)

Same as Salt Lake Mountains.


Mountain Weather:

It’s our last day in the current weather pattern, with mostly sunny skies and a cool northwesterly flow.  Highs at 8000’ will be near 50, with 10,000’ temperatures in the upper 20’s.  Ridgetop winds will be 10-15 mph out of the west northwest.  We should see increasing clouds this afternoon as the flow shifts to the southwest ahead of Wednesday’s storm.  At this time, the rain/snow line for Wednesday is projected to be near 8000’.


General Information:

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. 


I will update this advisory by 7:30 tomorrow morning.

Thanks for calling!



For more detailed weather information go to our Mountain Weather Advisory

National Weather Service - Salt Lake City - Snow.

For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: