Wasatch Cache National Forest

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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Avalanche advisory

Monday, November 4, 2002



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Good afternoon, this is Evelyn Lees with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with an early season update on November 4th. Well now be in the field and office on a regular basis, and will up date this advisory as conditions change.


First, a big thanks everyone who supported our partner the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center by attending the annual Black Diamond party and fundraiser. It was once again a smashing success, with special credit going to Black Diamond for their support.


Also, 15th annual backcountry gear swap will be at REI this Saturday, November 9th. You can bring in any gear you want to sell on Thursday or Friday evenings from about 5 to 9pm. Then the swap opens at 9:00 am on Saturday. The proceeds benefit avalanche forecasting and avalanche education in Utah.


Discussion on the real subject of interest, backcountry snow and avalanche conditions, is regrettably brief. Storms in early and late October have given the shady, upper elevation slopes a thin snowpack. Turns are possible, but generally limited to upper Big and Little Cottonwood, with smooth runs at the closed ski areas your best bet. But take your old rock skies and boards the shallow, weakening snow provides high odds of hitting rocks, with a corresponding chance for serious injury. Avalanche wise, if there is enough snow to ski or board, there is enough to slide. Currently, there is a chance of triggering one of the isolated shallow wind slabs that are along the highest ridges or a sluff in the weakening snow. With any sort of ride, the danger of injury by hitting a hard object is high, in addition to possible burial.


A series of fast moving disturbances are forecast to bring snow to the northern Utah Mountains Friday through Sunday. These will improve the turning and sledding conditions, but also increase the avalanche danger. We will update this advisory on Thursday with the latest word on this approaching stormy period.


We have several free avalanche awareness talks coming up the first two are Tuesday, November 12th at 7 pm at REI and Thursday, November 14th at 7pm at the Black Diamond Retail store. For a complete list of evening talks and multi-day classes, visit www.avalanche.org and click on Resources and then Education.


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: