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
We won’t have all our phone lines hooked up for a couple more days, so you may find it easier to access this advisory on the internet.
Under cloudy skies, temperatures have remained warm overnight, and are near 30 at most elevations. Winds are from the southwest, averaging 10 to 15 mph. The sunny southerly facing slopes will be well crusted this morning, while settled powder remains on the shady aspects. Coverage is still minimal, and expect to scrape at least a few barely covered rocks or stumps on all but the smoothest, grassiest slopes.
Good visibility yesterday showed the mosaic of avalanche activity. While many of the steep, upper elevation shady slopes have slid, what I found scary was the number of slopes that haven’t, and are just waiting for a trigger. In general, the recent avalanches are averaging about 2 feet deep, 100 to 200’ wide, and are breaking into the old faceted snow layers from October. However, wider and deeper slides have occurred, especially with explosives within the resorts.
We have classic “hard slab” conditions right now – while slides are becoming harder to trigger, they now have the potential to be larger and trickier – they are more likely to break once you are well down on to the slope or break on the second or third person. Also numerous “bed surface” slides have been reported – after a decent size slide has been triggered with in the upper layers of the snow pack, a second slide releases near the ground as a person moves out onto the bed surface. If you do get caught in a slide, the consequences could be especially ugly as the ride would be over the rocky ground surface.
So the places to avoid are the
moderate to steep shady slopes where there was old October snow remaining
before the recent storms. This is mostly
the northwest through northeast facing slopes above 9,000’, but may also
include east and west facing slopes at very high elevations. The old snow is most widespread in the upper
Cottonwoods and the high elevations in the
Today, a few, new fresh wind drifts will develop along the ridges and in open bowls, and should be avoided on any steep slope.
The avalanche danger is still CONSIDERABLE today on northeast, north and northwest facing slopes, approaching 35 degrees or steeper, above about 9,000’. Considerable means dangerous human triggered slides are probable. There’s a MODERATE danger on those same slopes between 30 and 35 degrees and on steep east and west facing slopes. LOW danger terrain includes slopes of about 30 degrees of less, well out from under avalanche terrain.
A weak system will move
Our next free avalanche awareness
class will be Thursday, November 14th at at the Black Diamond Retail store. For a complete
list of evening talks and multi-day classes, visit www.avalanche.org and click on
To report backcountry snow and avalanche conditions, especially if you observe or trigger an avalanche, call (801) 524-5304 or 1-800-662-4140. 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.
Bruce Tremper will update this advisory by on Thursday morning.
Thanks for calling!
For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: