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

Friday, November 15, 2002


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Good morning, this is Tom Kimbrough with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.Today is Friday, November 15, 2002, at 7:30 am.


We wonít 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.


Alta will be closed to up-hill traffic for avalanche control this morning.


Current Conditions:

Todayís weather will be nice but I canít really say the same for the snow conditions.Only about an inch of new snow fell yesterday afternoon at the higher elevations and we need feet, not inches.There is some settled powder on northerly facing slopes, with total depths of about 2 feet at 10,000 feet but that is just where we have lingering avalanche problems.Southerly facing slopes are crusted under that dusting of new.


Avalanche Conditions:

The avalanche conditions have improved since last weekend when the situation was just about as touchy as it gets.I spent yesterday in upper Little Cottonwood prowling around looking at all the slides Iíd been hearing about and talking to several very experienced people that managed to find themselves on the wrong end of avalanches last Sunday and Monday.The snow is certainly a lot more stable than it was last Monday but donít get to thinking that we are out of the woods by any means.In a way, itís even more tricky now.Last weekend all you had to do was look hard at a slope for it to avalanche; now you may get right out in the middle before it cuts loose.A few days ago the avalanche danger was screaming in your ear; now you have to listen attentively to hear more subtle whispers.Although there havenít been any reported avalanches for several days, our snow pits still indicate lingering instabilities and folks I know are still avoiding steep, shady slopes.††††


Bottom Line:

The avalanche danger is MODERATE today on northeast, north and northwest facing slopes, approaching 35 degrees and steeper, above about 9,000í, and on steep slopes with recent wind drifts.Very dangerous human triggered slides are possible.The LOW danger terrain includes lower angle slopes that are well out from under steeper slopes, most southwest through southeast facing slopes and elevations below about 9,000í.††


Mountain Weather:

Skies will be mostly sunny today with high temperatures in the low to mid thirties at 8,000 feet and in the twenties at 10,000.Winds will be breezy, with 15 to 25 mph winds from the northwest on the high ridges.Saturday looks like a pleasant day with similar temperatures and less wind.There arenít any major storms in sight at this time.


General Information:

For a complete list of evening talks and multi-day classes, visit www.avalanche.org and click on Salt Lake and then Education.


To report backcountry snow and avalanche conditions, especially if you observe or trigger an avalanche, call (801) 524-5304 or 1-800-662-4140, or email to [email protected].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 on Saturday morning.


Thanks for calling!



National Weather Service - Salt Lake City - Snow.

For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: