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 Tom
Kimbrough with the
Most of the Wasatch doesnít really have enough snow yet for good winter recreation but at the higher elevations, especially in the Cottonwood Canyons, there is enough of the white stuff to at least pretend itís winter.† There is some decent settled powder on northerly facing slopes, with total depths of about 2 feet at 10,000 feet but that is also just where a person might be able to trigger an avalanche.† Southerly facing slopes are mostly crusted.† I think snowmobiling is limited to mid and upper elevation roads and trails.† Snowshoeing may be the best way to get around on many snowy slopes this weekend.
The avalanche conditions are much more stable since last weekend when the situation was quite nasty.† Old October snow on shady slopes above about 9,000 feet made a poor base for last weekendís storm.† Where the new snow fell on bare ground it didnít cause problems; but on the north facing side conditions were just about as sensitive as they get.† Now the extreme sensitivity has settled out but in a way it is now more tricky.† 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.
Winds are breezy along the high ridges this morning so, on exposed slopes, there may be some shallow drifts that could crack and move with the weight of a person.
The avalanche danger is MODERATE today above about 9,000 feet on northeast, north and northwest facing slopes, approaching 35 degrees and steeper.† Very dangerous human triggered slides are possible in this terrain.† On most other slopes the avalanche danger is generally LOW.††
High pressure will dominate our weather today before a storm passing to the north brings us clouds and cooler temperatures on Sunday.† Skies will be mostly sunny but with increasing high clouds today.† Temperatures will be warm, getting into the upper thirties and low forties at 8,000 feet and around 30 at 10,000.† Winds will be breezy, with 15 to 25 mph winds from the west on the high ridges.† Sunday should be mostly cloudy and cooler.† High pressure will return next week but there is a possibility of a storm about this time next week.
For a complete list of
evening talks and multi-day classes, visit www.avalanche.org
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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
We will update this advisory by on Sunday morning.
Thanks for calling!
For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: