Wasatch Cache National Forest

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Avalanche advisory

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

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Good morning, this is Bruce Tremper with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory for the Wasatch Range near Salt Lake City.Today is Tuesday, November 19, 2002, and itís 7:30 am.


Current Conditions:

Iím feeling like the Maytag repairman down here.No avalanches, little snow, no weather and not even one person left a message on the phone or e-mailed or faxed us about the conditions yesterday.The most exciting thing was the Leonid Meteor Shower, which peaked last night at 4:00 am, when I woke up to come in to the office this morning.But, alas, the skies clouded over about an hour before that and I couldnít see a thing. In late-breaking news, the intrepid Craig Gordon got out yesterday on the steep, upper elevations slopes in mid Little Cottonwood Canyon.He said that turning conditions were actually quite good on upper elevation sheltered, shady slopes but the strong winds the night before last created lots of hard wind slabs in wind exposed terrain. The sun exposed slopes are crusted.


Avalanche Conditions:

Conditions like this tend to concentrate people into the same kinds of places, namely upper elevation, sheltered and shaded slopes without too many old tracks, which did not avalanche in the very active avalanche cycle a little over a week ago. These are exactly the same kinds of slopes where you have the best chance of triggering an avalanche on the old, weak, faceted snow left over from October.


Bottom Line (SLC and Provo area mountains):

Although avalanche activity has dramatically decreased in recent days on these kinds of high elevation, sheltered, shaded slopes, remember that thereís still localized places where you might still trigger an avalanche, which we would call MODERATE danger.These will be slopes that face northwest, north and northeast, above about 9,000í steeper than 35 degrees.You will also find a MODERATE danger on steep slopes with recent deposits of wind drifted snow.These wind slabs will be mostly hard and sound hollow like a drum. On other slopes (which includes about 90 percent of most mountain slopes) the avalanche danger is generally LOW


Logan and Ogden area mountains:

Mostly LOW danger except MODERATE danger on steep slopes with recent wind drifts.


Mountain Weather:

The most notable thing about the weather forecast is the lack of weather. Looking into the computer screen oracle, I see no chance of significant snow as far as the computer models can see, which is into the first week of December.But taking one day at a time, today should have variable high clouds with ridge top winds from the northwest at 10-15 mph and ridge top temperatures rising up to around 30 degrees.8,000í highs should be 35-40 with over night lows around 15 degrees.Wednesday through Friday, we should see clear skies and warm temperatures.Thereís a brush-by from some moisture to the north of us on Saturday, which should give us a few clouds but otherwise, it should be nice weather for catching up on your office work (which includes our staff).


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.



Craig Gordon will be giving an avalanche talk at Utah Valley State College on Wednesday night at 7:30.


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] or fax 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.


Evelyn Lees will update this advisory by 7:30 on Wednesday morning.


Thanks for calling!



National Weather Service - Salt Lake City - Snow.

For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: