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

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

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Good morning, this is Evelyn Lees 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 Wednesday, November 20, 2002, and itís 7:30 am.


***UDOT will be sighting in avalanche control weapons in Little Cottonwood Canyon tomorrow, Thursday, from approximately 7 am to 8 am. †††They will be targeting the south facing slopes above the north side of the highway from Tannerís through Grizzly Gulch.††Absolutely avoid early morning travel in this area. ***


Current Conditions:

Under clear skies, temperatures are mild this morning Ė ranging from the mid twenties to low 30ís.Winds are from the northwest, averaging 10 to 20 mph along the exposed ridges.


Decent turns can be found in recrystalized powder on the classic shady, wind sheltered mid elevation slopes.The serious limitation is the shallow snow depth Ė Iíve been hitting rocks with discouraging frequency the past week and the bottoms of my skis are grooved from tip to tail.Open slopes and bowls are wind damaged with patchy hard wind slabs and the sun exposed slopes are well crusted.


Avalanche Conditions:

With no significant precipitation in over a week, the snow pack is mostly stable.Still, as always, there are a few places where a person could trigger a slide on steep slopes.


There continues to be a slight chance of triggering one of the deeper hard slabs on the old October facets on steep, upper elevation shady slopes.On these same slopes, sluffs in the weakening surface snow are getting larger Ė if caught unaware, you could be knocked off your feet and taken for a ride.And finally, it may be possible to trigger one of the shallow, hard wind slabs. With any sort of ride this time of year, there is a high probability of hitting rocks.


Bottom Line (SLC and Provo area mountains):

While the avalanche danger is generally LOW, there are a few pockets of MODERATE danger on slopes of 35 degrees and steeper.The most likely slopes where a person could trigger a slide include the northwest, north and northeast facing slopes above 9,000í and any steep slope with drifts of wind blown snow.


Ogden area mountains:

The avalanche danger is generally LOW.But as usual, avoid any steep slopes with recent or old drifts of wind blown snow.


Mountain Weather:

Strong high pressure will dominate the weather over the western states through Thursday.Mostly sunny and mild today, with 8,000í highs in low to mid 40ís.The moderate northerly winds may reach 25 mph averages along the higher ridges.Temperatures will drop into the low 20ís tonight under clear skies.Then it will be down right toasty on Thursday, with 8,000í highs near 50 under sunny skies.


General Information:

For a complete list of avalanche 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.


Ethan Greene will update this advisory by 7:30 on Thursday morning.


Thanks for calling!



National Weather Service - Salt Lake City - Snow.

For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: