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


The Utah Avalanche Center Home page is: http://www.avalanche.org/~uac/


Avalanche advisory

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

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To see graph of the current snow profile CLICK HERE (Updated 1-21-03)


Good Morning. This is Bruce Tremper with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory. Today is Tuesday, January 21, 2003, and its 7:30 in the morning.


We would like to acknowledge our primary funding partner, the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, which is supported primarily by Black Diamond Equipment.


Current Conditions:

First for some tragic news: There were 8 American skiers killed in an avalanche in Canada yesterday. They were helicopter skiers flown by Selkirk Mountain Experience to the Durand Glacier, north of Revelstoke, British Columbia. For updates on this accident, or any other accident, you can visit the web site www.avalanche.org and click on Accidents.


Back here in Utah, If you are calling or reading this advisory, you can count yourself as being one of the certified hard-core avalanche advisory junkies. To save you time, I have nearly nothing significant to say. But you know meIll do it anyway.


This morning, the winds along the highest peaks have picked up and are blowing around 35, gusting to 45 from the west, but they are a more reasonable 15 mph at lower elevation ridge tops. With no snow in the past 10 days, the snow surface has been described as being old and worn out. All the southerly facing slopes have sun crusts. All the upper elevation, above-tree-line areas have widespread wind damage and there is still surprisingly good, 6 inches of nice, soft, dry recrystalized snow on the wind-sheltered slopes that face the north half of the compass, but most popular slopes are completely tracked out.


Avalanche Conditions:

There similarly little going on in the avalanche department with mostly low danger on nearly all slopes. The only exceptions are the steep slopes that have deposits of wind drifted snow. Most of the wind drifting occurred nearly a week ago and most of these wind drifts are no longer sensitive to the weight of a person, but there are still a few steep slopes where you could trigger one. These wind deposits are hard, often hollow-sounding, with a smooth, rounded appearance, and if you find one of these on a steep slope, you should approach it with caution.


Bottom Line (SLC, Park City, Ogden and Logan Area Mountains):

There is a MODERATE danger of triggering an avalanche on any steep slope with deposits of wind drifted snow with a LOW danger elsewhere.


Western Uintas call 1-800-648-7433 or click here for weekend and holiday forecasts.


Mountain Weather:

A very weak storm will cross Utah tonight, which will bring mostly clouds and perhaps a mighty trace to one inch of snow if we are lucky. Ridge top winds will pick up to around 30 mph tonight as it passes and they will blow from the west. Ridge top temperatures will be in the upper 30s today, dropping to the teens by Wednesday. 8,000 temperatures will be around 40 today and drop to around 20 overnight and 25 on Wednesday.


The long range weather calls for another weak system that wont do anything on about Thursday and another system, which should produce slightly better than nothing on about Sunday and Monday. Unfortunately, we still dont see any significant snow in the forecast in the foreseeable future.


General Information:

Wasatch Powderbird Guides will not be flying today.


The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, supported by Voile and Milosport, are offering a three-day intensive avalanche February 15 17. Half of the spots are reserved for snowboarders. To sign up call the Black Diamond retail store at 801-278-0233.


On Sunday February 2nd there will be a fundraiser for the Wasatch Backcountry Rescue avalanche dog program. Tickets are available at the Black Diamond retail store. Please call 435-615-2226 for more information and additional ticket locations.


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: