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
Thursday, January 30, 2003
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Good Morning. This is Bruce Tremper with the
Yesterday was one of those charge-up-your-batteries days when you were grateful to be alive and in the mountains. There was sunshine and quite nice 4-8 inches of new powder on the northwest through northeast facing slopes. Anything facing the sun, however, has a nasty death crust that requires jump turns on skis but was much easier on a board or a snowmobile. Overnight, temperatures have warmed up into the mid 20’s along the ridge tops and they should top out in the mid 30’s today with temperatures in the balmy 40’s down at 8,000’.
Yesterday, there were a
couple more human triggered avalanches in the backcountry. One person triggered and was caught in a
soft-slab avalanche in Wolverine Cirque.
They were carried about 50 feet and flushed through some nasty rocks,
but they are otherwise fine. This was a
soft slab composed of new snow sliding on the old surface of faceted snow on a very
steep northeast facing slope. Also,
yesterday an out-of-bounds skier leaving the Canyons Resort triggered a small
soft slab on east-facing Du
Yesterday, I looked at the avalanche
on Squaretop, near the Canyons Resort, which a skier
triggered from several feet away two days ago by descending a small spur ridge
just north of the slide. It was about a
foot deep and 200 feet wide and ran most of its full track. Luckily, no one was caught. I will post some photos and a crown profile on
the web at the usual site www.avalanche.org,
Also, yesterday, I could see a number of other similar slides that occurred probably two days ago in various places, such as a large-looking slide in Alexander Basin and smaller ones on Kessler Peak that had suspicious-looking ski tracks next to it, one in Broad’s Fork, Cardiac Ridge, and three in Mineral Fork and so on. Remember we maintain a list of notable avalanche activity on the web if you’re interested at the site mentioned above.
Bottom Line (SLC,
In general I think most of the activity has settled out and the danger is mostly LOW today. The exception will be localized little booby traps where you can still trigger an avalanche, which we call MODERATE danger. You will most likely find these on northwest, north, northeast and east facing slopes above about 9,000’ especially near ridges and on steep slopes. We may also see a few wet sluffs on the steep, sun exposed slopes today as they heat up.
Today, we will have increasing clouds with some light snow showers tonight as a weak system passes. I’m not expecting a mighty trace to two inches of snow if we’re lucky. Ridge top temperatures will rise to the mid 30’s today with ridge top winds 20-30 from the west, turning northwest by tonight. Down at 8,000’ temperatures should rise into the lower 40’s. Friday should clear out fairly quickly but we will probably still have strong winds from the northwest. The extended forecast calls for a stronger, colder storm on Saturday night, which could give us some snow at lower elevations, which we desperately need, and then another system on about Tuesday or Wednesday.
The Friends of the Utah
This Sunday, February 2nd,
there will be a fundraiser for the Wasa
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.
Tom Kimbrough will update this advisory by on Friday morning.
Thanks for calling!
For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: