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


Thursday, January 30, 2003

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To see a list of recent avalanches, CLICK HERE, (Updated 1-30-03)


Good Morning. This is Bruce Tremper with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory. Today is Thursday, January 30, 2003, and its 7:30 in the morning. This advisory is brought to you by our partner, the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, generously supported by Black Diamond Equipment.


Current Conditions:

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 20s along the ridge tops and they should top out in the mid 30s today with temperatures in the balmy 40s down at 8,000.


Avalanche Conditions:

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 Dutch Draw about a foot deep and 20 feet wide that ran into the trees. Several other folks were able to trigger smaller sluffs in various places within the new snow throughout the Wasatch Range.


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, click on Salt Lake and then on Advisories.


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 Broads Fork, Cardiac Ridge, and three in Mineral Fork and so on. Remember we maintain a list of notable avalanche activity on the web if youre interested at the site mentioned above.


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

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.


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


Mountain Weather:

Today, we will have increasing clouds with some light snow showers tonight as a weak system passes. Im not expecting a mighty trace to two inches of snow if were lucky. Ridge top temperatures will rise to the mid 30s today with ridge top winds 20-30 from the west, turning northwest by tonight. Down at 8,000 temperatures should rise into the lower 40s. 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.


General Information:

Wasatch Powderbird Guides will be flying in Silver Fork, Days and Cardiff drainages, with a home run in White Pine.


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


This 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.


Tom Kimbrough will update this advisory by 7:30 on Friday morning.


Thanks for calling!


National Weather Service - Salt Lake City - Snow.

For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: