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
Friday, February 07, 2003
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Good Morning. This is Tom Kimbrough with the
This has easily been the best week of the winter so far. The Alta Guard Station has reported 40 inches of new snow since last Saturday. All areas seem to have picked up at least 18 to 24 inches and the turning and riding conditions are the best of the season. This morning we also have the coldest temperatures of the season, well below zero in many places. Fortunately winds remain light from the southeast.
The new snow also produced quite a few avalanches and several close calls but the activity tapered off some yesterday. There were a couple of slides from control work at the resorts in Little Cottonwood and another remotely triggered slide in South Monitor. Lots of slopes have also been ridden without incident this week.
The avalanche activity has been quite consistent: Hard slabs breaking beneath the dirty layer from last Saturday’s west desert dust storm on the layer that was on the surface through most of January. Most of these slides were in places that had already avalanched previously this season and thus have a relatively thin snowpack. They were almost all at higher elevations and were on the north half of the compass. In a couple of the slides that I checked out this week I’m not sure that I would have spotted them as being suspect areas but avoiding steep rocky places does seem like a good policy these days. Our current very cold temperatures may now have helped lock the snow in place but cold temperatures also preserve instabilities. I do think the stability has increased but the slides this week have been dangerous hard slabs breaking two or more feet deep and involving a lot of snow; not something to take lightly. Continue to carry avalanche rescue gear and use all of your safe travel skills: One at a time on the slope and get out of the way at the bottom.
Bottom Line (SLC,
The avalanche danger is MODERATE on slopes steeper than about 35 degrees that face northwest, north, northeast and east and are above about 9,000 feet. Dangerous human triggered avalanches are possible in these areas. I expect the cold temperatures will keep the sun from starting any wet slides but if the snow does get moist, the danger will rise on southerly facing slopes. On slopes less steep than 35 degrees, at lower elevations and on south facing slopes that are not getting wet, the avalanche danger is generally LOW.
It will be another beautiful but very cold winter day. High temperatures may only get into the teens in many places, even in the sun. Winds will be light from the east. Skies will be mostly clear over the weekend with continued cold temperatures but some warming by Sunday.
We will be giving a free avalanche awareness talk at Milo Sport on Wednesday, February 12th at 7:00 pm. They are on 3300 South and 3119 East.
The Banff Film Festival is
coming to Kingsbury Hall February 12th and 13th, with
proceeds donated to the Friends of the Utah
The Friends of the Utah
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.
I will update this advisory by on Saturday morning.
Thanks for calling!
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