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
Sunday, February 16, 2003
If you want this advisory automatically e-mailed to you each day for free, click HERE.
If you want recent archives of this advisory, click HERE.
To e-mail us an observation, CLICK HERE.
To see cool photos of recent
avalanche activity CLICK
To see a list of recent
Good Morning. This is Evelyn Lees with the
I am saddened to report there was a backcountry avalanche fatality yesterday, and we at the center extend our sympathy to the family and friends of the victim. The slide was on the northwest face of Gobblers Knob, and preliminary information indicates the slide was about 100’ wide and broke 1 to 1 ½ feet deep, into old facets. As the slide moved down the slope, it broke out wider, to around 300’ wide. The victim was in the slide from the top, and the total vertical was about 1,500’. A staff member will be looking at the slide this morning, and as I get more details, I’ll update the 364-1591 line.
A Pacific cold front is
rapidly approaching northern
The avalanche danger is rising today. The strong winds have created fresh dense wind drifts along the ridges, and cross loaded snow around terrain features such as gully walls and rock sub ridges. The high wind speeds may load snow into odd places and lower down slope than normal. These new drifts and cornices will be sensitive to the weight of a person, and break out on steep slopes. A slide breaking out in a new wind drift has the potential to trigger a deeper, larger slide as it moves down slope.
Below about 9,000’, the recent snow has bonded poorly to a slick rain crust buried a couple inches down. At mid and lower low elevations, isolated pockets of wind slab could be triggered on steep slopes that get loaded from the strong winds.
Wet sluffs are still possible at the low and mid elevations, especially if we get more rain than expected before the cold air arrives. Remember that point-release avalanches can be particularly dangerous if they push you off a cliff or into a gulley.
And finally, there continue to be places where a person could trigger an avalanche that breaks in the deeper snow on northwest through east facing slopes, steeper than 35 degrees, in areas above 9,000’. These deep slab avalanches could also be triggered by smaller surface-snow avalanches.
The upper portions of the
Bottom Line (SLC,
The avalanche danger is MODERATE today on any steep slope with recent wind drifts, and will rise to CONSIDERABLE later today and tonight with the additional wind and snow expected. There is also a MODERATE danger of triggering an avalanche into deeper weak layers on northwest, north, northeast and easterly facing slopes, steeper than about 35 degrees and above about 9,000 feet.
A Pacific cold front will
arrive in northern
To report backcountry snow and avalanche conditions, especially if you observe or trigger an avalanche, remember that the information you have could save someone’s life. Please leave a message on our answer machine at (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 on Monday morning.
Thanks for calling!
For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: