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

Saturday, April 5, 2003


Good Morning.  This is Tom Kimbrough with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory for the Wasatch Range.  Today is Sunday, April 6, 2003, and it’s 7:30 in the morning.


Current Conditions:

Yesterday may have been just about the best day of the season with two feet or more of new snow in the Wasatch since Wednesday, combined cold temperatures, little sun and few avalanche problems.  24 hour totals are 10 to 16 inches in the upper Cottonwoods and 6 inches in the Ogden, Provo and Park City mountains.  Temperatures this morning are near 20 at 7,000’ and in the low teens at 10,000’.  Winds have increased overnight into the 20 mph range and on the highest peaks it’s hitting 30 mph with gusts to 60 from the west and northwest.


Turning and sledding conditions are very good, especially on moderate angle slopes.  On very steep slopes, you may still be hitting some old crusts.  Trail breaking is getting to be a chore in the areas with the most new snow. 


Avalanche Conditions:

The benign avalanche conditions of the last several days are changing rapidly with the increase in wind.  Yesterday, the only activity reported was loose snow sluffs and a few shallow soft slabs, although some of the sluffs were getting rather large and long running by the afternoon.


Today, the increasing winds will be creating sensitive drifts of wind blown snow, especially in upper elevation terrain.  Slope cuts, while still effective today, will be a more serious undertaking with drifts breaking up to two or more feet deep.  Cornices will be sensitive and may break off spontaneously creating some natural avalanches.  Out of the wind affected terrain loose snow sluffs could be big enough to bury a person.  If the sun comes out, even briefly, the danger of damp and wet snow avalanches will rapidly increase.


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

The avalanche danger is MODERATE on wind drifted slopes steeper than about 35 degrees.  At the highest elevations near and above timberline, the danger is CONSIDERABLE with some natural avalanches possible.  


Western Uinta Mountains – call 1-800-648-7433.

Logan – call 435-797-4146.


Mountain Weather:

We will get a bit of a break for awhile this morning but another impulse is due to arrive this afternoon with snow continuing through tonight.  Skies will be mostly cloudy with occasional snow showers becoming more intense later today.  8,000 foot temperatures will get up to around 30 degrees and in the twenties at 10,000.  Winds will be 15 to 25 mph over the ridges from the northwest.  Additional accumulations in the Cottonwoods could be around 6 to 12 inches by Monday morning, with perhaps 4 to 8 inches in other areas.  This next impulse is the last in the series.  High pressure will start to build tomorrow, beginning a return to warm spring weather.


General Information:

This is my last advisory after almost 40 years in the snow and avalanche business.  My years have melted away like new snow under the bright spring sun.  I only regret that some of my good friends didn’t last as long as I have.  It’s been wonderful work and I hope I have been of some use to you.  Many thanks to all of you backcountry folks, all of the Wasatch avalanche workers and to all of our observers and Friends.  We couldn’t do a thing without your support.  Don’t forget, “Fight like Hell” and always “Stay on Top!”

Wasatch Powderbird Guides will probably not be flying today.  For more information call 801-742-2800.

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.


Ethan Green will update this advisory by 7:30 on Monday morning.


Thanks for calling!




National Weather Service - Salt Lake City - Snow.

For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: