Wasatch Cache National Forest

In partnership with: The Friends of the Utah Avalanche 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

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Good Morning. This is Bruce Tremper with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory for the Wasatch Range. Today is Tuesday, April 08, 2003, and its 7:00 in the morning.


Current Conditions:

Yesterday the strong April sun baked the sun exposed slopes giving them a sun crust but the straight north facing slopes above about 8,500 still have dry powder. Ridge top temperatures are in the mid 20s this morning, which is about 10 degrees warmer than yesterday at this time. And they should continue to warm over the next several days.


Avalanche Conditions:

Yesterday, a snowboarder triggered a wind slab in Wolverine Cirque, which is a very steep, upper elevation area between Alta and Brighton. It apparently broke at his feet and was northeast facing, 38 degrees, 3 3.5 feet deep and about 30 feet wide. These wind slabs were quite localized yesterday and only existed along the highest, most wind exposed ridges. Most of the snow out of the very most wind exposed areas remained dry and was well-behaved yesterday.


Today, I think the main problem will be the usual round of wet, loose sluffs on steep sun exposed slopes. These damp to wet sluffs are as predictable as clockwork in spring as the cold, new snow warms up for the first time in the very strong April sun. Yesterday, the scattered mountain top clouds and cold temperatures helped to diminish the wet activity from what it could have been. Still, several skiers were able to trigger wet, loose sluffs on steep southerly facing slopes yesterday. Today, we have two competing factors. First, many of the steep southerly facing slopes disgorged their snow yesterday, so theres less to come down today. On the other hand, with no clouds and much warmer temperatures, what did not slide yesterday, will slide today and it will likely slide on a wider variety of aspects. In other words, instead of just south facing slopes, we will probably see more activity on east and west facing slopes as well as lower elevation north facing slopes. As you can imagine, today is definitely not a good day to build a kicker or have a picnic on or under steep, sun exposed slopes. Its time to start playing the spring time game of getting out early and getting off of and out from underneath steep slopes when they start to get damp or wet.


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

The danger from loose, wet sluffs and wet slabs will quickly rise from LOW to CONSIDERABLE on steep slopes when the strong sun makes the snow damp or soggy. This will probably occur on most aspects except upper elevation, straight north facing slopes. Also, there may still be some localized places where you might trigger one of the old wind slabs on steep, very wind exposed terrain, which we call MODERATE danger. The avalanche danger is generally LOW on non sun and wind affected terrain, and on slopes less than about 30 degrees.


Western Uinta Mountains: Click Here

Logan call 435-797-4146 or Click Here.


Mountain Weather:

We should have clear skies until about Friday and temperatures will warm each day. Today, 10,000 temperatures will rise to the mid 30s and the 8,000 temperatures will rise to the mid 40s. Ridge top winds will blow from the southwest 10-20 mph. By Wednesday, the 8,000 temperatures will be 50s and by Thursday, they will be in the mid to upper 50s with ridge top temperatures in the mid 40s. Then we have another storm coming in for about Saturday night through Monday.


General Information:

This coming Sunday will be the last morning advisory of the season and we will issue afternoon updates, as needed until about the end of April. Also, I want to remind you that we update our 364-1591 line each morning by 6:00 am with avalanche activity from the previous day and also during corn snow conditions, we give all the morning temperatures.

Wasatch Powderbird Guides will fly two ships today, one in American Fork and the other in Days, Cardiff, Mineral and White Pine with a possible home run in Grizzly Gulch. 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.


Evelyn Lees will update this advisory by 7:00 on Wednesday morning.


Thanks for calling!


National Weather Service - Salt Lake City - Snow.

For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: