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

Friday, April 25, 2003

Good evening.  This is Evelyn Lees with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory for the Wasatch Range near Salt Lake City.  Today is Friday, April 25, 2003, and it’s about 6:00 pm.


Current Conditions:

Slowly but surely, the snowpack is becoming closer and closer to good corn.   Below freezing temperatures are forecast for the next few nights and daytime highs should be in the upper 30’s to near 50’s.  This will create good supportable crusts each night, though they may soften at widely varying times each day depending on cloud cover and temperatures. 


Some tips for weekend touring: the most consistent conditions, corn snow, will be on east, south and west facing slopes; plan your tour to stay mostly in the upper elevations – the meager mid and low elevation snow pack is vanishing rapidly; and choose a tour with a good choice of sunny aspects, so you can work the slopes as they soften.  The northerly facing slopes do have a few patches of dry snow up high, but it’s surrounded by great expanses of nasty breakable crusts.


Avalanche Conditions:

The snowpack is mostly stable, and the danger of avalanches is generally low early in the morning.  As the snow heats up each day, the danger of damp, loose sluffs on steep slopes of all aspects increases, especially sunny slopes.  The first signs will be roller balls or the ability to push the snow and start sluffs with aggressive slope cuts.  If the snow continues to heat, spontaneous sluffs may be possible.  While not large, you definitely want to avoid being caught and carried over a cliff by one of these sluffs, or pushed into a gully and buried.  There may also be a few fresh wind drifts along the highest ridges that could be sensitive to the weight of a person on a steep slope.  There continues to be some collapsing of the crusts into the damp, loose snow below, but for the time being, these are very shallow.


Bottom Line:

For tonight and Saturday, the avalanche danger is generally LOW.   With daytime heating, the danger may rise to MODERATE on steep slopes.  On Sunday, the avalanche conditions will be very similar. 


Mountain Weather:

An upper level trough off the west coast of Oregon will send several minor disturbances toward the region over the weekend.  For tonight, lows will be in the mid to upper 20’s at 8,000’ and 10,000’.  The southwest winds will be in the 20 to 30 mph range.  Saturday morning will be sunny, but then become mostly cloudy with scattered snow showers as a cold front passes through the area around noon.  The winds will remain in the moderate range and shift to the northwest.  Highs will be in the upper 30’s at 8,000’ and cool in the afternoon to near 20 at 10,000’.  Sunday will also be partly cloudy, with occasional snow showers.  Highs will be near 50 at 8,000’ and near 30 at 10,000’. 


General Information:

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.


We are about finished for the season.  Bruce Tremper will update this advisory by Monday or sooner if conditions change.


Thanks for calling!




National Weather Service - Salt Lake City - Snow.

For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: