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: http://www.avalanche.org/~uac/

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Avalanche advisory

mONDAY, January 5, 2004   7:30 am


Good morning, this is Drew Hardesty with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Monday, January 5, and it’s 7:30 a.m. 


For photos of avalanches and avalanche phenomenon, click HERE.

For a list of backcountry avalanche activity, click HERE.


Current Conditions:

Overnight, the mountains picked up another 4-6” of light density snow and as of 6am, it’s still snowing.  Perhaps more importantly, the winds have climbed steadily since the evening, averaging 20-30mph from the west, with gusts near 50.  Temperatures remain cold and are still in the single digits.   Snow surface conditions will range today from soft powder in protected areas to new wind drifts off the ridgelines and other lee terrain.


Avalanche Conditions:

Yesterday the avalanche activity was relegated to minor sluffing and shallow soft slabs less than 6” deep, but today will be a different matter.  What was a foot and a half of 4% density along with this morning’s additional snowfall is easily being blown around and will make for sensitive new wind slabs on steep terrain.  Reports from personnel in the canyons this morning indicate that drifting is even reaching down into the drainages and in other unlikely areas.  And so it’s not surprising that earlier this morning, a backcountry party in upper Little Cottonwood was reporting that the new 6-18”drifts are quite sensitive and can be triggered from a distance.   


Bottom Line for the Wasatch Range, including the Salt Lake, Park City, Ogden and Provo Mountains:

The avalanche danger is CONSIDERABLE on slopes approaching 35 degrees with recent deposits of wind drifted snow. Human triggered avalanches will be probable.  In sheltered terrain, the danger is MODERATE.


Uinta Mountains:  For Uinta specific information, click on western Uintas on the advisory page or phone 1-800-648-7433.


Mountain Weather:

Today, we’ll see continued snowfall into the morning, with clearing skies by the afternoon.  Winds will remain westerly and blow in the 15-25 mph range.  8000’ temps will peak in the low teens, with 10,000’ temps in the single digits.  The storm will move east with high pressure moving in for the late afternoon and tomorrow.  A warming trend should push ridgetop temps by twenty degrees by tomorrow afternoon with another storm on tap for Wednesday.


For specific digital forecasts for selected mountain areas from the National Weather Service, click the links below or choose your own specific location at the National Weather Service Digital Forecast Page.


3-Day Table

3-Day Graph

7-Day Table

Ogden Mountains

Ogden Mountains

Ogden Mountains

SLC Mountains

SLC Mountains

SLC Mountains

Provo Mountains

Provo Mountains

Provo Mountains



General Information:

Weather permitting, the Wasatch Powderbird Guides will have a ship in American Fork today.  Yesterday they flew in AF and in upper Lamb’s canyon.


If you are getting into the backcountry, please give us a call and let us know what you’re seeing, especially if you trigger an avalanche.  You can leave a message at 524-5304 or 1-800-662-4140.  Or you can e-mail an observation to [email protected] .org, or you can fax an observation to 801-524-6301.


The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center is offering two 3-day avalanche workshops which are being held January 17-19 and February 14-16.  Information and sign-up sheets are available at the Black Diamond store (2092 E. 3900 S.; 278-0233).


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. 


Andrew McLean will update this advisory Tuesday morning.

Thanks for calling.


For more detailed weather information go to our Mountain Weather Advisory

National Weather Service - Salt Lake City - Snow.

For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: