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

Friday, January 16, 2004   7:30 am


Good morning, this is Evelyn Lees with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Friday, January 16, and it’s 7:30 a.m. 


For photos of avalanches and avalanche phenomenon, click HERE.

Photos sent in by observers throughout the season click HERE.

For a list of backcountry avalanche activity, click HERE.


Current Conditions:

A very weak storm system is moving across the area this morning.  Skies are overcast in the mountains, and temperatures have dropped into the mid teens at 10,000’.  The southwest to westerly winds have picked up across the ridges, and are averaging 10 to 20 mph, with gusts to 35 in the most exposed locations.   The lower elevation and sunny slopes will be frozen hard today, providing a rough teeth chattering ride through small appliances on the more heavily tracked slopes.  Your best chance for soft snow will be in recrystalized powder on shady, wind sheltered slopes at the mid and some upper elevations.


Avalanche Conditions:

 No new avalanches have been reported in several days, and mostly stable snow exists on all aspects and at all elevations.  The dropping temperatures have seized up the soggy snowpack areas, effectively putting a freeze on any wet snow activity.  On steep slopes, there is a slight chance of popping out a small old wind slab, failing on the weakening snow beneath it or even a shallow, fresh drift from today’s winds.  And on steep, shady slopes, it is possible to start a loose sluff large enough to knock you off your feet in the faceted surface snow.  This layer is made up of large surface hoar feathers and small grain facets.  


Bottom Line for the Wasatch Range, including the Salt Lake, Park City, PROVO, and Ogden MOUNTAINS:

The avalanche danger is low today and human triggered slab avalanches are unlikely.  


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


Mountain Weather:

Don’t get excited about today’s storm – “weak” is being defined as clouds and cooler temperatures, and maybe, just maybe an inch or two of snow.  Highs today will be in the upper 20’s at 8,000’ and near 20 at 10,000’.  Winds will shift to the north, then northeast, and be in the 10 to 15 mph range across the peaks.  Tonight, there will be easterly winds in the 10 to 20 mph range, with low temperatures 15 to 20.  The ridge will redevelop for the long weekend, with another splitting system working through the area by Tuesday.


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:

Yesterday, the Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in Greens Basin, Porter, Alexander, Cardiff, Grizzly Gulch and the Cascade ridge area.  Today, weather permitting, they will fly in Silver, Days, Cardiff, Mineral, Porter, Alexander and Lambs Canyon, with home runs in Grizzly Gulch.


You are invited to see the new film "Spirit of Snow" a beautiful film about backcountry skiing as seen through the eyes of a 10th Mountain Division veteran.  Donations requested at the door. 


            Location: University of Utah Social & Behavioral Science Auditorium

            Time: 7pm - Wednesday, January 21, 2004

            For more info - Wasatch Touring - 801/359-9361


Governor Olene Walkier signed the proclamation for Backcountry Awareness Week yesterday at the State Capital building.  This will take place January 19-25th and there are a number of events and presentations.  For complete details, visit: www.backcountryawareness.com.


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 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 Saturday morning.

Thanks for calling.