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

SUNDAY, January 18, 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 Sunday, January 18, and it’s 7:30 a.m. 


The new film "Spirit of Snow" is playing Wednesday, January 21, at 7 pm at the University of Utah Social & Behavioral Science Auditorium.  For more information call Wasatch Touring at 801/359-9361.


Backcountry Awareness Week is January 19-25th and there are a number of events and presentations.  For details visit www.backcountryawareness.com.


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:

If you’re still listening to our broken record here, you might consider forming a support group and I suspect there may be others out there just like you.  To no one’s surprise, we had clear skies last night where temperatures dropped into the high teens and twenties and winds were light out of the west.  Southerly facing slopes are now mostly supportable, while the north slopes have the mixed bag of wind board, recrystalized snow, and surface hoar.


Avalanche Conditions:

Weakening of the surface snow through recrystallization has made sluffing the primary concern on steep northerly facing terrain.   To be sure, the consequences of getting knocked over while in radical terrain, or buried by the loose snow in a gulley would be enough to ruin your day.  And there’s plenty of weak snow around on our stable snowpack.  Do your homework and map out the distribution of the surface hoar and recrystalized snow ahead of the next storm, apparently due sometime in March.  Nonetheless, we’ll be in for a pretty good cycle with our current conditions.  Borrowing from Evelyn earlier this week, today’s good skiing will be next week’s avalanche headache.


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

The avalanche danger is low today on all aspects and elevations with human triggered slab avalanches unlikely.  


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


Mountain Weather:

We’ll have another perfect day in the Wasatch with blue skies, light winds and temperatures in the mid-twenties at 10,000’ and near 40 at 8000’.  Tonight and tomorrow we’ll see increasing clouds and northwest winds ahead of Monday night’s weak disturbance that may put down as much as an inch or so in the mountains.  The overall picture has the mean ridge pushing west back into the Pacific, allowing for a number of weak systems to ride over the top and down into Utah for the next week.  At this time, Saturday might be our best bet.


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 the Cascade ridge area in Provo.  Today, they’ll fly there again, as well as in American Fork and the Bountiful-Sessions area.


The Banff Film Festival, a benefit for the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, is coming up next month – February 9th and 10th at Kingsbury Hall.  For ticket information, call Rob at the U of U Outdoor Program at 581-8516.


We always appreciate any backcountry observations, particularly if you trigger or observe an avalanche.  You can leave us 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. 


I will update this advisory Monday morning.

Thanks for calling.