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/

To have this advisory automatically e-mailed to you each day free of charge, click HERE.

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.



Avalanche advisory

Wednesday, January 21, 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 Wednesday, January 21, and it’s 7:30 a.m. 


·        The "Spirit of Snow", a beautiful new film about backcountry skiing as seen through the eyes of a 10th Mountain Division veteran, is playing tonight at 7 pm at the University of Utah Social & Behavioral Science Auditorium.  For more information call Wasatch Touring at 801/359-9361.


·        This is Backcountry Awareness Week.  Tonight, Bruce Tremper is giving a talk on avalanches and the avalanche history of Little Cottonwood at 5:30 pm at the Inn at Snowbird.  For details on other events and presentations visit www.backcountryawareness.com.


Current Conditions:

High pressure will build in from the north today, bringing a trio of “ditto days”, with clear skies and gradually warming temperatures.  This morning, under sunny skies, mountain temperatures are in the single digits to low teens.  Winds are very light, 5 to 10 mph, and the direction varies from northeast to southeast.  If you are searching for soft snow, many sheltered, shady slopes have great turning and riding conditions in the ever deepening loose, recrystalized surface snow.  Shady, upper elevation slopes have supportable, foam-like wind slabs and sunny slopes have mostly supportable, hard crusts.  In some areas, the surface hoar is growing so large I’m wondering if it will be possible to get face shots by Friday.  


Avalanche Conditions:

Currently, the snow pack is mostly stable, and no significant avalanches have been reported for over a week.  Minor surface sluffs are possible on steep, shady slopes in the loose, recrystalized surface snow.   The current monotonous weather is exactly the sort that creates weak layers in the snowpack.  As you travel about try to map the areas of weak surface snow, the terrain with a shallow snowpack that is deteriorating from top to bottom, and which sunny aspects have thinner, fragile crusts with associated facets.  


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

The avalanche danger is low today throughout the northern Wasatch 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:

A stable, dry northerly flow will be over the area today through Friday.  Today, there will be mostly sunny skies, with highs in the upper 20’s at 8,000’ and the upper teens at 10,000’.  Winds will be light, less than 15 mph, and generally from the northeast.  There will be clear skies with warming temperatures through Friday and then finally the words “cloudy” and “snow” appear once again in the forecast.  The computer models have been consistent in predicting a pattern change which would bring a cold Pacific system to the area Saturday night or Sunday.


·        For specific digital forecasts for the Salt Lake, Provo or Ogden mountains, CLICK HERE.


General Information:

Yesterday, the Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in Days, Cardiff, Mineral, Big Water and White Pine and today they will be in White Pine and American Fork.


·        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.


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. 


Bruce Tremper will update this advisory Thursday morning.

Thanks for calling.