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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Text Box:




Avalanche advisory

Sunday, January 25, 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 25, 2004, and its 7:30 a.m.


Current Conditions:

Finally, finally, Old Man Winter is back. As of 6am, storm totals across the range are up to 11 in the Ogden mountains, 6-8 in the Cottonwoods, 5 in the Park City mountains, and 2-3 in Provo. Densities are coming in at 4-6%. Temperatures have plummeted with the passing of the cold front and are now in the single digits and teens. The winds are currently 10-15 mph out of the northwest, with the most exposed anemometers pushing 20-30 mph, gusting to 50.


Avalanche Conditions:

While its true that were all powder starved, caution will need to be observed in the backcountry today. First, its unlikely that the new snow will bond well to

many of the underlying snow surfaces. Weak sugary faceted snow comprised much of the snow surface on all aspects at the mid and low elevations; while very weak surface hoar littered the low elevation drainage bottoms and gulley side walls. Places such as Doughnut falls and Grizzly Gulch should be avoided today. While the mid and low elevations will be a major concern, the upper elevations will see more snow and wind, resulting in unstable wind drifts on steep wind loaded slopes. Because the old snow is so weak, its likely that some of the new snow has already sluffed out on some of the steeper slopes and this will continue to be a problem over the course of the day.


Whats clear is that as more snow and wind is expected, the danger will be on the rise. Natural avalanches may become possible with the added accumulations and with buried surface hoar and surface facets, avalanches may start to become triggered from a distance. Most savvy travelers today will jump on test slopes, drop cornices, stick to low angled slopes and keep an eye on runout zones.


Bottom Line for the Wasatch Range, including the Salt Lake AND Park City MOUNTAINS:

The avalanche danger is MODERATE this morning and will rise to CONSIDERABLE on all slopes steeper than 35 degrees. In areas that receive over a foot of snow, natural avalanches will be possible.


OGDEN MOUNTAINS: The danger is already CONSIDERABLE on all slopes over 35 degrees. Human triggered avalanches will be probable, with naturals possible. Significant snowfall has already pushed the danger up a notch here.


PROVO MOUNTAINS: The danger is MODERATE. Lack of snowfall will keep the danger at moderate.


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


Mountain Weather: Snowfall will continue throughout the day, tapering off by the afternoon. The moist northwest flow will keep it snowy in the Cottonwoods through the night and into tomorrow, with another foot expected by late afternoon. Winds will be 15-20 mph out of the northwest. 10,000 temperatures will drop to zero with 8000 highs at 10 degrees. The medium range models keep a moist westerly flow through the Wasatch for the week.



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


General Information:

The Wasatch Powderbird Guides will not fly today due to weather.


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. Tickets are now available at Kingsbury Hall, REI, The Outdoor Recreation Program or any Art-Tix Outlet. For more information, call Rob at the U of U Outdoor Program at 581-8516.


The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center are offering a three day avalanche class February 14-16. For more information or to sign up, contact Black Diamond Equipment at (801) 278-0233. 2092 E. 3900 S.


If you are getting into the backcountry, please give us a call and let us know what youre 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.


I will update this advisory tomorrow morning.

Thanks for calling.