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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For a list of backcountry avalanche activity, click HERE.





Avalanche advisory

Monday, February 02, 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, February 02, 2004, and it’s 7:30 a.m.   We found some gear that was dropped by another touring party in Alexander Basin yesterday – give us a call to claim it.  


The Banff Film Festival, a benefit for the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, is on 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.


Current Conditions:

The storm that clipped us to the north brought anywhere from a trace to 3” overnight, but skies have since cleared.  Temperatures are about 10 degrees warmer than this time yesterday and are, by comparison, balmy at 12 degrees at 8000’ and 8 degrees at 10,000’.   By afternoon yesterday, the winds picked up into the 15-20mph range for a few hours but have since calmed and are now less than 10mph out of the west.  Turning and riding conditions are excellent on all aspects at the mid and upper elevations.


Avalanche Conditions:

Avalanche activity reported from yesterday was relegated to some minor sluffing on some of the steepest slopes and some 3” soft slabs formed from the increased winds in the p.m.  Today, you’ll likely find more of the same: isolated shallow wind drifts just on the lee of ridgelines and a bit more sluffing in the surface snow.  Winds should be light this morning, but start to pick up by afternoon out of the south in the 20mph range.  With lots of snow available for transport, shallow new wind drifts will likely be forming on the lee of ridgelines.  As the surface snow has been weakening for the last day or two on top of quite weak snow beneath Thursday’s crust, we’ll be set up for some interesting avalanche conditions with tomorrow’s storm, slated to drop perhaps a foot of higher density snow in areas favored by a southerly and then easterly flow.    


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

The avalanche danger is moderate on north through east facing slopes above 9500’ and steeper than 38 degrees.   Moderate means that human triggered avalanches are possible.  Elsewhere, the danger is LOW.  If the winds pick up stronger and earlier than expected, avoid any new drift of windblown snow.  As the winds were stronger in the Provo and Ogden area mountains, sensitive wind drifts may be more common and up to 8-12” deep at the higher elevations.


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


Mountain Weather:

It’ll be mostly clear this morning with increasing clouds in anticipation of tonight and tomorrow’s storm.  The winds will be generally light from the west and then increase to 15-20mph out of the southwest by afternoon.  8000’ temps highs will be 25 degrees with 10,000’ temperatures at 15 degrees.  Snow should begin to fall by early evening, with snow expected into tomorrow and tomorrow night.  Unsettled weather is expected for the rest of the week.


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


General Information:

The Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in Snake Creek, American Fork and along the Cascade ridge in Provo yesterday and today will be in the Bountiful Sessions, Lamb’s Canyon, AF, and Cascade areas again.


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 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 Tuesday morning.

Thanks for calling.