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

Tuesday, February 10, 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 Tuesday, February 10, 2004, and itís 7:30 a.m.


Tonight is the last night of the Banff Film Festival, a benefit for the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, at Kingsbury Hall.Tickets are still available at Kingsbury Hall, REI, The Outdoor Recreation Program or any Art-Tix Outlet.


The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center has a few spots left in their three day avalanche class this weekend, February 14-16.For more information or to sign up, contact Black Diamond Retail at (801) 278-0233.2092 E. 3900 S.


Current Conditions:

A northerly flow originating out of Canada is over Utah, and has dropped temperatures into the chilly single digits.Skies are clear and the winds are light from the north, generally less than 10 mph.Only the highest peaks have wind speeds in the 15-20 mph range, with gusts in the 20ís. While there is some wind damage along the ridges, the turning and riding conditions continue to be about as good as it gets in deep powder on the shady, wind sheltered slopes at most elevations.


Avalanche Conditions:

There were no reports of avalanche activity yesterday, though one large collapse was reported from a northeast facing slope in Mineral Fork. Surface sluffing has decreased, and the old wind slabs seem to have stabilized.This puts the focus of potential avalanche activity on the two more deeply buried weak layers, the facets associated with the rime crust and those that formed during the January high pressure. The strength of these two layers varies significantly from slope to slope. The weak layers remind me of the traveling in third world cities, where thereís a solider with a machine gun on every corner.Sure, itís quiet at the moment, but their presence means you just canít completely relax.Like our current snowpack, you know if you end up in the wrong place at the wrong time, things could go bad real fast. So evaluate each steep slope individually, and make sure to dig down to and look at both these faceted layers. ††The most likely place to trigger one of these weak layers would be on a slope with a shallower snow pack, such as along wind eroded ridgelines and at mid elevations.


If todayís sun comes out in full force, expect the surface snow to warm, and loose point sluffs to run on steep sunny slopes, including at the lower elevations.


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

On slopes less steep than about 35 degrees, the avalanche danger is LOW.On slopes steeper than about 35 degrees, the avalanche danger is moderate, which means human triggered slides are possible. The mostly likely place to trigger a slide would be in a shallower snow pack area, such as a steep, rocky slope. ††The avalanche danger may rise to MODERATE on and below steep sunny slopes with daytime heating.


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

Logan: click HERE or call 435-797-4146


Mountain Weather:

A ridge building over the west coast will keep northern Utah under a cool northerly flow today. Skies will be mostly sunny, with highs in the upper teens at 10,000í and the upper 20ís at 8,000í. The northerly winds will light, less than 15 mph.A cold, but fairly dry disturbance moving across the area tonight into tomorrow will drop temperatures more than snow. Expect a few fresh inches tonight and tomorrow, with temperatures retreating back into the single digits. The northerly winds will increase into the moderate range of 20 to 30 mph by morning.The next chance for snow will be Sunday into early next week.


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


General Information:

The Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew yesterday in American Fork, Snake Creek, and Cascade Ridge, and today they will be skiing in Mineral, Cardiff, Days, Silver, Grizzley Gulch and White Pine.


Some gear was lost Sunday morning on the Alta to Flagstaff up track.If you found it, please call 801-554-5139.


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

Thanks for calling.