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:


To have this advisory automatically e-mailed to you each day free of charge, visit: http://www.mailermailer.com/x?oid=16351h          

For photos of avalanches and avalanche phenomenon, visit:  http://www.avalanche.org/%7Euac/photos_03-04.htm      (Updated 2/18)

Photos sent in by observers throughout the season visit:  http://www.avalanche.org/~uac/obphotos/observer.html      (Updated 2/24)

For a list of backcountry avalanche activity, visit:  http://www.avalanche.org/%7Euac/Avalanche_List.htm     (Updated 2/24)


Avalanche advisory

Wednesday, February 25, 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, February 25, 2004, and it’s 7:30 a.m.  This forecast is brought to you in partnership with the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, supported in part by Black Diamond Equipment.


Craig Gordon will be giving a free avalanche awareness talk at UVSC tonight at 6:30pm, in room SC201A.  For more information, call Kim Reynolds of the Outdoor Program at 801-863-7052.


Current Conditions:

Today may feel more like March kite flying weather than midwinter as a warm, southwesterly flow sets up ahead of the next storm system.  Currently, under mostly clear skies, winds are from a westerly direction, in the 5 to 15 mph range.  Temperatures are in the mid teens at 10,000’ and the low 20’s at 7 to 8,000’.  The areas of dense, settled powder are shrinking, but can still be found on sheltered, shady mid and upper elevation slopes.  Elsewhere there is a sea of breakable crusts, with some wind damage on exposed ridges and slopes.


Avalanche Conditions:

Yesterday, several more shallow winds slabs and sluffs were triggered on steep, shady slopes.  The winds slabs averaged 6 to 12” deep, up to 40’ wide, and were triggered along ridges and mid slope.  They were substantial enough to be dangerous, and some were running faster than expected.  This afternoon, this problem will become more widespread as a whole new batch of sensitive drifts form when the winds pick up.  Cornices are becoming increasingly sensitive, breaking back further and much larger than expected, and should be given a wide berth.


The other major concern for today will be wet sluffs as the warmer temperatures combined with direct sun and thin clouds will heat up the surface snow.  Both human triggered and spontaneous damp sluffs will be possible at the mid and lower elevations on all aspects, especially shady slopes, and on steep, sunny upper elevation slopes.


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

The avalanche danger is MODERATE on slopes steeper than about 35 degrees with old or new drifts of wind blown snow.  On other slopes, the avalanche danger is low this morning, but the danger of wet loose sluffs will rise to moderate on steep slopes with day time 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 very short lived ridge of high pressure will be over northern Utah this morning, and then move rapidly east of the area this evening as a strong low pressure system moves onto the West Coast.  There will be increasing southwesterly winds, with ridge top averages reaching 20 to 30 mph by this afternoon, and 35 to 45 mph tonight.  Temperatures will warm today into the mid 20’s at 10,000’ and the mid 40’s at 8,000’.   Increasing clouds tonight, with snow developing after midnight.  2 to 5 inches are possible tonight, with another 4 to 8” tomorrow.  Unsettled weather with periods of snow will continue into Sunday morning.



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


General Information:

The Wasatch Powderbird Guides were in Cardiff and Days yesterday, and today they will have one ship in Mineral, Cardiff, Days, Silver, Porter, Alexander, Gobblers, Lambs and Grizzly Gulch drainages, with a second ship south in American Fork and Cascade Ridge.


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. 


I will update this advisory Thursday morning.

Thanks for calling.