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 2/27)

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 2/27)


Avalanche advisory

Sunday, February 29, 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, February 29, 2004, and its 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.


Current Conditions:

And the snow keeps on falling. Overnight, the Cottonwoods picked up another 8-12 of 5% champagne. Areas along the perimeter picked up another 3-5 and its still snowing. 24 hour totals in Ogden and Provo are 5 and 3. This pushes snow totals since Thursday to about 3 3.5 in favored locations. Overnight the winds veered to the northwest and have averaged 15 mph. Temperatures are in the upper teens.


Avalanche Conditions:

With perhaps another foot of snow expected in favored locations today, Ive issued another Special Avalanche Statement. As I write this, both Cottonwood Canyons are closed for control work above the highways. While most of the natural avalanches have subsided, backcountry travelers are finding slopes that did not slide during the previous cycle on Thursday that are just hanging in the balance. Backcountry skiers triggered sizeable avalanches from Ogden to Provo yesterday with at least four people taking rides. A gal triggered a 2x50 slide on a northwest facing slope at 7500 in Coldwater canyon up in Ogden, washing through some trees and was slightly injured. On a westerly facing aspect in USA bowl in upper Big Cottonwood Canyon, it was reported that a skier triggered, was caught and then carried by a 3x 300 avalanche. Also along the Park City ridgeline, control work in McDonald Draw produced a 3 deep slide that broke in the January snow. The Provo Mountains were in the picture as well, as a skier remotely triggered a 1.5-2 deep slide up to a couple hundred feet wide on a steep east facing slope at 8500. All of these illustrate the point that any avalanche triggered in the backcountry will have serious consequences.


Unless you have a good idea which paths slid during the past few days, youll want to keep your slope angles down below 35 degrees today. As more snow continues to pile up, particularly in the Cottonwoods, slopes may become even more sensitive to the weight of a person. Be alert for changing conditions and expose only one person on the slope at a time.


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

The avalanche danger is a scary CONSIDERABLE on mid and upper elevation slopes steeper than 35 degrees. Natural shallow soft slabs may be possible with the new snow today, but the take-home point is that any avalanche triggered will have significant consequences. You can find plenty of areas with LOW avalanche danger today on slopes less steep than 30 degrees, which dont have steeper slopes hanging above them.


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:

Moist northwest flow as upper Low pulls away should produce heavy snow in the Cottonwoods with up to a foot expected by evening. Perimeter areas may see as much as 6. Winds will be west northwest in the 15mph range, slightly higher along the highest ridgelines. Temps will be 20 and 15 degrees at 8000 and 10,000. Well dry out slightly late tonight/tomorrow ahead of another storm slated for Monday afternoon/evening.

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


General Information:

The Wasatch Powderbird Guides will probably not be flying today because of weather but they may be doing avalanche control for the highways and ski resorts.


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 Monday morning.


Thanks for calling.