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

Tuesday, March 02, 2004,†† 7:30 am


Good morning, this is Bruce Tremper with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.Today is Tuesday, March 02, 2004, and itís 7:30 a.m.This forecast is brought to you in partnership with the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, supported in part by the Uinta Brewing Company.


Current Conditions:

Yesterday the strong March sun came out for the first time in many days.It crusted up all the sun exposed slopes and caused lots of damp to wet sluffs on the steep south facing slopes. The northerly facing slopes still have dry snow and Iím not sure what the turning and riding conditions are, since for us, itís just transportation between snow pits, so I really donít pay attention to that kind of thing, but I do remember getting hit in the face by snow a number of times yesterday on my way down from looking at an avalanche high up in Argenta.Overnight, the temperatures have dropped into the mid teens along the ridge tops and after we had a few hours of 25 mph winds overnight, they have dropped to around 10 mph from the south.


Avalanche Conditions:

Yesterday morning, explosive control for UDOT produced one large avalanche in upper Argenta, which is a northwest facing avalanche path off Kessler Peak. It broke 3 feet deep and up to 5 feet deep in places, 200 feet wide, and it broke on the faceted snow formed during January as well as on depth hoar near the ground. It was a very steep, rocky slope near the summit of Kessler Peak at 10,300í. I will post PHOTOS and a profile if you are interested.Also yesterday, in the Mill Canyon Peak area, which is in the upper part of the American Fork drainage, people noticed a large, very recent-looking natural avalanche 1800 feet wide, N-E facing at 10,100í that broke into the January faceted snow.Also explosive testing by the helicopter company yesterday produced several more deep avalanches in the same area on north through east facing slopes, 1-3 feet deep, 100-400 feet wide around 9,500í. This is a good example of what Iím most worried today, namely, these traditionally thin snowpack areas, such as the eastern fringes of the Wasatch Range, the Uinta Mountains and the Wasatch Plateau. Although most of the snow in the central core of the Wasatch seems to be deep and fairly strong, there are probably a number of slopes in the thinner snowpack areas that might still be hanging in the balance because they have very persistent weak layers under all this new snow.After a huge snow storm like this, itís always smart to give steep slopes some extra time to adjust to their new load.


Also today we should have enough clouds today to keep damp and wet sluffs to a minimum, but if we do get some clear skies or thin clouds we may get a few more wet sluffs on steep, sunny slopes. As usual, you should avoid steep slopes when they get damp or soggy in the heat of the day.


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

The avalanche danger is MODERATE on slopes steeper than 35 degrees with a CONSIDERABLE danger on steep slopes in thin snowpack areas such as on the fringes of the Wasatch Range.Also, there is a MODERATE danger of damp or wet sluffs on steep sun exposed slopes if the sun comes out today. ††You can find plenty of areas with LOW avalanche danger today on slopes less steep than 30 degrees.


BOTTOM LINE FOR THE UINTA MOUNTAINS:CONSIDERABLE danger on slopes steeper than 35 degrees.Any avalanche triggered will be large and dangerous and may even pull out to the ground.



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 storm going through Arizona today will give us some variable clouds and a slight chance of light snow showers, mostly this afternoon.Ridge top winds will blow 10-15 mph from the south with ridge top temperatures in the mid teens. Down at 8,000í the high today should be in the upper 20ís. Wednesday should be clear to partly cloudy and then we have a cold front dropping in from the Pacific Northwest on Thursday. After that, it looks like clear and much warmer for the weekend.


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


General Information:

Weather permitting, the Wasatch Powderbird Guides will be in Mineral, Cardiff, Days, Silver, American Fork, Grizzly Gulch, Mill Creek, the Session Mountains and Lambs Canyon.


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.


Evelyn Lees will update this advisory Wednesday morning.


Thanks for calling.