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 3/6)

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 3/6)


Early morning preliminary information by 6:00 am: 801-364-1591


Avalanche advisory

Monday, March 08, 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, March 08, 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.


Current Conditions:

After yesterday’s skyrocketing temperatures into the mid and upper 40’s up to 9500’, today will be round two of Beach Blanket Bingo with even warmer temperatures expected.  There was only a slight cool-off overnight with inverted temperatures as overnight lows dropped to 30 and 21 degrees at 10,000’ and 7000’, respectively.  The winds seemed to have blown themselves out and have been less than 10mph from the northwest.  While the conditions were described as “sublimely miserable” by a friend of mine, you can still find decent creamy powder on mid elevation sun and wind protected slopes.   


Avalanche Conditions:

Just like clockwork, the sunny aspects went off yesterday and some of the steeper and longer running south facing shots had impressive wet debris piles under them.  Not to be left out, the lower elevation north facing slopes also got in on the action as ambient heating on cold snow produced decent debris piles, perhaps most notably in Ogden and Weber canyons.  On the other side of the coin, there were at least three skier triggered avalanches in the backcountry, with one natural slide, presumed triggered by cornice fall.  The skier triggered slides were in No-Name bowl, off the Park City ridgeline, that was reported to be 2-4’ deep and 100’ wide (notice the relationship between what naturally slid Saturday in West Monitor with what was human triggered yesterday); a steep northeast facing rollover in upper Snake Creek at 8500’ that was 8” and not very wide; and a report of a skier triggered slide in Toledo Chute that left a decent debris pile down in the transition zone.  The natural was on a south facing aspect near the Red Rock cliffs area on the Park City ridgeline that broke 1’ deep by 100’ wide.  


It’s likely that most of the instability from Saturday’s strong winds has settled out, but you may still find a remnant wind slab that you could get to pop out in the odd nook or in steep rocky terrain that has a shallower snowpack.  Wet activity will be the primary focus for today, however, as the poor refreeze and warmer temperatures will set the stage for continued problems on the steep sun exposed slopes.  The wet activity on the north facing slopes will undoubtedly notch a bit higher in elevation, perhaps to 8000’.  So again, if you’re sinking in up past your boot-cuffs, dodging rollerballs and pinwheels, or getting wet push-alanches to pull out on the steeper slopes, it’ll be time to head to a different aspect or back to the car.  Finally, cornices will likely be more sensitive today as well.


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

The avalanche danger is generally LOW with just isolated areas where you could pull out an old wind slab.  The danger of wet avalanche activity will rise to MODERATE on the steep sun exposed slopes and may again rise to CONSIDERABLE, particularly on slopes that didn’t manage to release yesterday. 


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:

We’ll see continued bluebird skies and light northerly winds.  8000’ temps will be in the mid forties with 10,000’ temps rising again to the mid to upper thirties.  Tomorrow will be just as warm with a dry cold front expected for Wednesday. 



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


General Information:

Wasatch Powderbird Guides will fly in the Sessions, American Fork, and Cascade areas.


Finally, the annual Wasatch Powderkeg randonnee rally race will be March 20th.  You can sign up at the Black Diamond retail store.


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.