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 3/9)

For a list of backcountry avalanche activity, visit:http://www.avalanche.org/%7Euac/Avalanche_List.htm†††† (Updated 3/9)


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


Avalanche advisory

Tuesday, March 09, 2004,†† 7:30 am


Good morning, this is Andrew McLean with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.Today is Tuesday, March 09, 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 Black Diamond Equipment.


Current Conditions:

After a sizzling day with mountain temperatures in the 50ís yesterday, last night barely skimmed below freezing at most ridgetop locations. With little to no wind and lots of direct sunlight, slopes are quickly turning gloppy with only a few isolated pockets of soft powder to be found in very sheltered mid elevation areas.Today should be the third and final round of this high pressure system, with warm temperatures expected during the day, but a breeze building out of the south in the afternoon, which should help cool things off.


Avalanche Conditions:

Like Dracula, the snowpack is having a strong reaction to direct sunlight and behaving poorly.Not only is the ambient air temperature high, but the direct sun and lack of cooling winds have turned the snowpack into a pineapple upside-down cake, with a sticky, heavy layer on top of a softer, lighter base. Until some drainage channels develop, the upper 12Ē is acting like a sponge by absorbing and holding large amounts of water.This saturated snowpack collapsed in some spectacular wet slides yesterday, including a natural in the Maybird slide path of Little Cottonwood Canyon that buried the road 10-15 feet deep by 50í wide around 1:30pm.This type of springtime activity often occurs on a three day cycle, with the last day, today, being the most active.


Slopes with direct sun exposure will be the usual suspects, but todayís hidden enemy will be ANY steep mid to lower elevation slope, especially near valley bottoms. These will include many of the popular snowshoeing and hiking trails, and while the weather might be perfect for picnics, you will want to be careful where you hold them.During the heat of the day, stay out from underneath all heavily loaded slopes, regardless of their aspect to the sun. Natural avalanches resulting from snow dropping off of trees, peeling off cliffs, or developing from small point releases will all be likely today.


Depending on the temperatures, UDOT in Big Cottonwood may be doing explosive control work in the Stairs Gulch drainage this afternoon.


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

The avalanche danger will rise with the temperatures throughout the day, starting with a moderate danger in the morning which will climb to considerable during the heat of the day on all aspects, especially at lower elevations.If the weather is warmer than expected, or the cooling south winds donít develop, the danger will rise to HIGH, with natural and human triggered avalanches being likely.


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:

Expect another beautiful morning in the mountains, with clear, sunny skies, temperatures climbing into the upper 40ís and no wind. Later this afternoon a light breeze will fill in from the south then turn westerly with gusts up to 25mph. A weak cold front will develop early Wednesday morning with some accompanying clouds and cooling. This will be short lived, as high pressure and warming temperatures return on Thursday.


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


General Information:

Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in American Fork and Cascade yesterday.Today they will operate in Mineral Fork, Cardiff, Days, Silver Fork, Grizzly Gulch and the White Pine drainage.


The second annual Wasatch PowderKeg Ski Mountaineering 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 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.