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

Wednesday, March 10, 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, March 10, 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:

A very weak disturbance moved across northern Utah last night, bringing cloudy skies, a trace of snow and cooler temperatures at the upper elevations. Above about 9,000, temperatures dropped into the mid 20s. Below about 9,000, temperatures remained mostly above freezing, in the low to mid 30s. Winds are shifting to the northwest, and are in the 10 to 15 mph range, with slightly higher speeds across the tallest peaks.


Almost all snow surfaces will be frozen this morning, with the mostly breakable crusts covering a thick layer of wet, soft snow, similar to marshmallow fluff. Once the day heats up or the sun hits a slope, these crusts will melt into more friendly, but very sloppy wet snow. With perseverance, backcountry travelers may find some supportable crusts for corn-like skiing and a bit of soft snow on steeper, shady slopes.


Avalanche Conditions:

Wet snow avalanches continue to be the headline. Yesterday, the southern end of the range was the most active, with long running wet sluffs reported from the Provo area mountains. Two of the sluffs pulled out slabs on southeasterly facing slopes, which were 40 to 80 wide and about 2 deep. Similar activity was reported from the western Uintas, where slabs were pulled out on westerly facing slopes.


Today, the greatest danger of wet snow avalanches will be on mid and lower elevation slopes, where the combination of overnight cloud cover and nonfreezing temperatures prevented a good refreeze. Wet sluffs can pack a lot of punch, taking you for a ride, sending you over a cliff or even bury you in snow the consistency wet cement. Particularly avoid terrain traps, such as gullies or flat roads, where even a small sluff could pile up deeply. The sluffs could pull out slabs, especially in shallow snow pack areas. At the upper elevations, the cooler temperatures should greatly decrease wet activity, though the refreeze wont be as quite good as expected because the overnight clouds acted like a blanket, trapping heat.


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

At mid and low elevations, the avalanche danger is moderate this morning on all aspects, and may rise to considerable with day time heating. Human triggered slides will be likely and natural avalanche possible on steep slopes. At upper elevations, above about 9,000, the avalanche danger is LOW this morning, and will rise to moderate on and below 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:

The weak trough is rapidly moving out of the area, and skies should be clearing by dawn as high pressure rebuilds. Today, temperatures will be about 10 degrees cooler at 10,000, with highs in the mid 20s. Mid and low elevation highs will be much warmer, reaching well into the 40s once again. Winds will be from a northwesterly direction, in the 10 to 20 mph range. Tonight, skies will be clear, with lows in the mid teens to mid 20s. A warm ridge of high pressure will return for Thursday and Friday. The Friday night/Saturday storm is starting to look better on the computer models, and may produce a decent shot of powder.


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


General Information:

Yesterday, Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in Mineral, Cardiff, Days, and Grizzly. Today they will operate one ship in Mineral Fork, Cardiff, Days, and the White Pine drainage, with a second ship in Lambs, the Sessions and Francis Peak.


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 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.


Bruce Tremper will update this advisory Thursday morning.


Thanks for calling.