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 about 6:00 am: 801-364-1591


Avalanche advisory

Friday, March 12, 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 Friday, March 12, 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:

Spring has sprung in the Wasatch, with some of the first short sleeves and outdoor BBQs of the season sprouting yesterday. Warm and toasty daytime temperatures climbed into the lower 50s with barely a trace of wind. The Tri-Canyons areas received a good refreeze overnight, while the Ogden mountains barely crusted over and only the highest Provo peaks dropped below freezing. Today will be more of the same, with some slightly cooler temperatures, high clouds and a moderate breeze building out of the west. For snow quality, we have a virtual backcountry buffet ranging from early morning corn snow to delectable recrystalized powder and the always popular tip-snagging crusts.


Avalanche Conditions:

Wet avalanches continue to be the main concern during this spell of high pressure and warm weather. The dramatic swings between daytime highs and nighttime lows have consolidated the snowpack into a well bonded mass, with the exception of afternoon wet slides. These are mainly confined to slopes that receive large amounts of direct sunlight and with todays expected cooler temperatures, should be held at bay.


Although wet avalanches generally move slower than dry slides, they should be given proper respect. Like quicksand, just getting a toe caught in one can lead to slowly getting dragged down. The best way to avoid them is to get an early start and stay off of and out from underneath rapidly warming slopes. If you find yourself in the midst of a soggy slope, stick to the ridgelines, or use a diagonal fall line to avoid the sluffs creeping down from above. Elevation is also a major factor, with the lower, warmer areas peeling off sooner in the day.


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

The avalanche danger is LOW this morning, rising to MODERATE by about noon on all sun exposed slopes steeper than 35 degrees, especially at mid and lower elevations.



Due to a poor refreeze and warmer temperatures, the avalanche activity will be a notch higher in these areas, starting with a moderate danger and rising to considerable as the temperatures increase throughout the day.


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 dwindling Pacific system will make an appearance later today and drift southeast through the tip of Utah this evening. Mountain temperatures at 8,000 will be in the mid to high forties with high clouds and a moderate breeze out of the west. By late this evening and early Saturday morning, cooler temperatures and anywhere from a trace to two inches of snow are expected. Daytime highs will be in the mid 30s with a 20mph wind out of the northwest. Following a brief spell of high pressure on Sunday, a moist and mild westerly flow will push into the area in the beginning of next week.


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


General Information:

Yesterday, the Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in Mineral and Cardiff forks with an alpine tour over to the Coalpit headwall. Today they will operate in American Fork, White Pine and Snake Creek.


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.


Evelyn Lees will update this advisory Saturday morning.


Thanks for calling.