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 3/12)

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

Sunday, March 14, 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 Sunday, March 14, 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:

Skies are partly cloudy and we should see a gradual increase in cloud cover and winds today as a storm system passes to the north of us.   The winds did jump a little before midnight and are westerly in the 10-15 mph range, with more exposed anemometers reading 20-30 mph above 11,000’.  Mountain temperatures dropped into the low to mid 20’s.    Today’s corn hunt may be a bit more of a wild goose chase as the increasing clouds, cooler temps and stronger winds will likely narrow the window of where the snow surface softens and don’t be surprised to get skunked in the afternoon.  You can, however, still find decent recrystalized powder over a supportable base on straight north facing slopes until you hit the flats or drop beneath 7500’.  


Avalanche Conditions:

If you look hard enough in steep, rocky, shallow snowpack areas, you’ll find wind slab over depth hoar – making a Colorado skier feel right at home.  Yesterday afternoon, a skier triggered a slab 1-2’ deep and 60’ wide on a steep north-facing slope at 9600’ just down from Desolation Lake in the east fork of Mill D North.  An observer watched the skier get carried for only 50’ of the 200’ vertical that the debris ran.  Even with an overall Low danger rating, it pays to snoop around and avoid these anomalous areas that are shallow, rocky, and clearly weak.  Using your probe or inverted ski pole is the easiest way to get a good feel for this type of layering.  


Increasing clouds, cooler temps and stronger winds will likely keep a lid on most wet activity today, but as always, if you overstay your welcome on a wet soggy slope, it’s likely you’ll find trouble with both natural and easy-to-trigger wet sluffs.


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

The avalanche danger is LOW this morning.  With daytime heating, the danger may rise to MODERATE on some steep sun exposed slopes and at mid and lower elevations.


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 brush-by to the north will bring increasing clouds and stronger winds to the Wasatch and we may even get a skiff of snow by early evening.  8000’ temps will rise to near 40 with 10,000’ highs just below freezing.  The winds will be westerly at 20-25 mph, shifting to the northwest later tonight and increasing to 30-35 mph.  Skies will start to clear tomorrow morning with cooler temps for the next couple of days.  Another weak brush-by moves through on Tuesday with high pressure building for the remainder of the week.


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


General Information:

Yesterday, the Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in American Fork, Snake Creek, and White Pine.  Today they will operate in American Fork and Snake Creek. 


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. 


I will update this advisory Monday morning.


Thanks for calling.