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 3/25)

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 3/25)


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


Avalanche advisory

Thursday, March 25, 2004,   7:30 am


Good morning, this is Bruce Tremper with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Thursday, March 25, 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 Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort.


Current Conditions:

Yesterday, the snow surface conditions actually improved quite a bit—yes, that’s right IMPROVED--the first time after a number of days of deteriorating conditions.  The snow surface was supportable at most elevations but you were still sinking through into the mush at lower elevations especially around snow line.  This morning would probably be a good day to get out as temperatures are about 4 degrees cooler than yesterday morning, which in turn are 4 degrees cooler than the morning before that.  This morning the temperatures are around 40 degrees at 8,000’ and around freezing along the ridge tops.  Ridge top winds are 20 mph from the southwest.  Then, we’ll have a good, old-fashioned, cold front tomorrow.


Avalanche Conditions:

Cooler temperatures and wind has dramatically calmed down the avalanche activity from wet sluffs, wet slabs and glide avalanches of the past several days.  Yesterday, the biggest hazard was getting zapped by lightning if you lingered on the ridge tops into the afternoon.  Today should be mostly stable but you should continue to be suspicious of steep, soggy slopes, especially in thin snowpack areas.  Although this will be a very isolated problem, I should mention that even if a saturated snowpack has a thin, frozen skin on top. you can sometimes trigger what we call “corn slab” avalanches.


Bottom Line for the Salt Lake, Park CITY, Provo, and ogden AREA MOUNTAINS:

The avalanche danger is LOW today on all slopes with the exception of pockets of moderate danger on steep, slopes with thin, saturated snowpack.


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:

If you’re already nostalgic for winter, you’re in luck because we have a brief remember-what-winter-is-like party this Friday and Saturday with dramatically colder temperatures and even some good old-fashioned snow in the mountains.  I can hardly remember what fresh snow looks and feels like, since it’s been nearly three weeks since we’ve had any.  In the mean time, today we will have ridge top temperatures just above freezing with 8,000’ temperatures climbing into the lower 50’s.  Ridge top winds will be 20 mph from the southwest.  We will have partly cloudy skies today with a few thunderstorms going through the very northern parts of Utah.  On Friday, we’ll see a cold front passing with about six inches of snow in the mountains by Saturday morning with ridge top winds shifting from the southwest to the northwest.  Ridge top temperatures will drop to around 18 degrees, which will feel like quite a shock compared to the sweltering temperatures this past week.  Enjoy winter while you can because the extended forecast calls for a return to warm, sunny conditions by Monday and it should stay that way until the first few days of April.


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


General Information:

The Wasatch Powderbird Guides didn’t fly yesterday and they will be doing some minor work for Snowbird Ski Area today and a short run for a film crew in American Fork.


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 Friday morning.


Thanks for calling.