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 3/27)


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


Avalanche advisory

Monday, March 29, 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 Monday, March 29, 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:

Skies are clear, and as of 6am, upper elevation temps are about 10 degrees warmer than they were yesterday.  The ‘overnight’ lows were around 8pm and the warming trend has already pushed 10,000’ temps into the upper twenties and low thirties.  Below about 8500’, temps are in the high teens.  Winds are 10-15mph out of the northwest with the most exposed anemometers showing winds up to 25mph.  With sun exposed and low elevation slopes going off yesterday, today’s fare will include breakable suncrust, welded wind slab, scoured ice crust and patches of powder.  But It won’t take long for sun exposed slopes to get wet and sloppy this morning.


Avalanche Conditions:

Overall, the wind slabs created from Saturday night’s strong west-northwesterly winds were stubborn and reluctant to move, and generally took convincing from explosive work to become reactive.  Skier triggered avalanches were best described as isolated and pockety, with the most noteworthy in Toledo Chute, an area in upper Little Cottonwood classic for loading with those types of winds.  For today, I’d expect most of these wind drifts to have seized up entirely, but there may still be a remnant drift or two in steep upper elevation terrain, so you may need to wait another day to put the blinders on.  Of more concern will be the danger of wet activity as temps soar to near 40 degrees at 10,000’ and in the fifties at 8000’.  Clear skies and the lack of much wind will further conspire to turn the sun exposed and lower elevation slopes sloppy as the day heats up.  If you’re already sinking in past your boot cuffs and observing wet point releases, it’ll be time to change aspects or hit the road.


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

The avalanche danger is mostly LOW today except for isolated pockets of MODERATE along the more wind exposed upper elevation terrain.  With increased heating, the danger of wet avalanche activity will rise to CONSIDERABLE , particularly on the sun exposed slopes, but possible on any low to mid elevation north facing slopes as well.


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:

Today will be sunny and warm with temps rising into the 50’s at 8000’ and in the upper thirties at 10,000’.  As the ridge shifts east, the winds will back to the south and remain less than 15mph.  The southerly flow will remain through late Tuesday ahead of the next splitting system, which looks to control our weather through the weekend.  The weather models are not in agreement on the nuts and bolts of this system, but at this time, it appears to offer only showery weather.


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


General Information:

The Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in American Fork and Cascade and will be flying there again today.


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 Monday morning.


Thanks for calling.