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

Tuesday, March 30, 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 Tuesday, March 30, 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 the Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort.


Current Conditions:

After a calm, starry night that barely dipped below freezing, the sun will be out in full force today with rapidly escalating temperatures that are expected to top out at nearly 60 degrees at 8,000’.  Moderate ridgetop winds out of the south will help cool off the upper elevations to just below broiling, which should make the hunt for soft powder a challenge.  Travel in the backcountry yesterday was a trail of tears, with brutal high-heel glomming as you alternated between sun drenched wet snow and shaded fluff.  The downhill is a bit better, with transitional, sticky snow interlaced with patches of powder.


Avalanche Conditions:

We have two major avalanche components in place – a slab and a surface for it to slide on.  The saving grace is that they are generally well bonded together.  On slopes that have seen some sun, the new snow has melded with the old bed surface and is only producing small point release avalanches in the new snow.  In upper elevation, shady slopes, it’s possible to get a clean sheer between the slab and the bed surface, but the gummy nature of the new snow keeps it from moving very far.  All of these positive indicators can only mean one thing – that you shouldn’t completely trust the snowpack just yet.  While the chances of triggering a large soft slab are diminishing, safe travel protocol, slope cuts and avoiding those large pillowy wind deposits will be prudent for the next few days.


With today’s major heating, wet slides on sun exposed slopes will be a concern as the weekends snow softens and starts to peel off.  The snowpack has developed a good drainage system from our last period of warm weather, but as always, avoid traveling through shin deep mush as the sun reaches its zenith.


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

There is a LOW danger of human triggered avalanches today, with the isolated pockets of moderate danger in upper elevation terrain with recent deposits of wind drifted snow.  As the temperatures near 60 degrees, there will be a considerable danger of wet slides on sun exposed slopes or on steeper terrain in the 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:

Sunny, clear weather will prevail throughout the day and tonight, with temperatures staying above freezing once again.  The winds will start to increase into the “strong” category by tomorrow morning ahead of a Pacific storm system that is moving into the Great Basin area.   This system will start with a dose of cloudy weather, thunderstorms and cooling temperatures, then build into a chance of snow or rain in the mountains on Thursday and Friday.  The weekend looks like a continuation of this pattern, with temperatures dropping down into the lower 20’s.


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


General Information:

The Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in American Fork, Snake Creek and Cascade yesterday.  Today they will be operating in Mineral, Cardiff, Days, Silver Fork, Gobblers Knob, Grizzly Gulch and the White Pine drainage.


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. 


Evelyn Lees will update this advisory Wednesday morning.


Thanks for calling.