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:


For photos of avalanches and avalanche activity, 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 4/2)

For a list of backcountry avalanche activity, visit:http://www.avalanche.org/%7Euac/Avalanche_List.htm†††† (Updated 3/31)


Avalanche Advisory afternoon update

Tuesday, April 20, 20045:30pm


Good afternoon, this is Bruce Tremper with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with an afternoon update.Today is Tuesday, April 20 and itís 5:30pm.This information is time sensitive and will expire by Wednesday evening.Click here to see our standard end of the year bulletin which has links to weather sites and information as well as some general tips and guidelines for the spring avalanche season.


Current Conditions:

With 4-6 more inches of snow in the past 24 hours, thereís a total of about 14 inches of settled, new powder in the upper Cottonwood Canyons. Unfortunately, the wind started blowing harder today and it created some wind drifting especially along the upper elevation ridges.Thereís still nice powder on the slopes that face the north half of the compass but the sun has made the snow a bit funky on the southerly aspects.


Avalanche Conditions:

Todayís winds from the southwest created some wind slabs along the upper elevation ridges. One of our observers noticed a natural wind slab in upper Dayís Fork about two feet deep, but not running very far. He was able to kick off a cornice above an adjacent slope and trigger another wind slab about the same size. People on Altaís Baldy also notice wind affected snow there as well but they decided to avoid steep slopes because of it. Remember that all the ski areas except Snowbird is closed for the season and they are not doing any avalanche control, so you should treat them just like the backcountry, even if they have old moguls on the slope.Down out of the wind the snow seems to be staying in place better.If the winds are calm overnight and on Wednesday, most of the wind slabs will probably become much less sensitive, but the wind is forecasted to blow harder on Wednesday, which will continue to build wind slabs in wind exposed areas. You can easily recognize wind slabs by their smooth, rounded shape and their slabby feel.


Also remember that although itís not a problem now, when all this new snow warms up this weekend, itís certain to make some widespread areas of wet avalanches.

BOTTOM LINE FOR THE SALT LAKE, PARK CITY, OGDEN, AND PROVO MOUNTAINS: On slopes less steep than 35 degrees with recent deposits of wind drifted snow, the danger is MODERATE and generally LOW on slopes without wind drifting.If the sun comes out, the danger of loose, wet sluffs will rise rapidly on all steep slopes.

Mountain Weather:

The cold, unsettled weather will remain with us through Thursday and give the Cottonwood Canyons probably 6 inches of snow each 12 hour period for the next couple days.On Wednesday the ridge top winds will probably pick up and blow 20-30 mph from the west and switch to the northwest on Thursday. Temperatures at 8,000í should be around freezing during the afternoon and in the lower 20ís overnight.On Friday we have a strong, high pressure ridge building into the west, which will dramatically warm our temperatures and certainly cause problems with wet avalanches for the weekend.

Backcountry snow and avalanche information is still useful to us.So if youíre still getting out and see anything of interest, leave us a message at 524-5304, 1 800-662-4140, drop us an email at [email protected], or a fax to 524-6301.The information in this advisory is from the US Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content.This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur.