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 INFORMATION - afternoon update

Monday, April 26, 2004  5:00 pm


Good afternoon, this is Drew Hardesty with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with an afternoon update.  Today is Monday, April 26 and it’s 5:00pm.  This information is time sensitive and will expire by Tuesday 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:

Last week’s snowfall has worked wonders in smoothing out the snow surface to allow good corn conditions to ripen.  Today, ridgetop temps hit 50 degrees with little wind to counteract the strong sun – and today’s temps will be easily eclipsed by Tuesday’s.  This morning, you wanted to be moving off most of the east facing slopes by mid morning, the south by late morning, and the west by midday or shortly after.  Clearly Tuesday you’ll want to set your alarm a little earlier.  Sunday night’s ridgetop lows were down around freezing but tonight’s lows will be about ten degrees warmer.  


Avalanche Conditions:

While much of the snow that’s gonna move on the sunny aspects has already moved, the warmer temperatures expected for Tuesday might pry wet activity out of the higher elevation northerly aspects.  This is not to say that I’d recommend skiing the south face of Superior at 3pm.  Nonetheless, keep an eye out for the snow surface to get damp and then unsupportable during the heat of the day.  Also, remember that the snow surface is hard and icy in the morning, so you can easily slide on the slick surface so watch your step.


We feel uncomfortable issuing any avalanche danger ratings for several reasons: first there’s so little information coming in this time of year, second, several of our staff are off for the season and finally, we’re only issuing afternoon updates, so the information is 16 hours old by the time you get out on the snow.  So we’ll just tell you what we know and leave the bottom line to you.


Lastly, remember that except for Snowbird, all of the ski areas are closed – therefore, you’ll need to treat your favorite resort runs as the backcountry. 


Mountain Weather: 

High pressure will start to break down on Tuesday with all the classic pre-frontal signs of increasing southwesterly winds (15-20mph) and warmer temperatures (47 degrees along the ridgelines).  A strong cold front is expected to drop through northern Utah by Wednesday around noon that should drop temps to the mid teens in the mountains and produce a few more inches of snow.  High pressure moves in for the weekend. 

Backcountry snow and avalanche information is still useful to us.  So if you’re 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.