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

Thursday, April 29, 2004  4:30 pm


Good afternoon, this is Craig Gordon with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with an afternoon update.  Today is Thursday, April 29 and it’s 4:30pm. 


Current Conditions:

Yesterday’s trailer tipping winds gusted into the 50’s at most mountaintop locations and after the cold front passed, temperatures dropped 32 degrees in just a matter of a few hours. Unfortunately the cold air outraced most of the moisture, though the Salt Lake and Ogden area mountains were able to squeeze out close to 4” of new snow. About half that amount fell on the Park City side of the range. Turning and riding conditions vary from damp powder at the lower elevations, to dust on very supportable crusts up high.


Avalanche Conditions:

Last nights disappointing storm was more huff than fluff and the only avalanche activity I saw today were shallow sluffs running naturally on steep slopes when the sun poked out. Today I could start sluffs easily in steep terrain with slope cuts. It looks like winds will increase overnight, so be on the lookout tomorrow for isolated pockets of soft slab, especially along the upper elevation ridges. In addition, when the sun does come out on Friday the wet activity will become more widespread. There are some hard slick crusts out there, so take care that a shallow slide doesn’t knock you off your skis and take you for a fast body-bruising ride.


Be sure to check the automated weather stations on the web in the morning to see what happened overnight.     


Finally, 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: 

The storm will continue to spin over the state through tonight and we might be able to wring another 3”-6” of snow out of it before the system pulls away from the region on Friday. Light east and northerly winds will increase tonight into the 15-25 mph range. Temperatures will remain cold this evening with overnight lows dipping into the mid 20’s. Friday should be partly cloudy and warmer with a couple of isolated morning snow showers. High temperatures at 10,000’ will be in the low 30’s and at 8,000’ near 40 degrees. Winds will switch to the north during the day and should be relaxing to less than 10 mph along the ridges. The weekend will offer clear skies with daytime highs reaching into the low 50’s and overnight lows near 30 degrees. Strong warming after this weekend will skyrocket ridge top temperatures reaching into the mid 50’s by Tuesday.

We will likely issue our last advisory of the season on Friday afternoon. 

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.