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:



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Wednesday, November 10, 2004 2:30 pm         


Good afternoon, this is Evelyn Lees with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather information.  Today is Wednesday, November 10th, 2004, and it’s 2:30 pm.  We’ll be issuing intermittent afternoon bulletins into mid November.   Come check out our new ‘Know Before You Go’ avalanche talk geared for the younger backcountry rider tonight at the U of U Behavioral Science auditorium at 7pm and again at the Sandy REI this Saturday at 7pm.


Current Conditions: 

It has been another day of warm temperatures, sticky snow and crusts, and I’m thinking I just may need to trade in my “Greatest Snow on Earth” license plates.  Now some dense powder does exist above about 9,500’ on shady, northerly facing slopes, but it’s surrounded by a mix of supportable and breakable crusts and low elevation slush.  However, with small additional accumulations of snow and slightly cooler temperatures in the forecast, the turning and riding conditions could noticeably improve by Thursday or Friday.


Avalanche Conditions

The combination of warm weather and warm snow has created a mostly stable snow pack.  However, with a weak storm starting to affect northern Utah tonight, new snow instabilities could increase over the next two days with significant accumulations of new snow.  Be alert to the possibility of poor bonding of the new snow to the old snow surfaces.  Most of these new snow avalanche concerns will be limited to the steep shady slopes above about 9,500’, or any steep slope with a fresh drift of wind blown snow.   There are also minor concerns about wet loose sluffs at the mid and lower elevations.  In areas with wet, sloppy snow, avoid terrain traps such as gullies where the snow could pile up.


As a reminder, the unopened ski areas are not doing control work, and are just as dangerous as the backcountry.


Mountain Weather:

The next Pacific closed low will move into the Great Basin tomorrow, Thursday, and will linger though Saturday.  Once again the flow will be from a southeast to easterly direction throughout the storm.  Temperatures will be just a bit cooler with this system, and the snow level should remain at about 8,000’ or below.  Light snow will begin tonight, with 1-2” possible.  2-4” of snow possible each 12 hour period through Saturday, with the greatest accumulations Thursday night into Friday.   


If you are getting out, drop us a line or an email with any reports or observations from the backcountry.  You can leave us a message at 524-5304 or 1 800-662-4140.  Email us at [email protected], or send 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. 

Thanks for calling.