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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Avalanche ADVISORY

Monday, December 06, 2004 7:30 Am†††††††††


Good morning, this is Drew Hardesty with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.Today is Monday, December 06, 2004, and itís 7:30 am.


Provo Canyon DOT will be sighting in their artillery along the south side of the canyon as soon as weather permits, which will close the area for ice climbing.


The 9th annual Wasatch Womenís Telemark Days this year will be on Sunday, December 12th at Alta and Saturday, January 29th at The Canyons. For more information call 231-1160 or 424-3961.


Current Conditions:

Skies are mostly cloudy in the mountains with a couple inches of new from light snowfall as a system passes by to the north.The southwest winds blew in the 20-30mph range at the most exposed locations, and except for the Provo and Ogden areas, are now down to less than 15mph.†† Mountain temperatures are about 10 degrees at 10,000í and in the teens at 8000í.Itís still Ďvariableí conditions riding out there: southerly aspects have mostly breakable crusts while shaded slopes have a mix of wind damage, drifting and recrystallized powder.


Avalanche Conditions:

Yesterday broke our string of 11 days in a row of avalanches in the backcountry, but with a more snow and wind this week, I expect weíll start a new string. Of interest from Sunday was the scouring and drifting by the southwesterly winds onto the north and easterly slopes.The winds were even more pronounced in the Provo and Ogden mountains, and the winds were even gusty well off the ridgelines.These drifts may still be something to look for again today, and may be sensitive to a trigger.Despite the lack of activity yesterday, there will still be a few areas where a person could trigger an avalanche into the older faceted snow.


Looking down-week, the future ainít what it used to be.Itíll be interesting as we have very weak surface snow, hard bed surfaces, crusts, and mid-pack weaknesses.Throw in strong forecasted winds starting tonight through Thursday and a couple waves of precipitation from a warm front that may provide a foot or more of snow, and things start to get spicy again.Stay tuned.


Bottom Line:While most slopes have a LOW danger, a MODERATE danger remains for any steep slope with recent wind drifts.†† There remains a MODERATE danger of triggering a slide into old snow on northwest through easterly facing slopes steeper than about 35 degrees at the mid and upper elevations.


Mountain Weather:

A brush-by to the north should produce more clouds and perhaps a flake or two during the day.Winds will be out of the west and southwest at 10-15mph.8000í highs will be in the mid-twenties with 10,000í temps in the low teens.Starting tonight, the first of a couple waves on a moist west to southwest flow should start to bring snow to the mountains.Iíll have our more detailed mountain weather forecast updated by about noon.


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.

Evelyn Lees will update this advisory by 7:30 Tuesday morning, and thanks for calling.