Wasatch Cache National Forest

In partnership with: The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Forecast 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, January 10, 2005


Good morning, this is Drew Hardesty with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory. Today is Monday, January 10, 2005, and its 7:30 in the morning.




Current Conditions:

Overnight the central Wasatch picked up another 4-6 of graupel and dense snow and its still snowing. Since Friday night, storm totals are 20-30 and nearly 5 of water. The winds have let up slightly from the west southwest as most anemometers are reading 15-20 mph with more exposed anemometers still humming along at 30mph, gusting to 40. Temps continue their 48 hour upward march and are near 30 at 10,000. Rain snow lines seem to have been fluctuating between 7000 and 8000.


Avalanche Conditions:

No new avalanches were reported from the backcountry yesterday, although I suspect more folks were watching football or working on taxes. More reports of naturals from Saturday are trickling in and Ill have our avalanche list updated by 10am.


The snow and water amounts keep adding up and I think we may be at the breaking point soon in areas that have received and continue to receive the most, such as the Cottonwoods, Park City mountains, and the Provo mountains. The new slabs are still best described as stubborn, but I feel with continued heavy dense snow and moderate to strong winds, some areas will reach a critical threshold and well start to see natural activity. At least on the mid and upper elevation northwest through east facing slopes, it will be possible for any avalanche to step down to the buried weak layers from November or December.


With rain snow lines hovering around 8000 or so, wet sluff activity is likely at the lower elevations and ice climbing should be avoided for at least another day or so.


Bottom Line:

The current avalanche danger is CONSIDERABLE and may rise to HIGH today on and below any steep slope at the mid and upper elevations. Natural avalanches will be possible today and any slide triggered will have the potential to be large and extremely dangerous.


Bottom Line for the Provo Mountains: As the Provo mountains appear to have picked up another 2-3 of water weight in the last 24 hours,the danger on mid and upper elevation steep slopes is HIGH. Avoid being on and under steep slopes.


Mountain Weather:

Snowfall should continue throughout the day with 6-8 of snow expected. Winds should continue from the west southwest averaging 20-25mph. 8000 highs will be in the mid-thirties 10,000 temps in the upper twenties.


If youre getting out and see anything we should know about, remember we cant be everywhere at once. We depend on people just like you. Please leave a message on our answer machine at: 524-5304 or 1-800-662-4140, or fax to 801-524-6301, or email to [email protected]


There are a few spots left in the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Centers 3-day January 15-17 avalanche class. Registration is at the Black Diamond retail store.


Snowbird is hosting its 2nd annual Backcountry Avalanche Awareness Week January 31 February 7th as a benefit for the Utah Avalanche Center. On Friday, February 4th, there will be a fundraising dinner at Snowbird with presentations by Dave Breashears and Apa Sherpa and Lhapka Rita. On February 5th and 6th, there will be a variety of classes offered at Snowbird. For more information, go to www.backcountryawareness.com.


We do an early morning update around 6am each day on the 364-1591 line.


The information in this advisory is from the U.S. Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content. This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur.


Brett Kobernik will update this advisory by 7:30 on Tuesday morning.


Thanks for calling


For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: