Wasatch Cache National Forest

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Avalanche advisory

Saturday, January 22, 2005


Good morning, this is Bruce Tremper with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.Today is Saturday, January 22, 2005, and itís 7:30 in the morning.


Current Conditions:

When I was growing up, I used to love foggy days because fog always means that itís sunny and warm up in the mountains and thatís exactly what you will find again today. There will be some nice, supportable corn snow again on south facing slopes as it warms up in the sun by mid morning.Thereís still some dry, recrystallized Styrofoam on upper elevation north facing slopes with variable sun crusts on east and west facing slopes.No, itís not the Greatest Snow on Earth, but itís certainly better than the dreary smog down in the valleys.This morning, thereís a strong temperature inversion again with temperatures in the low 20ís in the mountain valley bottoms and around 30 along the ridge tops and it will quickly warm to the 50ís at 8,000í and the low 40ís along the ridge tops.


Avalanche Conditions:

Everyone I run into keeps asking the same question: ďDo you think the big, deep avalanches have stabilized out?ĒWell, for the most part, they probably have.But yes, you may still be able to trigger one of these monster slides that will be deeper than you are tall, but you would have to fall or get your snowmobile stuck in just the wrong spot.If you are unlucky enough to find one of these unsurvivable avalanches, it would most likely be on upper elevation, steep, large slopes that face the north and east quadrants of the compass.(Another Photo of the explosive triggered avalanche on Red Baldy from Wednesday)The second problem today will be wet sluffs, especially at lower elevation, sun exposed slopes in the heat of the afternoon (PHOTO).


Bottom Line (Salt Lake, Park City, Ogden and Provo mountains):

The avalanche danger of large, hard-slab avalanches is MODERATE on steep, upper elevation slopes that face the north through east quadrants of the compass and also a MODERATE danger of wet sluffs on steep sun exposed slopes in the heat of the afternoon especially at lower elevations.


Mountain Weather:

Another sunny, hot, sweaty day in the mountains today with the daytime high at 8,000í near 50 and overnight lows in the mid to upper 20ís.Ridge top temperatures will be around 40 degrees with light and variable winds.It looks like about the same on Sunday.


For the extended forecast, we have a hint of some clouds on Monday, but most likely we will have to wait until mid week for our next chance for snow, with another storm for next weekend.


Yesterday Powderbird Guides flew Days, Porter, Alexander and the Session Mountains.Today they will be in the same areas plus Wilson, Cardiff, Mineral, Silver, Grizzly and White Pine.


There will be a free, short video and a panel discussion entitled ďAvalanche Ė Weather Mountains and Risk.It will be at the Salt Lake Library at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, January 26th.


Snowbird is hosting its 2nd annual Backcountry Avalanche Awareness Week January 31 Ė 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 Utah Governor, Jon Huntsman and also 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.


The new UAC web page is up and operational.Check it out at www.avalanche.org then click on Salt Lake City.We have also reserved the domain name www.utahavalanchecenter.com, which will take you to the same site as well.Thanks for all the feedback.We think we have fixed most of the bugs, but if you find anything, let us know.




If you see anything we aught to know about, remember we canít be everywhere at once, so we depend on people just like you.Leave a message at 524-5304, or 1-800-662-4140, or e-mail us at [email protected]


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.


Drew Hardesty will update this advisory by 7:30 on Sunday morning.


Thanks for calling


For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: