Wasatch Cache National Forest

In partnership with: Utah State Parks and Recreation, The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, Utah Department of Emergency Services and Homeland Security and Salt Lake County.

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Avalanche advisory

Sunday, January 23, 2005


Good morning, this is Drew Hardesty with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Sunday, January 23, 2005, and it’s 7:30 in the morning.


Current Conditions:

It’s safe to say that our second corn cycle of the season is here, and it compares favorably to our first from back in November.  Not much is happening weather-wise, and the ultra-stable airmass parked over us has overnight ridgetop temperatures in the mid thirties with the basins and valley bottoms in the upper teens.  The winds are still light from the west.  With easy walking conditions underneath blue skies today’ll be another good day for some good avalanche sight-seeing from our last cycle. 


Avalanche Conditions:

It’s been a full week now since our last non-explosive human triggered slide in the backcountry and the old weak layers have gradually adjusted to the wallop they received earlier in the month.  To be sure, the mentality is changing from “it’ll be possible” to “well, I wouldn’t be too surprised” in pulling out one of the deep slabs in steep shallow rocky areas. The warmer temperatures may be a contributing factor in any lingering deep slab instability as well. 


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

Most areas have a LOW danger.  A MODERATE danger of these deep slab monsters remains on steep mid and upper elevation north through east facing slopes, and trigger points may be more pronounced near shallow rocky areas. 


By midday, the danger of wet activity will rise to MODERATE.


Mountain Weather:

It’ll be another beautiful day above the soup with the daytime highs at 8,000’ near 50 with ridge top temperatures at 40 degrees.  Winds will be light and westerly.  Looks like the ridge will start to break down mid-week with a series of storms that will initially stir the pot and then produce some snow by late week.


Yesterday the Powderbird Guides flew in Days, Cardiff, Porter, Alexander, Grizzly, Lamb’s and the Bountiful-Sessions Mountains.  Today they will be in AF, Cascade, Lambs, and the Sessions.


There will be a free, short video and a panel discussion entitled “Avalanche – 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 – 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 ought to know about, remember we can’t 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.


I will update this advisory by 7:30 on Monday morning.


Thanks for calling



For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: