Wasatch Cache National Forest

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Avalanche advisory

Friday, January 28, 2005


Good morning, this is Brett Kobernik with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Friday, January 28, 2005, and it’s 7:30 in the morning.


This Friday, January 28th, I will be giving a free avalanche talk at Milosport in Orem at 7 pm.


Current Conditions:

The mountains unfortunately didn’t pick up any measurable snow overnight.  Temperatures are just a few degrees colder then yesterday at 4 am with 8000’ readings in the upper 20’s and 10,000’ readings in the low 20’s.  Winds are light from the west.


Avalanche Conditions:

With the mountains picking up 4 to 6 inches from yesterday and around a half inch of water, I heard people describe the riding conditions as “improving”, “almost good”, and “fun on low angle slopes”.  Hey, it’s better then nothing.  The deeper snow was most pronounced at higher elevations.  It rapidly settled to only a few inches especially at lower elevations.  It bonded fairly well to the old snow surface in most locations.  The new snow sluffed a bit but these sluffs were not enough to get worried about.  Warm temperatures made the snow wet and produced rollerballs at the lower elevations as well.  A few folks including myself found some wind drifts up to 8” deep along the ridges but these were not very sensitive and produced no hazard.


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

The small amount of snow from yesterday did not change the avalanche conditions much.  Most slopes have a LOW avalanche danger.  You may still find small amounts of sluffing today especially with any new snow.  The hazard may rise to MODERATE if we pick up more snow then expected during the day.


Mountain Weather:

A splitting storm will affect the area today and into Saturday. 


We’ll see mostly cloudy skies with snow showers likely during the day.  Accumulation of 1 to 3 inches expected.   8000’ temperatures will be near 30 degrees and 10,000’ temperatures in the low 20’s.  Ridgetop wind speeds from the west will be in the 10 mph range.


For tonight and Saturday we’ll see cloudy skies and a few more inches of snow should fall.  Another 1 to 3 inches expected.  This may change our “almost good” conditions to decent.  Ridgetop winds will shift to the southwest and remain in the 10 mph range.


A ridge of high pressure builds in after the weekend.


Yesterday Powderbird Guides were not able to fly.  They probably won’t have the visibility to fly today either, but if they get out, they will be in Cardiff, Days, Silver Grizzly Gulch and American Fork.


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.




If you see anything we ought to know about please call and leave a message at 524-5304, or 1-800-662-4140, or e-mail us at [email protected], remember we can’t be everywhere at once, so we depend on people just like you. 


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.


Evelyn Lees will update this advisory by 7:30 on Saturday morning.


Thanks for calling



For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: