Wasatch Cache National Forest

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Avalanche advisory

Sunday, January 30, 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 30, 2005, and it’s 7:30 in the morning.


Current Conditions:

With a weak system moving through, skies are mostly cloudy with light snow centered over the upper Tri-canyons.  Winds are light from the north and temperatures are seasonable in the mid teens and low twenties.  The few inches from the past couple days have vastly improved the riding conditions, with the best bet on low angle shady slopes at the mid and upper elevations. 


Avalanche Conditions:

Apart from some minor wet and dry sluffing, there’s not much to report from yesterday.  For today, however, the northerly winds are expected to increase by mid-morning and I’d imagine that sensitive new wind drifts will start to form at the upper elevations.   These problems are what I’d call ‘manageable’ where test slopes, slope cuts, and quick hand shears should give you just about all the information you’ll need.  While the new drifts are likely to be a foot or less, consequences of getting buried in a terrain trap, going for a long ride, or washing through some trees might keep you more honest than you’ve been the last couple days.   Southerly aspects may be the most prone to drifting, but cross loading and channeling should drift adjacent aspects as well.


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

The danger will rise to MODERATE on steep wind drifted slopes along the upper elevations.  Human triggered slides will be possible.  Non-wind drifted slopes will continue to have a LOW danger. 


Bottom Line for the Ogden area mountains:  Overnight the winds picked up into the twenties with gusts to thirty and the danger is already MODERATE on steep wind-drifted slopes.


Mountain Weather:

It appears we’re in this pattern of getting traced to death under these weak splitters and I can optimistically forecast a threat of scattered flurries in the mountains today.  Winds will be light and northerly until mid-morning where they’ll pick up out of the north and northeast to the tune of 20-25mph.  8000’ highs will be in the low twenties with 10,000’ temps in the high teens.  Unremarkable weather persists through the week, with the longer range models inconsistent on a pattern change for the weekend.



Yesterday Powderbird Guides were not able to fly and if they can get out today, they’ll be in AF, Cascade, and the Bountiful Sessions.  Due to permit restrictions, they will not be in the Tri-canyons today or tomorrow.


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, 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 and 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.


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


Thanks for calling



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