Wasatch Cache National Forest

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Avalanche advisory

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


Good morning, this is Evelyn Lees with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.Today is Tuesday, February 01, 2005, and itís 7:30 in the morning.


Snowbird is hosting the 2nd annual Backcountry Avalanche Awareness Week, now through 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, 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.


Current Conditions:

A weak disturbance is moving through northern Utah this morning, bringing mostly cloudy skies and brisk winds.Temperatures are in the upper teens at most elevations, and across the higher peaks and ridges the northwesterly winds are averaging 15 to 20 mph with gusts in the 30ís and 40ís.The snow surface is quite a mix of breakable to supportable wind and sun crusts, which wonít soften much today. There is a potential for ďslide for lifeísĒ on some of these hard, slick surfaces. But there are rewarding patches of soft powder on protected, shady slopes at mid and upper elevations.


Avalanche Conditions:

Todayís avalanche problems are near the surface.I expect the gusty, northerly winds to whip up fresh new wind drifts, which will be sensitive to the weight of a person on steep slopes.These drifts will be most widespread along the higher ridges, but look for cross loading and drifting off the ridges and around terrain features such as gully walls, sub ridges and breakovers. Itís best to avoid any wind drifts on steep slopes, or with experience, approach them from the top with careful slope cuts.Yesterday it was possible to trigger shallow, fast running sluffs on protected, steep shady slopes, which had just enough mass to knock you off balance or even take you for a ride.Todayís mostly cloudy skies and cooler temperatures should put a lid on any wet activity.


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

The avalanche danger is LOW on most slopes.There is a MODERATE danger on any steep slope with recent deposits of wind drifted snow, and for loose snow sluffs on steep shady slopes.Moderate means human triggered avalanches are possible.


Mountain Weather:

The weak weather disturbance has brought cloudy skies and a few snow showers to the northern mountains.The northwesterly winds will be in the 15 to 25 mph range this morning, with gusts to 45 mph.This afternoon, there will be partial clearing with the winds shifting to the northeast and decreasing.Temperatures will be in the mid teens at 10,000í and the upper 20ís at 8,000í.Skies will be partly cloudy tonight, with lows near 10 and moderate northeasterly winds. High pressure will rule for the rest of the week, with light winds and a warming trend.Then there is a chance for a pattern change to colder and more unsettled weather around Sunday, but model differences continue.


Yesterday Powderbird Guides were in AF and Cascade, and if they can fly today will be in Mineral, Cardiff, Days, Silver, Mill Creek and the Sessions.


Early birds can catch our 6am report at 364-1591.We also use this line for additional avalanche and weather reporting on an as-needed basis.





If you trigger or see any avalanches, please call and 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.


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


Thanks for calling


For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: