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

Wednesday, February 03, 2005
Good morning, this is Bruce Tremper with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Thursday, February 03, 2005, and itís 7:30 in the morning.

Current Conditions:
During our huge avalanche cycle a couple weeks ago, we kept saying that unusual weather makes unusual avalanches and now weíre saying that boring weather makes boring avalanches.Thereís just not that much going on, so if you want to quit reading right here, have at it.I wonít be offended.The snow surface is a mixture of crusts on most aspects but this clear weather keeps making the wind and sun sheltered slopes better and better with a few inches of soft, dry, recrystallized snow that rides real nice.

Avalanche Conditions:
Yesterday, lots of people were out jumping into lots of slopes and no one found any avalanches except for some sluffing of the soft, recrystallized snow on steep slopes.The wind continued to blow yesterday from the northeast at moderate speeds and it created some wind slabs along the upper elevation ridges.They felt suspicious to me and although neither I nor anyone else was able to trigger any of them, Iím sure there are places you could.For instance, someone triggered one a couple days ago in Hogum Fork on an upper elevation northwest facing slope.I should also mention that today is warmer than yesterday and I would expect some localized areas of wet sluffs on any steep slope that is getting soggy from sun and warmer temperatures, especially lower elevation south facing slopes.

Bottom Line (Salt Lake, Park City, Ogden, and Provo mountains):
The avalanche danger is LOW on most slopes today.  There is a MODERATE danger on any steep slope with recent deposits of wind drifted snow, which you will find mostly along upper elevation ridges.There is also a MODERATE danger on any steep slope that is getting wet from sun or warmer temperatures. 

Mountain Weather:
Weíll have another sunny day today with slightly warmer temperatures.Along the ridge tops, the temperatures will be around freezing with winds from the northeast around 20 mph and decrease throughout the day.Down at 8,000í the daytime high will be in the mid 40ís with the overnight low in the mid 20ís.

It looks like a change in the weather for the weekend with a storm starting Saturday night and continue into Sunday and Monday.It doesnít look like large snow amounts right now, but it should freshen things up a bit.

Yesterday Powderbird Guides flew in Cardiff, Days, Silver, Grizzly and Cascade Ridge down by Provo.Today they will be in the same areas, plus American Fork, Porter, Alexander, Wilson and Mineral Fork.

Donít be shy about calling or e-mailing us with any observations.  We canít be everywhere at once, so if you donít tell us, we probably wonít know.  Leave a message on our answering machine at 524-5304 or 1-800-662-4140, or e-mail us at [email protected].

Snowbird is hosting the 2nd annual Backcountry Avalanche Awareness Week, now through February 7th, as a benefit for the Utah Avalanche Center.  Although the fundraising dinner is sold out, on Saturday and Sunday, there will be a variety of classes offered at Snowbird.  For more information, go to www.backcountryawareness.com.

Our partner, The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, has two upcoming events.  Tickets are now on sale for the annual Banff Film Festival, February 16 & 17, at Kingsbury Hall. All proceeds benefit the Utah Avalanche CenterFor more information call 801/581-8516 or go to www.banffmountainfestivals.ca.

Brett Kobernik will be giving a free avalanche awareness talk at the SLC Milosport on Friday, February 11th, at 7pm.

Bruce Tremper will give a talk called the Science of Avalanches at REI on Tuesday, February 15th at 7:00 pm.

Also the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center has some openings left in their February 3-day avalanche class, the 19-21st.  Registration is at Black Diamond retail.

UDOT COTTONWOOD CANYONS HOTLINE FOR ROAD CLOSURE INFORMATION: 975-4838

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 Friday morning.

Thanks for calling

For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings:

http://www.avalanche.org/~uac/ed-scale.htm