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 Brett Kobernik with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Friday, February 03, 2005, and itís 7:30 in the morning.

Current Conditions:
Skies are clear with current ridgetop temperatures in the mid twenties with wind speeds generally less then 10 mph from variable directions.

Avalanche Conditions:
For avalanche conditions, yesterday wet activity was the biggest factor.The most significant activity occurred on southwest slopes which have more direct sun late in the day when temperatures are at their warmest.These were mostly wet loose snow avalanches and some were big enough to get scary.There was one natural slab avalanche reported from the Logan area mountains on Thursday.This was on a southwest aspect at about 9,000 feet.It was at least 2 feet deep, 200í wide and ran almost 1000 feet vertical.Heating from the sun was the most likely trigger.With a similar weather pattern in store for today, you should expect a repeat of yesterdays wet activity.

The snow surface on northerly aspects has weakened somewhat over the last few days. You should take this into consideration as the current surface will be buried soon and could produce a weak layer under any new snow we receive over the weekend.The current snow surface weakness is not real pronounced but once we receive some new snow, everyone should perform some shear tests at the new snow and old snow interface to get a handle on any instability that may occur.

Bottom Line (Salt Lake, Park City, Ogden, and Provo mountains):
The current avalanche danger is LOW on most slopes today.  The danger will rise to MODERATE on any steep slope that is getting wet from sun or warmer temperatures.Keep a close eye on the steeper south and southwest aspects later in the day and stay off of and out from underneath these slopes. 

Mountain Weather:
Today weíll see a duplicate of Thursdays weather so it will be another good day to do an extended tour to one of those places youíve been meaning to get to.8,000 foot temperatures will reach into the low 40ís and ridgetop temperatures near 30.Winds will be light from the southwest.

Clouds and cooler temperatures will move in on Saturday with a small chance of snow flurries.

Colder air yet moves in on Sunday with the best chance of snow Sunday night into Monday.Iím not willing to speculate on snow totals yet but we should receive enough to have some fun with.

Yesterday Powderbird Guides flew in Cardiff, Mineral, Days, Gobblers and Cascade Ridge down by Provo.Today theyíll be in Cardiff, Days, Silver, Mineral, Kessler, White Pine, American Fork and the Cascade Ridge in Provo.

We really appreciate any information you are willing to give us.  We donít hear from you enough.You donít have to be an avalanche expert to give us some observations so please call and 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.


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: