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

Saturday, February 05, 2005
Good morning, this is Evelyn Lees with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Saturday, February 05, 2005, and itís 7:30 in the morning.

Current Conditions:
A dry cold front with very limited moisture is drifting across northern Utah this morning.There are high, thin clouds over the mountains, and the southwesterly winds increased during the night, reaching speeds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts 35 to 45 mph across the highest peaks.Winds speeds are gradually decreasing this morning.Temperatures are a bit cooler, in the upper teens to low 20ís.The snow surface is an inconsistent jumble, with patches of good recrystallized powder on shady, wind sheltered slopes amidst more widespread areas of supportable and breakable sun and wind crusts.

Avalanche Conditions:
The snow pack is mostly stable, with the main concern any fresh drifts of wind blown snow.Last nights moderate winds may have created new drifts in the higher terrain that could break out under the weight of a person on steep slopes.It is also possible to trigger loose snow sluffs on steep, shady slopes.Wet snow sluffs should be a thing of the past if todayís forecast for cooler temperatures and increasing clouds holds true.

With a decent storm in the forecast, this is a good day for one last look at the old snow surface. Over the past few weeks, while it may have felt like spring in the sun, it was definitely still winter on the shady slopes.There, the surface snow recrystalized and weakened, and these shady slopes will be the main concern with a load of new snow.

Bottom Line (Salt Lake, Park City, Ogden, and Provo mountains):
The avalanche danger is LOW on most slopes today.  On steep, upper elevation slopes with recent deposits of wind drifted snow the avalanche danger is MODERATE, with human triggered slides possible.

Mountain Weather:
The weak, dry cold front moving over the area will produce increasing clouds today, with an isolated snow shower or two possible.Temperatures will be in the low 30ís at 8,000í and the upper teens at 10,000í, and the southwesterly winds should gradually decrease to less than 15 mph.Tonight, there will be mostly cloudy skies, a few snow flurries, light winds, and temperatures dropping into the teens.†† A much stronger storm will move into the Great Basin on Sunday, with the heaviest precipitation expected Sunday night through Monday night.This looks like a good winter storm, with light winds, temperatures cooling into the single digits, and 1 to 2í of snow possible.

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

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].

Our partner, The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center,   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.

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

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.


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.

Drew Hardesty will update this advisory by 7:30 on Sunday morning.

Thanks for calling

For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: