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 23, 2005
Good morning, this is Evelyn Lees with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Wednesday February 23rd, 2005, and its 7:30 in the morning.

Current Conditions:
Skies are partly cloudy this morning, and temperatures are in the upper teens to low 20s. The southeasterly winds are averaging less than 15 mph, with occasional gusts to 20 at the more exposed stations. The shady, northerly facing slopes have respectable settled powder, but any slope that has received even a glimpse of sun has a breakable crust.

Avalanche Conditions:
Two human triggered slides were reported yesterday, both in the Ogden backcountry. They were on steep slopes along the upper ridgeline, facing northeast and northwest, and the one we have details on was a 40 wide, 1 deep wind drift. A deeper slab avalanche also released in the Ogden area backcountry Monday night, which was probably a natural. It was 150 wide, 3 deep, and failed on a layer of faceted snow.

Today, if you are traveling on steep slopes, it may still be possible to trigger one of these old or new wind drifts, or a shallow new snow sluff or soft slab. If there is enough heating from the sun today, damp sluffs may occur on steep sunny slopes and on steep, shady low and mid elevation slopes. And finally, there still may be a few isolated spots where a person could trigger a deeper slab avalanche.

Bottom Line (Salt Lake, Park City, Provo, and Ogden mountains):
The avalanche danger is MODERATE on slopes steeper then 35 degrees, especially any slope with recent or old deposits of wind drifted snow. On slopes less steep than about 35 degrees, the avalanche danger is LOW.
(http://www.avalanche.org/~uac/ed-scale.htm for an explanation of avalanche danger ratings.)

Mountain Weather:
(You can find the afternoon Weather Update here.). Skies will be party cloudy today over the northern Utah mountains, with a few isolated snow showers possible. Winds will be from the southeast, in the 10 to 15 mph range, with occasional gusts to 25 mph. Temperatures will be mild, in the mid 30s at 8,000 and the mid 20s at 10,000. The low pressure in California is too far south to affect northern Utah, so expect mostly dry conditions through Friday.

Yesterday, the Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in Mineral, Cardiff, Days, Silver, and Grizzly, and today they will have one ship in American Fork or the Sessions, and the other will be in Mineral, Cardiff, Days, Silver, and Grizzly.

If you have any observations you would like to share with us, call and leave a message at 524-5304 or 1-800-662-4140, or e-mailing us at [email protected]. Fax is 524-6301. Your observations are very helpful in compiling the daily avalanche advisory.

UDOT COTTONWOOD CANYONS HOTLINE FOR ROAD CLOSURE INFORMATION: 975-4838. Early birds can catch our early morning avalanche activity report at 5am by calling 364-1591.

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 Thursday morning.

Thanks for calling.

For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: