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

Friday, February 25, 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 25th, 2005, and its 7:30 in the morning.

Current Conditions:
Over the mountains, we have mostly clear skies, ridgetop temperatures are in the low 20ís and ridgetop winds are from the southeast at 15 to 20 mph with a few gusts near 30.The snow surface is a mix of wind affected snow at higher elevations, recrystalized powder and surface hoar on the northerly slopes and sun crusts on southerly slopes.

Avalanche Conditions:
I canít say that itís been a boring year working at the avalanche center.Thereís been no shortage of avalanches to talk about on a daily basis.

The persistent buried weak layers continued to produce human triggered avalanching all over the Wasatch Range on Thursday.Iíve received reports of human triggered avalanches from the Ogden Mountains, Uintas, Park City ridgeline, Cottonwoods (Mineral Fork), and one large natural wet slab avalanche from the Provo area.At least 3 people were caught in slides and 2 went for serious rides.These people were all very experienced backcountry travelers.Control results from ski areas continued to bring out large avalanches as well.Call 364-1591 for more details on these slides.

The nice weather and lack of avalanching on many slopes can easily make us feel quite comfortable in the backcountry right now.There are not a lot of obvious signs of instability such as cracking and collapsing and many wind drifts are covered up with snow from last weekend making them difficult to recognize.Also, many steep slopes have been skied without incident.But, to make it simple, we know we have a persistent weakness, so, do you want to take the chance that your weight wonít overload it.With another nice day to go deep into the mountains today, I wonít be surprised if someone triggers another avalanche.

Bottom Line (Salt Lake, Park City, Provo, and Ogden mountains):
The avalanche danger is MODERATE on slopes steeper than about 35 degrees, especially any slope with recent or old deposits of wind drifted snow.Human triggered slab avalanches will be possible today.This is not the time to ski the most radical slopes.Also, watch for wet activity on southeast through west facing slopes as day time heating occurs.

(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.)
Weíll have another nice day today with mostly clear skies, light southeast winds and 10,000í temperatures near 30 degrees.The weather will change on Saturday with a small chance of snow showers, ridge top temperatures will cool into the low 20ís for daytime highs, and winds will remain light but switch to a more westerly direction.Monday night into Tuesday looks like a better chance of snow for the northern mountains.

Wasatch Powderbird Guides were in Mineral, Cardiff, Days, Grizzly and American Fork yesterday, and today, they will have one ship in the Sessions, and the other will be in Mineral, Cardiff, Days, Silver, and most likely Mill Creek but possibly White Pine.

If you have any snow or avalanche observations, call and leave a message at 524-5304 or 1-800-662-4140, or e-mailing us at [email protected].Fax is 524-6301.

UDOT COTTONWOOD CANYONS HOTLINE FOR ROAD CLOSURE AND AVALANCHE CONTROL INFORMATION: 975-4838.We try to update our early morning avalanche activity report by around 5:30 am at 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.

Evelyn Lees will update this advisory by 7:30 on Saturday morning.

Thanks for calling.

For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: