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

Monday, February 28, 2005
Good morning, this is Drew Hardesty with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Monday February 28th, 2005, and its 7:30 in the morning.

Current Conditions:
With mostly clear skies under a waning gibbous moon, mountain temperatures are in the teens and low twenties.  The highest, most exposed ridgelines have winds in the 15-20mph range, but these are the exception to the calm to light winds in most locations.  A corn cycle in its infancy paints the sunny side with alternating wind board and recrystallized powder on the protected slopes.

Avalanche Conditions:
Explosive testing by the Powderbirds in the Provo Mountains yielded substantial activity on northwest through east aspects, with starting zones from 8800’ to above 10,000’.  They averaged 2-3’ deep, with some up to 300’ wide, with most stepping into old snow, clearly indicating that in the Provo mountains, and to a lesser extent in the central Wasatch, the mid-pack weaknesses are still present and potentially sensitive.  In the Western Uintas, a skier triggered a rode a 2.5’ x 75’ wide hard slab 400’ on a westerly facing slope at 9800’.  Like a bad cough or visiting mother in law that won’t go away, these lingering persistent weak layers will continue to pose a problem in isolated spots.  It will still be possible for a backcountry traveler to trigger one of these avalanches in shady mid and upper elevations in shallower rocky terrain, and may be more sensitive in areas that slid during the January cycle. 

Bottom Line (Salt Lake, Park City, Provo, and Ogden mountains):
While most terrain is in the LOW category, a MODERATE danger exists on mid and upper elevation northwest through east facing slopes steeper than about 35 degrees. 

(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.)
It’ll be another beautiful day in the hills this morning with light northwesterly winds and temperatures in the mid-twenties along the ridgelines and in the mid-thirties at the mid-elevations.  A weakening weather system will push into the area this afternoon, increasing the cloud cover.  We could see 2-4” by tomorrow afternoon. 

Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in the Bountiful Sessions and Cascade area and today will return and add American Fork to the ticket.

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.

Brett Kobernik will update this advisory by 7:30 on Tuesday morning.

Thanks for calling.

For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: