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, March 19, 2005
Good morning, this is Brett Kobernik with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Saturday, March 19, 2005, and its 7:30 in the morning.

Today, Saturday, March 19, the 3rd Annual Black Diamond PowderKeg Race will make the Grizzly Gulch/Twin Lakes Pass areas busy with racers in the first half of the morning.

Current Conditions:
The winds slowed yesterday afternoon for a while but have picked back up again and are in the 15 to 20 mph range with gusts near 30 along the ridges. The highest most exposed stations are recording gusts in the 40 and 50 mph range. Ridgetop temperatures are up from yesterday morning currently in the mid 20s

Avalanche Conditions:
There were a few human triggered avalanches reported from Friday. These were of a few different varieties consisting of a couple small soft slabs, some dry loose snow avalanches, and small number of wet loose snow avalanches. There were also one or two reports of some small natural slab avalanches that most likely released during the storm. None of these avalanches pose a great threat as they were shallow, not very wide and folks could manage them easily on Friday.

Something worth noting is that our team of observers that was in Cardiff Fork on Friday experienced some collapsing or whoomping in Cardiac bowl. It was enough to make them back off the slope. This is a good indicator of instability as a few of these guys are old and quite salty and it takes a bit to scare them. These collapses were due to faceting that occurred over the last few weeks and are covered up by a thin wind slab and the new snow on top of that. (SNOW DIAGRAM) These are only isolated pockets of faceting on northerly aspects but continue to pay attention out there especially if we get more snow tonight.

For today you will want to again watch for fresh wind slabs along the upper ridges and as usual in the spring time, pay attention to the snow becoming wet from daytime heating.

Bottom Line (Salt Lake, Ogden and Provo mountains)
The avalanche danger is mostly LOW. A MODERATE danger exists along the high ridges where you may find a fresh wind drift. Also, pay attention if any day time heating occurs as the newest snow could quickly become unstable.

Danger Scale: http://www.avalanche.org/~uac/ed-scale.htm

Mountain Weather: (You can find the afternoon Weather Update here.)
We will see mostly cloudy skies today with a slight chance of snow. Winds will slow for a little while this morning but will come right back up into the 20 mph range from the southwest along the ridges. 10,000 temperatures will be in the mid to upper 20s.

The storm is still looking fairly good for tonight into Sunday. The northern mountains could receive up to a foot of snow with around an inch of water weight. Expect to see windy conditions with this storm.

Yesterday, Wasatch Powderbird Guides did not fly. If they get up today they will be in Mineral, Cardiff, Days, Silver, Grizzly, Mill Creek and 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-mail 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.

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

Thanks for calling.