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

Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Good morning, this is Brett Kobernik with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Tuesday, March 22, 2005, and its 7:30 in the morning.

Snowbird Mountain Resort will be holding a free BEACON AND EGGS Easter transceiver hunt this Saturday March 26.Contestants will compete for prizes, including a season pass for the 05/06 season.For more information, go to www.snowbird.com/events/events/beaconandeggs.html.

Current Conditions:
Skies cleared out overnight and temperatures dropped into the mid to upper teens along the ridgetops.Ridgetop winds have dropped off and are around 10 mph from the southwest.

Avalanche Conditions:
As with most new snow instabilities, things settled out quickly on Monday with the exception of reports from Farmington Canyon and north to near Snowbasin where I received reports of the new snow still cracking, collapsing and still somewhat active.

Even with cloud cover for most of the day yesterday, the few small breaks in the clouds did make the new snow wet and heavy on all but the north aspects above 8800 feet.Things heated up almost enough to get some wet avalanches going at lower elevations late in the day on Monday.Today, we will need to watch for wet activity as well.With any clear skies this morning and warming temperatures, people will need to watch for the snow becoming wet enough to start producing avalanches.However, the increasing clouds and wind speeds this afternoon should shut this problem down fairly quick.

The trickier problem that is troubling a lot of the experienced people right now is the continued collapsing into the older faceted snow from our last dry period.This problem is limited to the more northerly facing aspects above 8500 feet or so.What do you know, just where we like to ski.The many reports of collapsing from Monday would indicate that this bugger is not done producing avalanches yet.Although the probability of triggering one of these today is not all that great, the consequences of these avalanches are much more serious.Iíd expect to see a few avalanches into the old snow if we get the new snow load expected tonight and Wednesday.Collapsing is a huge clue that you are in an area with this persistent weakness.Monitor all north facing slopes by digging down and checking to see if facets are present.

Finally watch for wind loading this afternoon as the winds are going to pick up strong enough to transport any loose snow thatís on the surface and form some fresh sensitive wind slabs.

Bottom Line (Salt Lake and Park City, Ogden, and Provo mountains)
The current avalanche danger is MODERATE in the Salt Lake mountains and the Park City ridgeline.The danger is slightly higher in the Ogden and Provo area Mountains.With additional wind and snow in the forecast, the danger will be on the rise this afternoon and on Wednesday.

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

Mountain Weather: (You can find the afternoon Weather Update here.)
The storm for tonight is still looking promising for a decent shot of fresh snow.Winds will increase this morning and will be up into the 30 mph range along the ridges by about noon.Ridge top temperatures will start out in the low 20s and increase throughout the day reaching into the upper 20s by around midnight.Clouds will increase during the day with precipitation starting this afternoon.A well defined cold front will move through Wednesday morning and temperatures will drop into the upper teens for the later part of the storm.Winds will stay up tonight and taper off a bit when the cold front moves through Wednesday morning.A foot of new snow or better is possible.

The Powderbirds didnít get out yesterday.Today they will probably have a short day in Cardiff, Days, Silver, Grizzly Gulch and the Gobblers Knob area.

Things are slowing down and we are not receiving near as much information these days so any observations are much appreciated.Please 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.

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

Thanks for calling.