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.

 

The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center Home page is: http://www.utahavalanchecenter.com

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Avalanche advisory

Saturday, March 26, 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 26, 2005, and its 7:30 in the morning.

Weekend Warrior Update:
Iíve issued a special avalanche statement for all of the mountains in Utah.It reads:A large snow storm that has put down 30 to 80 inches of snow in the mountains state wide over the last week has caused both natural and human triggered avalanches.This large amount of snow will continue to produce avalanching over the weekend due to warmer temperatures and direct sun.Stay off of and out from underneath slopes steeper then 35 degrees.People with out good backcountry avalanche skills are advised to stay out of the backcountry.

Current Conditions:
Alta picked up another 5 inches of snow overnight.This is in addition to the 10 inches that fell during the day on Friday.The Ogden area received 2-6 inches and the Provo area picked up 2-4 inches in the last 24 hours.Temperatures are anywhere from 5 to 15 degrees in the mountains.Winds picked up and gusts in the 25 mph range from the northwest were recorded for a good portion of last night which is plenty fast enough to transport the fresh snow.Winds are currently at around 10 mph from the northwest and should remain there for the day.

Avalanche Conditions:
Friday was another active day in the mountains with both natural and human triggered avalanches coming down.At least two separate parties were caught and carried in slides on Friday.

One party traveling up near Mt Olympus on snowshoes was caught, carried, partially buried, and were able to dig themselves out and return home.I donít have any more details on this incident.

In Big Cottonwood, another party of three skiers was caught and drug through the trees in an avalanche with a fracture line reported to be up to 7 feet deep in places.They were badly beaten up and sustained some injuries but luckily were not buried.A rescue effort was needed to evacuate them.

Yet another group in Georges Bowl, also in Big Cottonwood, triggered a slab avalanche 12Ē deep, 100í wide on a slope of about 38 degree that ran 600 to 700 feet vertical distance.No one was caught.

For today, slab avalanches will continue to be a threat.Winds from last night were just enough to help drift snow into dangerous slabs.

What I am really nervous about is a state wide warming trend that will start today. The large amount of new will be very susceptible to avalanching as the daytime heating and direct sun affects the snow.Slab avalanching is almost certain today especially on any steep slopes facing the sun.Even northerly facing slopes especially at lower elevations could become active later today as well.

Donít let the lure of fresh powder and fun override your avalanche hazard decision making.No one wants Easter weekend to always remind them that a loved one was killed in an avalanche.

Bottom Line (Salt Lake and Park City, Ogden and Provo mountains)
The avalanche danger remains CONSIDERABLE on slopes approaching 35 degrees or steeper, especially with recent deposits of wind drifted snow.This means natural avalanches are possible and human triggered avalanches are probable.The danger may rise to HIGH as daytime heating occurs with clear skies and direct sun in the forecast.HIGH means natural and human triggered avalanches are likely.These avalanches, especially on southeast through southwest facing slopes have the potential to be very large and lethal.Once they get moving they could travel quite far onto lower angle slopes, much lower then where they started.People without good avalanche skills should stay out of the backcountry this weekend.Remember that if you leave the ski areas through backcountry gates you will be in dangerous terrain and at much greater risk of getting caught and killed by an avalanche.


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

Mountain Weather:
(You can find the afternoon Weather Update here.)
Temperatures will start out cold this morning and should get up to the upper 20s at 10,000 feet and the mid 30s at 8000 feet.Skies will be mostly clear.Winds will be from the north in the 10 mph range.

For Sunday, temperatures will continue to warm, winds will pick up, and weíll see partly cloudy skies in the afternoon.

Another couple of storms will affect the area early next week.These look cold and could again produce a good shot of snow.

The Powderbird guides did not get out yesterday.Today they will be in Mineral, Cardiff, Days, Silver, Grizzly and American Fork.

UDOT COTTONWOOD CANYONS HOTLINE FOR ROAD CLOSURE AND AVALANCHE CONTROL INFORMATION: 975-4838.

LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON WILL BE CLOSED AT 6 AM FOR AVALANCHE CONTROL WORK.BIG COTTONWOOD WILL CLOSE AT 7 AM AS WELL.

 

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.

If you are getting out, we appreciate your snowpack and avalanche observations.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.

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 our early morning avalanche activity report by around 5:30 am on Saturday morning at 364-1591, and this advisory by 7:30.

Thanks for calling.