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

Sunday, March 27, 2005
Good morning, this is Brett Kobernik with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Sunday, March 27, 2005, and its 7:30 in the morning.

Current Conditions: 
Under partly cloudy skies, temperatures are about 10 degrees warmer then yesterday but still on the cool side with mountain locations between 15 and 25 degrees.  Ridge top winds are around 10 mph from the west and I’ve noticed that some gusts into the 25 mph range are showing up now. 

Avalanche Conditions:
Although I did receive many reports of conditions becoming more stable on Saturday there was a good amount of avalanche activity as well.  UDOT control work for the highways produced two significant slides, one in Stairs Gulch and one on Mt Superior.  Both of these were very large and took out all of the snow from the last weeks storm.  A skier in the backcountry near Snowbasin triggered a soft slab that was 12 inches deep, 50 feet wide and ran about 200 feet vertical.  They were not caught.  Another skier in Snake creek got surprised when he ski cut and popped out a small slide 3 feet deep, 75 feet wide but it only ran about 30 feet vertical.  Luckily he was not in more exposed terrain.  There was also significant natural activity in the Provo area mountains that consisted of some wet slab avalanching.  These were triggered from wet loose snow point releases that came down and popped out slabs 200 to 300 feet wide running up to 2000 feet vertical.

Today you will still need to pay attention out there.  You may still be able to find some instability within our most recent snow event.  These instabilities will be on higher northerly facing aspects that have seen wind loading toward the end of our last storm.

The bigger problem for today will be wet activity.  Temperatures will reach around freezing at 10,000’ by late afternoon and the sun is supposed to peek through enough to help soften things up.  There is a lot of snow that has fallen over the last week and it will still be sensitive to any warming today. The spring time rule of thumb is get in and out of the mountains early.  

Bottom Line (Salt Lake and Park City, Ogden and Provo mountains)
The avalanche danger this morning is MODERATE.  You may still find a pocket or two that could pull out on slopes approaching 40 degrees with recent wind loading.  Depending on temperatures and the amount the sun shines on the snow, the danger will probably rise to CONSIDERABLE as things warm during the day.  As always in the spring, it is best to leave the mountains early before things get wet and soggy.

Danger Scale: 

Mountain Weather:
(You can find the afternoon Weather Update here.)
Today we will see partly cloudy skies but the sun should poke through a good amount today, however.  Temperatures will continue to rise and will be up around freezing at 10,000’ by the end of the day.  Ridge top winds will be from the west at around 15 mph and will pick up a little as the day progresses.

The next storm still promises to produce snow starting Monday with a few systems affecting the state through Wednesday afternoon.  Winds will be a little stronger then the last storm especially tonight getting into the 45 mph range at 10,000’.  Temperatures will start to cool Monday and will continue downward into the teens by late Tuesday or early Wednesday.  A couple of feet of snow is not out of the question by Wednesday.

The Powderbird guides were in Cardiff and American Fork on Saturday.  Today they will be in the Sessions and American Fork.


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.

Bruce Tremper will update this advisory by 7:30 on Monday morning.

Thanks for calling.