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

To receive automated e-mails of this advisory click HERE.

Avalanche advisory

Friday, April 01, 2005
Good morning, this is Drew Hardesty with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Friday, April 01, 2005, and its 7:30 in the morning.

I’m sorry to report our 8th confirmed backcountry avalanche fatality this year. Yesterday, a 27 year old male was killed snowmobiling in the mountains east of Huntsville in the Ogden area mountains.  We don’t have any more details than the media at this time, but will be sending out Toby Weed and Craig Gordon for a full investigation today. 

Also, UDOT avalanche control work in Provo canyon just after noon may cause traffic delays.

Current Conditions: 
Trade your down parka in for your lei because today’s gonna be the day.  Temperatures have warmed considerably in the past 24 hours and are 12-20 degrees warmer than yesterday morning.  With the exception of a couple of the highest anemometers at 20mph, winds remain light and westerly.  All areas but mid to high north facing are well crusted this morning, but should soften throughout the day.  Also of interest, over the past 30 hours, areas that received the most snow have seen 10-15” of settlement.

Avalanche Conditions:
Control work protecting the Cottonwood Canyons and in the backcountry pulled out numerous large avalanches yesterday, most 2-4’ deep on a variety of aspects at the upper elevations.  Stairs Gulch in mid-BCC dusted the road, Cottonwood Draw in LCC nearly hit the road, and God’s Lawnmower ran full track.  Other control work in upper LCC brought out a slab 3-4’ deep and 400’ wide on south facing Tuscarora, while in Days Fork, an explosive pulled out a 4’ slab in Crystal Palace.  Other than our fatality, there were a number of human triggered slides in the backcountry, including a couple adjacent to Brighton, one in Dutch Draw, and a wet slab 8”x40’ wide in south-facing Cardiff Bowl.  Natural heat-induced slabs pulled out in the morning on Timpanogos at elevations above 10,000’.  These east facing slides were reported as 3-4’ deep and up to 750’ wide. 

If cooler temps and intermittent cloud cover mitigated some of the wet activity yesterday, today will offer no such protection.  Scorching temperatures, clear skies, light winds, and mostly negligible cloud cover will be a tremendous shock to the snowpack. The unbelievable amount of snow from the past few days just hasn’t had enough time to be ready for such a dramatic rise in temperatures. The danger will rise significantly with the heating and we can expect natural and human triggered slab avalanches today.  By late morning, it’ll be time to be off of and out from under the steep sun exposed slopes.

Bottom Line (Salt Lake and Park City, Ogden and Provo mountains):
The avalanche danger on all sun-exposed slopes will rise to CONSIDERABLE with daytime heating.  Both natural and human triggered avalanches are expected.  Mid and upper elevation northerly slopes will have a MODERATE danger today.

Danger Scale: 

Mountain Weather:
(You can find the afternoon Weather Update here.)
We’ll have sunny skies with 8000’ temperatures approaching 50 degrees.  10,000’ temps will be near freezing.  Winds will be shifting to the southwest and be less than 15 mph.  A quick moving but energetic storm is still on track for Monday with a spring like ridge building in after.

Yesterday, the Powderbird guides were in Silver, Days, Cardiff, and Grizzly and will be there again, along with Mineral and White Pine. 


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.

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

Thanks for calling.