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, April 02, 2005
Good morning, this is Evelyn Lees with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Saturday, April 02, 2005, and its 7:30 in the morning.

Current Conditions:
Under partly cloudy skies, temperatures are warmer this morning, with most stations in the mid to upper 20s. The Ogden area mountains are down right toasty, with most elevations at or above freezing. The southwesterly winds have picked up across the higher ridges, averaging 20 to 30 mph, with gusts near 40. Slopes of almost all aspects and elevations will have a wicked breakable crust this morning, which will rapidly heat and become damp, sticky, and then down right sloppy. There are a few remnants of dry powder on steep, upper elevation northerly facing slopes.

Avalanche Conditions:
Yesterday, a predictable number of natural wet snow sluffs and slabs occurred, with the lower steep breakovers and east through south facing slopes especially active. http://www.avalanche.org/~uac/photos/Images04-05/AprilFoolsDay2005/. Today, there will be similar wet slide activity with daytime heating, and a balancing act between the warmer temperatures and the cooling winds occurring. Thin clouds will help to heat the snow on the northerly facing slopes.

A more complex pattern exists on steep northwest through east facing slopes. After backcountry explosive testing had no results on multiple steep, wind loaded slopes, the final shot triggered a 100 wide and 3 to 4 deep slide that sympathetically triggered 2 additional, similar slides off the east facing ridgeline in Mineral Fork. In recent days, these deeper slides have been breaking on several different layers. The Monte Cristo fatality slide took out all of the March snow, the human triggered slide in Brighton Back Bowl on Monday took out just the snow since the 29th. (http://www.avalanche.org/~uac/BRAIC/WhiskeyHill.htm). The snowpack once again has that all too familiar pattern - there are not many places where one could trigger a deep slab, but if you do it may be unsurvivable. So, if youre getting on to steep slopes, evaluate the terrain carefully. If the slope were to slide, how wide could it break and what are the consequences? Would you slam into trees, go off a cliff or be deeply buried in a gully bottom?

Bottom Line (Salt Lake and Park City, Ogden and Provo mountains):
This morning, there is a MODERATE danger on mid and upper elevation northwest through east facing slopes steeper than 35 degrees. The avalanche danger will rise to CONSIDERABLE with daytime heating on steep slopes of all aspects. Natural avalanches are possible and human triggered avalanches probable. Danger Scale: http://www.avalanche.org/~uac/ed-scale.htm

Mountain Weather:
(You can find the afternoon Weather Update here.)
The high pressure ridge has shifted to the east, which is allowing bands of mid and high level clouds to move through. A moderate southwest flow has developed, and the winds will remain in the 20 to 30 mph range today, with gusts to 45. Temperatures will reach the mid 50s at 8,000 and low 30s at 10,000. Sunday will be warmer, cloudier and windier ahead of a rather strong cold front that is forecast to move through northern Utah on Monday.

Yesterday, the Powderbird guides were in Days, Cardiff, and White Pine. Today they will be in Mineral, Cardiff, Days, Silver, Grizzly, White Pine 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.

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

Thanks for calling.