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, April 05, 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, April 05, 2005, and its 7:30 in the morning.  Today’s advisory on our web page contains a user survey.  Please take a few minutes to complete it so we can better our forecasts for you.  The web site is utahavalanchecenter.com, click on Wasatch Range.

Current Conditions: 
The storm passed overnight but not before leaving a blanket of fresh snow over the mountains.  The Provo area mountains received 2 to 4 inches, the Ogden area mountains received 4 to 6 inches, Park City Ridgeline around 10 inches, and the Cottonwoods in the 12 to 15 inch range.  A report from one of our observers on Flagstaff this morning is reporting that the snow has settled to around 8 or 9 inches and is quite dense.  Some snow plumes are still coming of the high peaks and evidence of fresh cornices can be seen.  Ridgetop temperatures are in the low to mid teens.

Avalanche Conditions:
There was not much activity reported from Monday but not many people were out and about either.  Activity that was reported consisted of loose snow avalanches initiating from ski cuts and kicking small cornice chunks.  Once these got going they would run full track and fan out some what.  This was new snow running on our old snow surface.  There was some cracking in the fresh drifts along the ridges as well.

Reports from ski patrol doing sweeps late in the day in Little Cottonwood said fresh wind slabs were forming and cracking up to 80’ wide and around 16” deep.  With more snow overnight and enough wind to transport snow, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some more fresh wind drifts or wind slabs along the upper ridges today.  These will be new snow related and should be easy to recognize and manage for experienced travelers.  Watch for deeper drifts while you’re traveling and note if these drifts are cracking at all.


Another concern for today, as usual in the spring, is warm temperatures.  Partial clearing and rising temperatures will affect the new snow rapidly.  A natural wet avalanche cycle will probably occur today involving the new snow.  At lower elevations, the entire snowpack is mush so avoid steep terrain traps while entering or exiting the mountains.  A major warm up is in store for the next few days which could pose problems with all the snow that we’ve received over the last few weeks.  Pay close attention to temperatures over the next few days.


Bottom Line (Salt Lake and Park City, Ogden and Provo mountains):
Most areas have a MODERATE danger this morning.  The hazard is likely higher in the upper elevation wind affected terrain in the Cottonwood Canyons which received the most snow.  The danger may rise to CONSIDERABLE with daytime heating.

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

Mountain Weather:
(You can find the afternoon Weather Update here.)
We will remain in a northwest flow for most of the day as the ridge of high pressure approaches.  Skies will clear somewhat, ridgetop temperatures will be in the low 20s and continue to rise.  Ridgetop winds will be in the 15 to 20 mph range from the northwest and continue to slow as the day progresses.

Warm and clear for Wednesday with 8000 foot temperatures in the low 50s.  Thursday brings some clouds with 8000 foot temperatures in the mid 50s.  10,000’ temperatures will get into the upper 30’s Wednesday and Thursday.

Eyes are on the next storm approaching which again could produce a good shot of snow for the northern Utah mountains Friday into Saturday.

Wasatch Powderbird guides were not able to fly yesterday and will be in Mineral, Cardiff, Days, Silver, Grizzly, and White Pine today.


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 Wednesday morning.

Thanks for calling.