Wasatch Cache National Forest
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Avalanche Information

Wednesday, April 20, 20055pm
Good afternoon, this is Bruce Tremper with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Wednesday, April 20, 2005, and its 5:30 pm.Weíll issue intermittent afternoon updates as conditions change until around the end of April.

Current Conditions:
The upper elevations of the Cottonwood Canyons were epic this morning with about a foot and a half of very light snow and cold temperatures.But as usual in the spring, you have to get it quick because it doesnít last long.Sure enough, the sun came out around noon and made mashed potatoes out of the almost all the snow except the upper elevation north facing slopes.

Avalanche Information:
I got out much too briefly this morning and found that the new snow sluffed easily on any slope steeper than about 35 degrees.Also, along the upper elevation ridge lines where the wind was blowing hard, we could easily trigger very soft slab avalanches that broke on a light density layer within the new snow.Also, many of the very steep, large bowls had already slid during the storm.Both the sluffs and slabs were very soft and quite manageable if you know how to do slope cuts before you jump into something.Luckily, most people seemed to avoid most steep slopes, and the ones who didnít avoid them, seemed to know how to manage their terrain.

But it is spring, after all, and as soon as the sun came out around noon, it produced quite a few damp sluffs on steep slopes.The sky should completely clear out on Thursday, which will finish off everything else.I would expect that the strong sun will quickly produce sluffs on almost all slopes steeper than 35 degrees and on most aspects.In other words, itís not a good day to have a picnic at the bottom of Superior slide path.When you get out on Thursday, you should get out early and get home early.

Since we have a limited staff and only a small amount of information coming in this time of year, I wonít issue any danger ratings.

Mountain Weather:
We will probably get a few more snow showers overnight, perhaps 3-5 more inches of snow.Ridge top winds will blow around 15 mph from the southwest with ridge top temperatures around 20 degrees.On Thursday, skies should clear out with just a few scattered clouds around the mountain tops.Ridge top temperatures should rise to the upper 20ís by afternoon and should be around 40 degrees at 8,000í.†† Then, this weekend looks very warm with ridge top temperatures rising to 45 by Saturday and around 55 at 8,000í.The extended forecast calls for another storm starting Sunday morning through about Tuesday.

Since we have a limited staff and limited amount of information coming in this time of year, we wonít be issuing danger ratings.

If you run across anything we should know about, 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.

Weíll update this forecast as conditions warrant, and thanks for calling.