Wasatch Cache National Forest
In partnership with: Utah Division of State Parks and Recreation, The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, Utah Department of Emergency Services and Homeland Security and Salt Lake County.



Monday, November 28, 2005  7:30am
Good morning, this is Drew Hardesty with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Monday, November 28, 2005, and it’s about 7:30 am.  We are now on our normal winter schedule and will be issuing daily avalanche advisories and weather bulletins for the duration of the season.

There will be two showings of the new TGR film “Tangerine Dream” at Brewvies Thursday, December 1, at 7 and 9 pm.  This is a fundraiser for the UAC, sponsored by our partner, The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center.  Advance tickets are available at Black Diamond retail or www.FeedTheHabit.com.

Next week our staff will be giving two free avalanche awareness talks.  The first is Tuesday, November 29th at the Salt Lake REI.  The second is Thursday, December 1st at the Sandy REI.  Both are at 7pm.  These talks are great for all ages and all types of recreation.

For a quick glance at avalanche classes in the Salt Lake and Park City area, (Click Here).

Current Conditions:   
Lake-effect bands trickled another 1-3” of snow into the central Wasatch mountains overnight, but skies should start to clear this morning for a pleasant day in the hills.  The northwest winds remain light, averaging less than 15mph and temperatures are in the single digits at most mountain locations above about 8500’.  Storm totals from Saturday/Sunday range from 14-20” in the Ogden and Uinta mountains, 8-12” in the Park City and Provo mountains, and 2-3’ in the upper Cottonwoods.  Backcountry travelers will find probably half these amounts due to rapid settlement in the low density snow; nonetheless, sheltered upper elevation slopes have excellent riding conditions.      

Avalanche Conditions:
A select few of those in search of the odd wind pocket were able to find and trigger them in a few steep wind drifted slopes and roll-overs, but this seemed to be the exception and not the rule.  These were generally less than 8” deep and 20’ or so wide.  The anomalies were in two avalanches that ran on the interface of the storm snow and the weak faceted snow formed during the previous couple weeks of high pressure.  These were up to 2’ deep and triggered on steep north and east upper elevation slopes in the upper Cottonwoods, one by a slope cut, the other with control work at one of the ski areas.  I don’t expect all of these drifts to have completely settled out, so look for and avoid any smooth, pillowy, rounded drifts in steep isolated terrain in the upper elevations. 

If Saturday’s saving grace was that there just wasn’t enough cohesion to form a slab, yesterday’s was that there just wasn’t enough of a load to get things going.  With the next storm on Tuesday expected to come in warm and wet, I would expect significantly more problems in the backcountry.  What currently looks like this (SNOW PROFILE) now may look like this by late tomorrow.

Bottom Line:
The avalanche danger is LOW on all non wind-drifted slopes.  An isolated MODERATE danger remains on any slope steeper than 35 degrees with recent wind deposits.

Mountain Weather: 
We can expect partly cloudy skies, light northwest winds and temperatures in the single digits at 10,000’ and in the upper teens at 8000’.  Increasing clouds and a wind shift to the west southwest will announce the next storm system, due to arrive late tonight.  This storm will be significantly warmer and may produce significant snow for the mountains of northern Utah.  A quick break follows for Wednesday, with unsettled weather into the weekend.



Please report any backcountry snow and avalanche conditions you observe.  We need all the information we can get.  You can call (801) 524-5304 or 1-800-662-4140, or email to [email protected] or fax to 801-524-6301.  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.

To have this advisory automatically e-mailed to you each day, click HERE.  (You must re-sign up this season even if you were on the list last season.)

The annual report for 2004-05 is now on the web. (Click HERE, 8mb)

Brett Kobernik will update this advisory Tuesday morning.  Thanks for calling.