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.



Tuesday, November 29, 2005  7:00am
Good morning, this is Brett Kobernik with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Tuesday, November 29, 2005, and it’s about 7:00 am.

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.

This week our staff will be giving three 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.  The third is at Hanson Mountaineering in Provo on Thursday, December 1st at 7pm as well.  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:   
Mountain temperatures climbed into the teens overnight.  Ridgetop winds also increased a bit are averaging 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 35 at the highest locations.

Avalanche Conditions:
Observations from Monday were pretty mundane with most people finding light density snow on the surface and weak faceted snow under the Thanksgiving storm layer.  No avalanching was reported however one group in Cardiac Bowl experienced a significant collapse of the snowpack which sent shooting cracks out to cover an area about 60 feet wide.  Cardiac bowl is in the highest area of Mill D South in Big Cottonwood Canyon and experienced enough wind effect to stiffen the snow more then in most areas.  This stiffer slab which promotes cracking and collapsing is an indicator of how other areas may behave once we add more snow weight on top of the snowpack.

We will also need to pay attention to the upcoming interface between the new snow and the old snow as there is plenty of loose light density snow on the current surface to act as a weak layer.

Take a look at the current SNOW PROFILE.  The snowpack may look like this by tomorrow.

Hand pits and shovel tilt tests are good for revealing instabilities at the new snow/old snow interface while cracking and collapsing are a sure sign that the deeper buried facets are failing.

Bottom Line:
An isolated MODERATE danger remains this morning on northerly upper elevation slopes steeper then 35 degrees that were wind effected from the last storm.  Most other slopes have a LOW danger.

Mountain Weather: 
For today we should see scattered snow showers.  Ridgetop temperatures will be in the low 20s and ridgetop winds will be from the west southwest at around 15 mph.  Snow should start falling in earnest late this afternoon with wind speeds increasing.  Cold air moves in late tonight while winds shift to the west northwest and will be in the 25 to 30 mph range.  Up to a foot of snow is expected by Wednesday morning.


Light snow showers should continue through Wednesday with a couple of additional inches possible.  Ridgetop temperatures will be in the teens and blustery ridgetop winds will be from the west in the 20mph range.


The rest of the week looks unsettled with a few more chances for snow.



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)

Evelyn Lees will update this advisory Tuesday morning.  Thanks for calling.