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.

 

AVALANCHE ADVISORY

Saturday, December 10, 20057:30am
Good morning, this is Evelyn Lees with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.Today is Saturday, December 10, 2005, and itís about 7:30 am.

UDOT has a highway avalanche control work hotline for Little Cottonwood road, which is updated as needed. 801-975-4838.

Up coming avalanche awareness talks by the UAC staff include:
Dec 137 pm††††† ††† REI, 3285 E, 3300 S, SLC
Dec 146:30 pm†††† Mountain High Motorsports, 8262 S Redwood Rd, West Jordan
Dec 147 pm†††† †††† South Valley Unitarian, 6876 S Highland Dr.

Current Conditions: ††
High pressure continues to dominate the weather over northern Utah.Temperatures have warmed into the upper teens and low twenties at most mountain stations this morning, with single digits only to be found in narrow valley bottoms where cold air has pooled.The northwesterly winds increased slightly overnight, and have been blowing in the 25 to 35 mph range across the exposed upper elevation ridgelines.Turning and riding conditions are very good on northwest through easterly facing slopes in settled powder.The sunnier slopes are now crusted, especially those facing south through west.

Avalanche Conditions:
While the snowpack is mostly stable, there are still two avalanche problems that require caution today.First, the brisk northwesterly winds have created new drifts along the upper elevation ridgelines.These drifts could crack out under the weight of a person, so avoid any drifts of wind blown snow on steep slopes.

The second lingering avalanche problem is possibility of triggering a slide on the weak, sugary facets near the ground.The most likely place a person would trigger one of these deeper slides would be on a steep slope facing northwest through east, that is above about 9000 feet and has a shallower, thin snow pack.Avoid shady slopes with extra steep rollovers and shallow rocky areas where the snow depth may be less than about 3í deep.†† As you travel, plunge your ski pole handle down into the snow to the ground to estimate the snowpack depth.

As you head into the backcountry today practice safe travel techniques - only one person on a steep slope at a time, watch each other from safe locations, carry rescue gear: beacons, shovels, and probes, and be well practiced at performing a rescue.

Bottom Line:
Many slopes have a LOW avalanche danger today.However, a MODERATE danger remains on any slope steeper than about 35 degrees with new drifts of wind blown snow and on shady, upper elevation slopes steeper than about 35 degrees that have a thin snowpack.With daytime heating, it may be possible to trigger a few wet sluffs today.

Mountain Weather:
High pressure over northern Utah will keep the mountain weather warm and dry through Sunday.10,000í temperatures today and Sunday will be near freezing, and the northerly winds will decrease today to less than 15 mph.A couple of weak weather disturbances moving by to the north will bring a chance for light snow and cooler temperatures Monday and Tuesday.

 

Regional Snow Profile (this profile can also be found daily off our home page under avalanche products)

Seasonal Weather History Charts.

Please report any backcountry snow and avalanche conditions you observe.We appreciate all information.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)

Drew Hardesty will update this advisory by 7:30 Sunday morning.Thanks for calling.