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.



Saturday, December 24, 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 24, 2005, and itís about 7:30 am.

Check out our new graphical advisory format.You can update your bookmarks to this link:


We will publish both this text-based advisory as well as the new graphical version so you can choose which one you prefer.Let us know about any formatting problems.

The beacon locator park at Snowbird is now open and free to the public.Itís sponsored by Wasatch Backcountry Rescue and Snowbird and located just off the bypass road in upper Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Current Conditions: ††
Under clear skies, temperatures are in the 20ís this morning, and there has been a good hard freeze of the snow surface at all elevations.Winds are from the northwest, generally in the 5 to 15 mph range, with only the highest peaks having persistently stronger winds.As for turning and riding conditions, there is dense powder on upper elevation, shady slopes, and the key is to get up high and stay high.Other elevations and aspects have a desperate mix of supportable and breakable rain and sun crusts, which may get a bit friendlier as they soften later today.

Avalanche Conditions:
Yesterdayís reported
backcountry avalanche activity was of shallow, new snow soft slabs less than 10Ē deep, all above about 9,500í.A careful ski cut released a 100í wide slide on the south face of Superior, and two naturals were reported from northeast facing slopes in the Claytons and 10,420 areas that were 100 and 150í wide.Slides that were triggered were fast moving, and carried some punch due to the dense nature of the snow.This morning, the cooler temperatures and time will have stabilized most of these new snow instabilities, and the lingering problem will be due to drifting from the persistent northwesterly winds.Like yesterday, backcountry travelers should carefully avoid wind drifted slopes and the steepest terrain.(upper snowpack profile)

Bottom Line:The avalanche danger is generally LOW today, with a MODERATE danger on steep, mid and upper elevation slopes with recent deposits of wind drifted snow.If the snow surface heats up and gets sloppy later today, itís time to get off steep, sunny slopes and move to a different cooler aspect.

Mountain Weather:
High pressure over the state will bring clear skies, light winds and warm temperatures today.The northwest winds will decrease to less than 15 mph and temperatures will warm into the 30ís, with a few high thin clouds floating by.Christmas Day will start out balmy, with increasing clouds and wind in the afternoon as the high pressure ridge starts to move east of the state.This will leave Utah open to a series of weak Pacific weather systems, with the best chances for snow late Monday and Thursday.

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

Click here for Seasonal Weather History Charts.

Yesterday, Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in Cardiff, Silver, Grizzly and American Fork, and today they will fly in Mineral, Cardiff, Days, Silver, Grizzly, White Pine and Cascade.For more info, call 742-2800.

We appreciate any backcountry snow and avalanche conditions you observe.Call (801) 524-5304 or 1-800-662-4140, email [email protected] or fax 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.)

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

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

Brett Kobernik will update this advisory by 7:30 Christmas morning.Thanks for calling.