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.



Friday, January 06, 2006  7:30am
Good morning, this is Evelyn Lees with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Friday, January 06, 2006, and it’s about 7:30 am.

Little Cottonwood Canyon will be closed from approximately 11 am to noon today to sight in artillery from the Tanners slide path up canyon through Little Pine.  Please do not travel in these south facing slide paths today.


Bruce Tremper will be giving a free “Science of Avalanches” talk this Saturday night, at 7 pm, at the Treasure Mountain Middle School in Park City.  He will be repeating the talk Tuesday, Jan 10th, at 7 pm at the SLC REI.


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

Current Conditions:

It’s going to be a sizzler today, with a few upper elevation mountain stations already hitting 40 degrees at 6 am.  The coolest temperatures are in the valley bottoms within the temperature inversion.  Winds are from a southwesterly direction, in the 10 to 15 mph range.    


Under clear skies, the sunny slopes will have nasty, breakable crusts early before turning to slop later this morning.  Good settled powder remains on shady, wind sheltered slopes.


Avalanche Conditions:

Explosive work yesterday pulled out 3 more deep slides in the backcountry and at resorts.  They were all on northeasterly facing slopes, above about 9,500’.  Two slides ran to the ground, one about 100’ wide and the other, Cardiac ridge, about 500’ wide and 7 to 10’ deep.  The third slide was in American Fork, and ran on a lower pack weakness, and was about 200’ wide.  Once again, there are only isolated places where the weight of a person could trigger one of these deeper slides, but if you do, it would be basically unsurvivable.  So choose your lines carefully today, and avoid shallower, rocky areas, or heavily wind drifted slopes.  Many moderate and bold lines were skied without incident yesterday.


A shallower, new snow slide was also triggered yesterday in very steep terrain off Tuscarora, 1 to 2’ deep, again on an east facing, high elevation slope.  There is the potential for the weight of a smaller new snow slide to trigger a deeper slide.


Day time heating will again initiate a round of wet loose sluffs on steep sunny slopes.  As high thin clouds drift through, the snow may also heat up on northerly facing slopes, and sluffs will also be possible on the shady aspects.  Cornices are getting sensitive with the heating.


Bottom Line:

The avalanche danger is MODERATE today on slopes steeper than 35 degrees, above about 9,500’, facing northwest through north through east.  There are isolated places where a person could trigger a deep, dangerous slide.  With daytime heating, the avalanche danger of wet loose sluffs will rise to MODERATE on steep slopes when the snow heats up.  The danger is generally LOW below about 9,500’ (8,500’ in the Ogden area mountains) and on slopes less steep than 35 degrees.


Mountain Weather:

High pressure directly over Utah will bring record breaking temperatures to the mountains today.  Temperatures will rise into the mid 40’s at 10,000’ and into the mid 50’s at 8,000’.  The southwesterly winds will be light, less than 15 mph, and high thin clouds will drift through at times.  On Saturday, clouds and winds will increase ahead of a small disturbance that could bring a few inches of snow Saturday night into Sunday.

Click HERE for other weather links


Preliminary accident report from the weekend avalanche accident on Timpanogos can be found here.


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, Grizzly and American Fork.  Today, they will be in White Pine, Mill Creek, Cardiff, Days, Silver, Grizzly and American Fork. For more info, call 742-2800.

Please report 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.

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