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, January 14, 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 Saturday, January 14, 2006, and it’s about 7:30 am.

Special avalanche statement: The avalanche danger will increase rapidly tonight through Monday as a strong storm system impacts the northern Utah mountains.  Strong winds and heavy snowfall will create a Considerable to High avalanche danger Sunday into Monday.


Current Conditions:
A strong, southwesterly flow will be over the area today ahead of the next storm system.  Temperatures have warmed into the low 30’s at 9,500’, and the southwesterly winds are averaging 15 to 25 mph, with gusts into the 40’ and 50’s.  The sunny slopes will definitely be crusted today, and wind damaged areas will be expanding.  Your best bet for powder will be on wind sheltered shady slopes.    

Avalanche Conditions:
There were two unintentionally triggered avalanches in the backcountry yesterday, a soft slab in upper White Pine and a loose snow slide on Superior.  Both people took rides, but they came out on top and were ok.  Conditions were more sensitive in the American Fork drainage, with multiple intentional skier triggered soft slabs up to a foot deep on steep north through east facing slopes.   

Today, fresh wind drifts will be the avalanche problem.  The strong winds will be blowing and drifting the snow, and these new drifts will deepen and become more widespread and sensitive through out the day.  These drifts will be most widespread on north through easterly facing slopes, and could also develop at mid elevations and off the ridgelines. 

The combination of strong winds and intermittent cloud cover should keep a lid on damp snow activity today.  But if the sun pops out this afternoon or the snow becomes damp or sloppy on the slope where you are, switch to a slope with cooler snow or stay on low angle terrain.

Bottom Line: (Salt Lake, Park City and Provo mountains)

Today the avalanche danger is MODERATE on steep slopes with recent deposits of wind drifted snow.  Outside of wind affected terrain, the avalanche danger is generally LOW. 



Mountain Weather:

A potent storm system will reach northern Utah late this evening.  Ahead of the storm, it will be warm and blustery today, with southwesterly ridgetop winds averaging 25 to 35 mph, with gusts commonly in the 40’s and 50’s.  Temperatures today will reach the low 40’s at 8,000’ and be near 30 at 10,000’.    Increasing clouds tonight, with snow, heavy at times, developing after midnight.  4 to 9” of snow is possible by morning, with an additional 8 to 14” expected on Sunday.  Snow showers could continue into Monday morning.  Another moist storm system is expected around Wednesday. 


Announcements and Miscellaneous:


3rd Annual Backcountry Awareness Week Monday Jan 30-Sunday February 5
Fundraising Dinner February 3rd at 6pm with speakers Conrad Anker and Apa Sherpa.  For more info, go to www.backcountryawareness.com or call Snowbird at 933-2147.


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

Click HERE for a text only version of the avalanche advisory.

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 Wasatch Powderbird Guides were in Silver, Days, Grizzly and American Fork yesterday, and today they will be in Cardiff, Days, Silver,and White Pine, with a second ship in the Sessions or Cascade.  For more info, call 742-2800.

Please report any backcountry snow and avalanche conditions.  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.

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