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, January 17, 2006  7:30am
Good morning, this is Brett Kobernik with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Tuesday, January 17, 2006, and it’s about 7:30 am.


Drew will be teaching a Basic Avalanche Awareness class at Black Diamond Tuesday night at 7pm.  For more information, call BD at 278-0233.

Current Conditions:
”Epic”, “sensational”, and “the best day of the season” were phrases used to describe conditions in the backcountry yesterday.  The light density new snow with mostly stable conditions certainly gave backcountry travelers a pleasurable day.  Current ridgetop temperatures remain cold and are in the low to mid teens at most locations.  Winds on Monday were generally light but did pick up just slightly overnight with ridgetop speeds in the 15 to 20 mph range from the northwest with sustained speeds at the highest elevations in the 40 mph range over the last 6 hours.

Avalanche Conditions:
The mountains of northern Utah are enjoying a period with a very stable basal snowpack.  With no persistent weak layers, the main concern with each new storm remains in the upper portion of the snowpack.

With a few reports of drifting snow from yesterday and slightly higher wind speeds overnight, today fresh wind drifted snow will be the main concern.  The very light density snow that fell over the weekend is prone to transport and can easily form sensitive drifts on lees slopes.  With lower elevation wind speeds not doing much, I’d expect to see these drifts mainly at the higher elevations on northeast through southeast facing slopes.  These drifts may not prove to be very sensitive however; any fresh wind drifts are suspect until proven otherwise.  While traveling today, stomp on drifts in safe areas along ridges to check for cracking.  Also, use slope cuts before just diving into steeper slopes.

Bottom Line:

For today the avalanche danger is generally LOW.  You will find areas along the upper elevation ridges where the danger of triggering a fresh wind drift is MODERATE.  You will find these drifts mainly on northeast through southeast facing slopes steeper then 35 degrees.


Mountain Weather:

For today we’ll see mostly cloudy skies with ridgetop temperatures getting up into the low 20s with ridgetop wind speeds in the 15 mph range.  Tonight through Thursday night will bring another storm which could produce 1 to 2 inches of water translating into a couple feet of snow.




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 American Fork yesterday and if they can get up today they’ll be in Cardiff, Days, Silver, Grizzly and American Fork and possibly White Pine. 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.

Bruce Tremper will update this advisory by 7:30 Wednesday morning.  Thanks for calling.