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.



Wednesday, January 18, 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 Wednesday, January 18, 2006, and its about 7:30 am.


Current Conditions:
A warm front moved through northern Utah overnight, dropping a couple of inches of dense snow and warming temperatures into the 20s at 10,000. The southwesterly winds got in on the action, blowing throughout the night in the 15 to 25 mph range, with gusts in the 30s to 60s. To find good riding and snowshoeing conditions, Id be searching for wind sheltered terrain today. As fresh snow piles up on the settled powder base, conditions will just get better.

Avalanche Conditions:
The snow pack was mostly stable yesterday, with no new avalanches reported. Today will be a day of increasing avalanche danger, so be alert to changing conditions and plan your backcountry trip to have a variety of terrain choices, including some lower angle options.

Overnight, the winds drifted the snow, forming some dense and perhaps stubborn drifts, especially on north through easterly facing slopes. These drifts are both along the ridgelines and around terrain features such as gully walls, sub ridges and mid slope breakovers. Some of the older drifts may be hidden under the new snow, and harder to detect. Avoid any steep slope with recent deposits of wind drifted snow.

As the day progresses and youre in an area where the new snow stacks up and the winds continued to blow, the new snow may be come sensitive. On some slopes there are slick crusts beneath the old snow on many aspects, and once a slide gets moving, it may take out a couple of layers of snow, resulting in a deeper slide.

Bottom Line:

This will be a day of increasing avalanche danger. This morning, the avalanche danger is MODERATE on steep slopes with fresh drifts of wind blown snow. With additional snow and wind, the avalanche danger may rise to CONSIDERABLE this afternoon. As always, avoid the steep wind drifted slopes and be alert for changing conditions today.


Mountain Weather:

A broad trough over the western US will keep a moist and unstable air mass over northern Utah through Thursday. Its just spittering and sputtering at the moment, but if all goes according to plan, there should be an additional 6 to 10 of fresh powder by sunset, with temperatures dropping into the upper teens at 10,000. Winds will remain moderate to strong from the southwest through out the day. This evening, the winds will shift to the northwest, and the mountains could receive another 6 to 12 of snow, with the higher amounts in areas favored by northwest flow. Temperatures will drop into the low teens. A few final snow showers are possible Thursday morning, before partial clearing in the afternoon as high pressure moves in. A weak storm will move across northern Utah on Saturday.




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 did not fly yesterday, and if they can fly today, theyll be in Cardiff, Days, Silver, Grizzly and American Fork. 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 Thursday morning. Thanks for calling.