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.



Thursday, January 26, 2006  7:30am
Good morning, this is Bruce Tremper with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Thursday, January 26, 2006, and it’s about 7:30 am.


          Current Conditions:

I hate it when we only forecast 2 inches of snow and we’re right.  Sure enough, only a wimpy 2 inches of new snow fell last night in the Wasatch Range with no snow falling in the mountains north of Salt Lake City.  Yesterday, the winds blew hard from the south, which exacerbated the already horrid, wind-etched snow surface at tree line and above tree line.  There’s still some passable soft, settled, recrystallized snow (surface hoar PHOTO) in mid and low elevation, north facing, wind sheltered slopes, but yesterday most folks—including me—were cursing the upper elevation, wind-sculpted snow.  PHOTO The skiff of new snow overnight should help a little but probably not much.  This morning, the ridge top temperature is in the mid 20’s and the winds have calmed down to 20 mph from the west.   Click here for the Snow Page.  Click here for the Snotel Water Equivalent map.


Avalanche Conditions:

No one reported any significant avalanches yesterday from the backcountry, but most folks noticed some isolated pockets of very hard, wind drifts along the ridges that were too stubborn to trigger.  PHOTO With the new snow overnight, I’m sure that the winds created some isolated pockets of shallow, soft wind slabs in upper elevation wind exposed terrain but in theory, they should be easy to manage.

Bottom Line:

The avalanche danger is generally LOW with isolated pockets of MODERATE danger on any steep slope with a recent deposit of wind drifted snow.


Mountain Weather:

We should have partly cloudy skies today with perhaps a few light snow showers.  Ridge top winds should blow 10-20 mph from the west with ridge top temperatures in the mid 20’s and 30 degrees down at 8,000’.  Then we have several disturbances from the west scheduled over the next several days.  The first one will arrive Friday, which should freshen us up with perhaps 6 more inches of snow.  Another stronger and windier storm should arrive on Sunday with perhaps foot of snow.  Then, we stay in the snow-flow with another disturbance a week from today—just the way we like it. Click here for the National Weather Service graphic Forecast. 



Early birds and snow geeks can catch our 6AM report at 364-1591.

You can find our mountain weather forecast here by about noon each day.


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, call Snowbird at 933-2147.  Visit www.backcountryawareness.com for more details.


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 Big and Little Cottonwood canyons, which is updated as needed. 801-975-4838.

The Wasatch Powderbird Guides did not get out yesterday due to high wind and today they will probably not have the visibility.  But if they do, they will fly in Mineral, Cardiff, Days, Silver and Cascade Ridge.   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.

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