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, February 04, 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, February 04, 2006, and it’s about 7:30 am.


Current Conditions:

It’s a mild morning, with mostly cloudy skies, temperatures in the upper teens to low 20’s, and the southwesterly winds generally less than 15 mph.  Several weeks of small storms were capped off Wednesday through Thursday with another foot of dense, but loose snow, with the upper elevations in the Cottonwoods receiving close to 18”.  Turning, riding and snowshoeing conditions are excellent on northwest through easterly facing slopes.   Conditions on the south and westerly facing slopes are mixed.  Late yesterday, the sun peeked out in some drainages, and there the snow will be crusted this morning.


Avalanche Conditions:

For a second day in a row, backcountry travelers yesterday kicked off small slides on steep, wind drifted slopes of all aspects.  These slides were generally less than a foot deep, and up to 50’ wide.  While that sounds pretty tame, these slides were actually big enough to catch a few people, so if you get onto steep slopes today, think about the consequences should you go for a ride.  Today’s increasing winds may create a few fresh drifts that will be sensitive, so as usual, avoid any of the steeper terrain with new or old drifts of wind blown snow.  Also keep in mind that there have been a few slides the past three days that have broken into old snow on both sunny and shady slopes.  These slides have been up to 100’ wide, and 2-3’ deep.  Today, there are still a few isolated places where you could trigger a deeper slide.


Today’s other avalanche problem will be wet slides.  The warming temperatures and occasional sun will heat the snow surface on steep, sunny slopes, and wet sluffs will be easy to trigger.  With periods of thin cloud cover, the snow surface on may also heat up mid and lower elevation shady slopes, so be alert for damp and sloppy snow on the shady aspects, too.


Bottom Line:

The avalanche danger is MODERATE today on any steep slopes with new or old drifts of wind blown snow.   With daytime heating, the danger will increase to MODERATE on steep, sunny slopes, and possibly the mid and low elevation shady slopes.


Mountain Weather:

A rapidly approaching Pacific storm system will bring snow to the area this evening.  Today, skies will be mostly cloudy with periods of filtered sunshine.  The southwesterly ridgetop winds will increase into the 20 to 30 mph range.  Highs today will be near 30 at 10,000’ and 40 at 8,000’. Tonight’s fast moving storm should drop one final shot of powder, about 6 to 12”, before moving east on Sunday.  Drier air will move in late Sunday, and high pressure will dominate the weather this week.


Click here for the National Weather Service graphic Forecast. 



Click here to check out our new online avalanche encyclopedia.


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.

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

To have this advisory automatically e-mailed to you each day, click HERE. 

UDOT also has a highway avalanche control work hotline for Big Cottonwood, Little Cottonwood, and Provo canyons, which is updated as needed. 801-975-4838.

The Wasatch Powderbird Guides didn’t get out yesterday and today they will fly in Mineral, Cardiff, Days, Silver, Grizzly, White Pine, 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.

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