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.



Friday, February 10, 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 Friday, February 10, 2006, and it’s about 7:30 am.


Current Conditions:

Today will be another day in paradise with bluebird skies and near-freezing temperatures along the ridge tops and around 45 degrees down at 8,000’.  This morning, the ridge top winds have picked up and are blowing 20 mph on the most exposed ridges.  Snow surface conditions include sun crusted snow on the south facing slopes and some occasional tricky wind slabs but the wind and sun sheltered slopes still have quite nice recrystallized snow.


Avalanche Conditions:

First, we want to apologize for our ranting yesterday when a backcountry party triggered a cornice and very nearly killed two UDOT avalanche workers below on Monte Cristo in Little Cottonwood Canyon.   As avalanche workers, we all have several close friends who have been killed in avalanches and we all live in constant fear of it ourselves.  So when some of our closet friends and most respected avalanche workers have a close call, we tend to get tweaked.  It sounds like it was unintentional and an honest mistake—something that many of us have done in the past.  But we still shouldn’t loose the lesson that we all need to be careful about traveling above other parties in avalanche terrain—something that is often overlooked in the urban backcountry of the Wasatch.  On most ski patrols, traveling above your partner is considered to be tantamount to attempted homicide and the infraction often dealt with severely.

On another note, no avalanches were observed or triggered in the backcountry yesterday despite many people riding big, bold lines.  Today you will have just a couple minor problems to consider.  First, the strong sun may make some localized wet sluffs on steep south facing slopes today.  Second, the ridge top winds will pick up and blow 20-30 from the northwest and north.  Although there isn’t much snow to blow around, the wind may create some isolated wind deposits especially along the ridges.
  Finally, this warm weather makes the cornices sensitive, so you should continue to give them a wide berth. 


Bottom Line:

This morning, the avalanche danger is LOW, with isolated pockets of  MODERATE danger on and below steep, sun exposed slopes with day time heating.  There is also pockets of MODERATE danger on steep slopes with recent wind deposits, which you will find mainly along the ridges. 


Mountain Weather:

We should have sunny and warm weather again today with ridge top temperatures near freezing and 45 degrees down at 8,000’.  Ridge top winds will pick up and blow 20-30 mph from the north and northwest as a cold pocket of air passes east of us.  By Friday afternoon, temperatures will plummet down to around 10 degrees on the ridge tops with continued moderate to strong northerly winds.  Then we should spring back to warmer temperatures later in the weekend and early next week.  Finally, we should get a very cold storm on about Wednesday, which will make ridge top temperatures drop down below zero.   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.

Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in yesterday Cascade, Cardiff and Mineral and today they will be in Cascade, Cardiff, Mineral, Days, and Silver and Mill Creek.  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.