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 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 Friday, February 17, 2006, and it’s about 7:30 am.


A long time fundraiser for the Utah Avalanche Center, the Banff Mountain Film Festival is coming back to town February 21st and 22nd at Kingsbury Hall.  Tickets will be available at Kingsbury Hall, Art-Tix, the Outdoor Rec Program at the U and REI.  For more info, call 581-8516.


Current Conditions:

Winds picked up somewhat last night blowing in the 15 to 20 mph range with gusts into the 30s along the ridgetops from the southwest.  They now show signs of slowing and should continue this trend through out the day.  Temperatures remain cold in the single digits at most locations.  The new snow from Wednesday was slightly inverted in density.


Avalanche Conditions:

The newest snow produced some avalanche activity on Thursday.  Control work in the Cottonwood ski areas and highways produced shallow soft slab avalanches that were cracking out 100 to 150’ wide.  Backcountry observers noted some cracking with the new snow with a few small slab avalanches triggered from ski cuts and cornice drops as well.  It appears that there was a density change early in the storm that produced a weakness causing these slab avalanches and also the cracking backcountry travelers noted.  MORE INFO  Sluffing of the new snow was also a concern as these would get big enough to knock a person off of their feet.  ACTIVITY PHOTO


For today the main concern will be any fresh drifts that may have formed along the higher ridges from last nights winds.  The instability within the newest snow should settle out but with the addition of any wind blown snow there is a chance you could trigger an avalanche.  With continued cold temperatures, sluffing may still be an issue today as well.


Bottom Line:

A MODERATE danger exists on steep upper elevation terrain with recent deposits of wind drifted snow.  Human triggered slab avalanches are possible.  These will be more dangerous in the Ogden area mountains which received the most snow.  Terrain down off of the ridgelines has a mostly LOW danger.


Mountain Weather:

For today we’ll see mostly cloudy skies.  Ridgetop temperatures will remain around 10 degrees or less.  Ridgetop winds will start out in the 10 mph range from the southwest and decrease as the day goes on.  A low pressure system will move into Nevada and start to feed moisture into our area mid day on Saturday in a cold southwest flow.  Snow showers should continue through Sunday.  Weather models show about a half inch of water with this system so if we’re lucky we’ll have another 6 to 12 inch snow event by the time it’s all finished.



Click here to check out our new online avalanche encyclopedia.


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

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 Cardiff, Days, and American Fork.  Today they’ll fly in Mineral, Cardiff, Days, Grizzly, American Fork, The Sessions and possibly White Pine if the clouds start to lower.  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.

I will update this advisory by 7:30 Saturday morning.  Thanks for calling.