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 18, 2006  7:30am
Good morning, this is Drew Hardesty with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Saturday, February 18, 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:

Skies are partly to mostly cloudy with chilly single digit temperatures at most mountain locations.  The southerly winds picked up overnight and are blowing 20-35mph along the upper elevations.  Most shady sheltered slopes have excellent riding conditions.  Many upper elevation areas have some wind damage and many due south slopes are now crusted. 


Avalanche Conditions:

The Ogden mountains saw more widespread activity from their higher snow amounts.  Avalanche control work pulled out some hard wind slabs 1-2’ deep while in the backcountry, skiers found sensitive 8” wind slabs along the more exposed east facing ridgelines.  These likely will have settled out overnight. 


The central Wasatch ran the gamut of avalanche activity, from long running sluffs to shallow pockety wind drifts, a skier triggered hard slab, and even a glide avalanche in upper Stairs Gulch.  The only slide of note, however, was the slide in the East Bowl of Silver Fork, where a skier triggered a hard slab 1’ deep and 60’ wide that broke about 10’ above him.  The others were mostly harmless except where consequences would have played a role. 


With plenty of snow to blow around, today’s moderate winds will likely drift the snow into sensitive shallow slabs on the northerly through east facing slopes in the higher terrain.  In the absence of wind or temperature effects, shady slopes will support some sluffing in the new snow.


Bottom Line:

A MODERATE danger exists on steep upper elevation terrain with new and old wind drifts.    Human triggered slab avalanches are possible.  Terrain down off of the ridgelines has a mostly LOW danger.


Mountain Weather:

With the next set of Pacific storms on the doorstep, we’ll see increasing clouds and stronger southerly winds.  Light snowfall will begin about midday and we’ll see periods of snow over the next 24 hours that may add up to 6-12”.  The southwesterly winds will average 25-30 mph until about noon, when they’ll drop to 15-20mph.  8000’ highs will reach the mid-teens with 10,000’ temps about 10 degrees.



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, Mineral, Grizzly, and the Sessions.  Today they’ll fly in Mineral, Cardiff, Days, Silver, White Pine, Lamb’s, and the Sessions.  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.