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 25, 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 25, 2006, and its about 7:30 am.


There are several free automated avalanche beacon practice areas open, including one at Canyons, one on the by-pass road near Snowbird and one in the northwest corner of the lower lot at Solitude. They are really easy to use, and well worth stopping for a quick practice session.


Current Conditions:

There is a strong feeling of spring in the air, with the sun high in the sky and warm daytime temperatures. This morning, skies are clear, and mountain temperatures have cooled into the teens to low 20s. Winds are light, less than 15 mph at all stations. If you tiptoe around old tracks, sun and wind damage, there is still fine dry powder to be found on the very shady, wind sheltered slopes. The sunny slopes have a wide variety of supportable and breakable crusts, which soften with daytime heating. A small arsenal of skin wax, sun screen, and other spring time accoutrements will help your day go more smoothly.


Avalanche Conditions:

A few small sluffs and one explosive triggered wind slab in a ski area (10 deep by 80 wide, east facing, 10,200) are the sum total of avalanches reported yesterday. Also, sometime during the past 2 days, a natural cornice fall in Mineral Fork triggered a long running slab/sluff that went full distance and filled the creek bottom 8 feet deep.


Today, there are still a few places where a person could trigger an old wind slabs on a steep slope. Though small, they could easily knock you off balance, and if youre in steep terrain, send you for a ride or off a cliff. Dry sluffs can also be triggered on steep shady slopes.


On the steep, sunny slopes, it will be possible to trigger loose, wet sluffs as the day heats up and the snow gets damp and sloppy. Again, the type of terrain youre in matters dont get caught above cliffs or on very steep slopes where even a small sluff can send you for a ride. Avoid terrain traps such as gullies where even those undersized sluffs can pile up deeply. In addition to the sunny slopes, the snow on mid and lower elevation shady slopes will also get damp today. With several days of heating, cornices are becoming sensitive and there is a greater chance for glide avalanches to release.


Bottom Line:

Today, the avalanche danger is mostly LOW. There are pockets of MODERATE danger on slopes steeper than 35 degrees where it may still be possible to trigger an old drift of wind blown snow. The avalanche danger will also increase to MODERATE on and below steep, sunny slopes with day time heating, where wet, loose sluffs will be possible.


Mountain Weather:

High pressure will strengthen across the region today and tomorrow, bringing warm temperatures and mostly sunny skies. Highs today will be near 40 at 8,000 and in the mid 20s at 10,000. Winds will shift to the southwest and remain light, less than 15 mph. Sunday will be warm and breezy. The Tuesday night storm is looking a bit weaker on the latest model runs, but should still provide a small shot of snow, and will be followed by another storm late in the week.



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.

Yesterday, Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in Cardiff, Mineral and Cascade. Today they will not be anywhere in tri canyon area. They will American Fork, Cascade, Lambs, 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.

Drew Hardesty will update this advisory by 7:30 Sunday morning. Thanks for calling.