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.



Sunday, February 26, 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 Sunday, February 26, 2006, and it’s 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:

This is the time of year in the Wasatch I love.  You can make a few turns in the morning, get in a pitch or two of rock, a pitch or two of ice, then hit the back nine in the afternoon.  Skies are mostly clear this morning with mountain temperatures in the mid to upper twenties.  The southwesterly winds picked up just a bit overnight and are blowing 15-20mph along the high ridgelines.  We’ll see increasing high clouds with increasing winds by early afternoon.  Southerly slopes have supportable quasi-corn with good soft settled powder in protected, shady areas.


Avalanche Conditions:

Like most things in life, timing is everything.  If you’re heading down the south side of Superior in the late afternoon, expect to take most of the upper 6-8” of wet snow with you.  Two parties triggered sizeable wet sluffs yesterday afternoon, leaving healthy debris piles just below the chokes in the east aprons.  No other avalanches were reported.


For today, try to get an earlier start if you’re hitting the south faces and watch for continued sluffing in the cold recrystallized snow on the steep, shady lines.  Remember that small wet or dry sluffs that knock you off your feet or machine can have epic consequences.  Increasing high clouds may intensify the wet activity in the afternoon, even on some of the lower elevation northerly slopes.  Rollerballs, point release avalanches, and wet snow to the boot-tops are good indicators to change aspect or elevation.  Glide avalanches in upper Broad’s, Stairs and Mill B may be possible today.


Bottom Line:

Today, the avalanche danger is mostly LOW.  The avalanche danger of wet avalanches will increase to MODERATE on and below the steep, sun exposed slopes with daytime heating.


Mountain Weather:

It’ll be the last hurrah for high pressure as the first in a series of storms moves through late Monday into Tuesday.  We’ll see increasing clouds and a bump in winds by the afternoon.  The southwesterly winds will average 20-25mph.  8000’ temps will rocket into the mid-40’s while 10,000’ highs bump to near freezing. 


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 American Fork and Cascade.  Today they’ll hit AF, Cascade, Lamb’s and the Sessoins. 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 Monday morning.  Thanks for calling.