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, March 05, 20067:30am
Good morning, this is Drew Hardesty with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.Today is Sunday, March 05, 2006, and itís about 7:30 am.

Current Conditions:

Under mostly clear skies, temperatures are in the mid to upper teens at most mountain locations.Winds have backed to the southwest ahead of the next Pacific storm and are generally less than 15mph.While the southerly facing slopes didn't see enough heating for significant wet activity, they did go off yesterday and you'll find breakable crusts on the east, south and west until they soften by mid-morning.Every turn in high elevation northerly terrain could be a cover shot for Powder magazine.



Recent Avalanche Activity & Snowpack Discussion:

A natural soft slab avalanche ripped out yesterday above Farmington canyon.It was about 12-18" deep and 50' wide, reportedly running on last Tuesday's graupel.Stronger westerly winds north of I-80 led to more localized shallow soft slab activity just off the ridgelines in the Ogden and Logan mountains. New wind drifts are expected by the afternoon with increasing pre-frontal southwesterly winds.Current light southwest winds should start to gust into the 30's + by about midday.Watch for changing conditions over the course of your tour.Newly formed drifts will be manageable, that is, reactive to slope cuts and cornice falls.Cornices are increasingly large and sensitive - always have a spotter and be on belay if need be.


Both wet and dry loose snow avalanches will be possible today on steep slopes.Wet activity will likely be more pronounced with warmer temperatures and initially, fewer pesky clouds.Once things start to become active, move across fall lines, move from subridge to subridge, or change aspects altogether.


Bottom Line:

With a few exceptions, the danger this morning is mostly LOW.A MODERATE danger of both wet and dry loose snow avalanches will exist today, with more pronounced wet activity with increasing mountain temperatures today.Isolated pockets of remnant wind drifts may be more active outside of the Tri-canyons in areas that saw more wind.If the winds pick up earlier than expected, the danger of fresh wind drifts will bump to MODERATE on steep northwest through east facing slopes.


Mountain Weather:

We'll see increasing winds and clouds today ahead of the next Pacific storm system, slated to hit the Wasatch Monday night into Tuesday.  Winds should start to pick up this afternoon into the 25mph range from the southwest.  8000' highs will reach into the low 40's with 10,000' temps maxxing out at just below freezing.  Tuesday's storm looks like it could be produce decent snowfall of a foot or more in favored locations.  We'll get a short break Wednesday and early Thursday before a series of storms line up at least through the weekend.




Here is a great link to a web site on avalanche beacon information, created by a person who did independent research and testing of avalanche beacons.†† http://beaconreviews.com/transceivers/index.htm


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.


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


Click here to check out our new online avalanche encyclopedia.

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.

The Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in Silver, Days, Cardiff, Mineral, Mill Creek, and Grizzly yesterday, and today will be in American Fork with a homerun out White Pine, 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.

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