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
March 12, 2006 7:30am
Good morning, this is Drew Hardesty with the
The strong early morning south and easterly winds yesterday wreaked havoc with the backcountry riding conditions while catalyzing a new series of skier-triggered avalanches across the range. Fortunately, this morning there’s hardly a whisper to go with plunging temperatures into the single digits. Cold instability showers keyed another inch or two up high overnight and we’ll continue the pattern through the day.
Recent Avalanche Activity & Snowpack Discussion:
A 34 year old snowboarder remains missing in an
avalanche accident yesterday in an out-of-bounds area north and west of
Snowbasin. He reportedly triggered and
was buried by a 1-2’ deep hard slab on a steep northwest facing slope at about
8400’. Evelyn and Brett are heading up
to investigate the incident and we’ll have a report on the advisory for
tomorrow. Two very experienced skiers
were caught in similar slides yesterday in the
With 24 hours to heal, many, but definitely not all, of these wind drifts will have likely gained strength. They can still be found on many upper and mid elevation lee and cross-loaded steep slopes. Due to the complexity of the loading patterns due to terrain channeling, you’ll need to assess each slope individually. Stubborn hard slabs may not react to the first slope cut and may certainly rip out above you. Look for and avoid any drifted pillowy and rounded snow before they’re covered up by the new snow.
The avalanche danger remains MODERATE today on mid and upper elevation drifted slopes steeper than 35 degrees. Non wind affected areas will have a mostly LOW danger.
We’ll have cold unsettled weather today with light westerly winds and periods of snow. Temps will be in the single digits at 10,000’ and the upper teens at 8000’. We stay unsettled for the next couple days before another strong cold front moves through Tuesday night.
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
(currently being fixed), one on the by-pass road near Snowbird, one in the
northwest corner of the lower lot at Solitude, and one at Nobletts Trail head
in the western Uintas. 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
Yesterday, Wasatch Powderbird Guides remained on the deck. They’ll likely be on the same program today. 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.