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, April 02, 2006  7:30 am
Good morning, this is Drew Hardesty with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Sunday, April 02, 2006, and it’s about 7:30 am. 


Current Conditions:

The mountains gained another 4-6” with the cold front, pushing storm totals to 6-9” in the Ogden, Provo, and Park City mountains, and about 10-14” in the Cottonwoods.  The south to westerly winds cranked hourly averages into the 25-35mph range with gusts to 50, but have since calmed to less than 15 mph since midnight.  Skies are mostly clear and temperatures have fallen into the mid to low teens. 


Recent Avalanche Activity & Snowpack Discussion:

What’s the saying?  God looks out for drunks, fools, and April Fools?  Some days you can’t buy an avalanche, other days they’re giving them away for free.   The stronger southwesterly and then westerly winds whipped up the snow in a hurry and nearly every observer out there sent in a report of a human triggered slide.  The soft slabs, reactive to slope cuts and cornice drops, commonly measured 12-14” deep and 75-100’ wide, some running up to 800’.  Most had an easterly component, but crossloading and channeling upped the ante for other exposures as well.  Tour in Ogden Mountains.  Tour in upper Mill Creek.


Some of yesterday’s wind drifts will still be sensitive while the continued moderate to strong westerly winds until midnight will guarantee some new booby traps up high.  Continue to play it safe with cornices for slope testing, use dialed-in slope cut techniques, and jump on multiple test slopes.  Dig down with your hand to see how well (or not) things have bonded overnight.  It won’t be as active as yesterday, but I’d be surprised to not have any reports for tomorrow. 


Bottom Line:

The avalanche danger is MODERATE on mid and upper elevation slopes steeper than 35 degrees, especially with recent drifts of wind blown snow.  Non wind affected slopes have a mostly LOW danger.  The danger of wet activity on the sunny aspects will rise to MODERATE with daytime heating. 


Mountain Weather:

Brief ridging will give us a break in the storm cycle today and tomorrow and we’ll see partly cloudy skies and light west to southwest winds.  Temps will rise to the mid 30’s at 8000’ and the mid twenties at 10,000’.  An increasing southwesterly flow will precede the next impressive looking storm, set for late Tuesday into Thursday.  The longer range models suggest another storm over the weekend with yet another on tap early next week. 


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 didn’t get out yesterday.  They’ll have one ship in AF with a home run in White Pine and another in the Sessions and Lambs areas.  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.