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.



Monday, April 03, 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 Monday, April 03, 2006, and it’s about 7:30 am. 


Current Conditions:

With the next impressive looking storm on its way, temperatures are on an upward march and the southerly winds have started to pick up.  The southeasterly winds averaged 25-30mph with gusts to 45 for most of the night and freezing levels hover around the 9000’.  At least on Tuesday it’ll rain to near 9500’ and be even windier.  Never fear, the storm looks impressive into early Thursday.


Recent Avalanche Activity & Snowpack Discussion:

The poor bond of Saturday and Saturday night’s wind drifts was accentuated by the warming trend yesterday and avalanche activity remained brisk into the afternoon.  It may have been borderline ‘considerable’ with the 8+ reported human triggered slides from the backcountry including three close calls.  Skiers were caught in carried in Day’s Draw, the Brighton backcountry near Figure 8 Hill, and on west facing Patsy Marley.  Another skier rode another boxcar down into Days Fork, losing some gear.  I’ll have the avalanche list and avalanche photos page updated by about 9-10AM, but in the mean time check out Bruce’s and Bob’s photo galleries.  The avalanches averaged a foot deep with the widest up to 200’ wide, the longest off Cardiac Ridge running 1500’ and Box Elder northeast running over 2000’.  They were primarily on the northwest through east side of the compass.  All the slides were soft slabs, breaking on steep wind drifted slopes right at the rider’s feet.  One skier triggered wet slab pulled out 16” deep and 150’ wide on a south facing lower elevation slope in Provo.


A few wind drifts along the lee ridge and subridges will still remain active at the upper elevations today.  Moderate to strong ridgetop winds will have moved some more snow around overnight and the same west through north through east facing aspects will be suspect.  The same rules will apply.  Cornice drops, slope cuts, and test slopes will continue to reveal good information along with quick hand pits on representative slopes. 



The cloud cover and warm overnight temperatures will spike the wet action today and allow the mid to lower elevation shady slopes to get into the action.  The cloud cover may vary depending on where you are in the range, so watch for intensifying wet sluff and slab activity on the steep saturated slopes, particularly when the sun shines through. 


Bottom Line:

The avalanche danger remains MODERATE on steep upper elevation wind drifted slopes.    Non wind affected slopes have a mostly LOW danger.  The danger of wet activity on the sunny aspects of all elevations and on the mid and low elevations of the shady slopes is MODERATE this morning and may rise to CONSIDERABLE with daytime heating. 


Mountain Weather:

Overcast skies will thin this afternoon and we may see some sun breaks by the afternoon.  Winds will blow 20-25mph from the southwest today.  8000’ highs will rocket into the low 50’s as 10k temps jump to 35 degrees.  Precipitation will initially fall as rain tomorrow with heavy snow at times through Thursday.  2-3” of water/water equivalent may shape up to be 2+ feet of snow in favored locales. 


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 AF and the Sessions yesterday and may get into the Cascade/AF/White Pine areas 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.

Brett Kobernik will update this advisory by 7:30 Tuesday morning.  Thanks for calling.