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 09, 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 09, 2006, and it’s about 7:30 am. 


Current Conditions:

With clear skies, overnight lows dipped into the upper twenties and low thirties.  The winds are averaging 20-25mph from the southwest.  It’s quite the mixed bag of snow conditions out there, and if you don’t like what you see, wait a few hours.  Upper elevation northerly slopes still have some soft carve-able wind whales, while many of the off aspects will have supportable quasi-corn for a few hours. 


Recent Avalanche Activity & Snowpack Discussion:

Only heard about one distracted skier taking a quick ride on an upper elevation southeast facing run in the mid-afternoon – and that was me.  Others descending steep lower elevation northerly slopes late in the day found thrill and excitement as they pulled lots of snow out with every turn.  Today’s problems will be much the same. 


The stronger winds just don’t have that much snow to blow around and most agree that the storm snow has been welded in quite nicely.  Regardless, if you’re in the highest terrain, watch for a rogue drift leftover from Thursday and throw in appropriate travel protocol. 


The wet activity will again be problematic on the sunny aspects of all elevations and the mid and low elevations on the shady aspects.  Once you can initiate movement in the wet snow or see natural pinwheels and roller-balls, it’ll be time to seek another aspect or low angled terrain.  Avoid being on or underneath steep slopes, particularly areas with a gulley or other terrain trap at the bottom. 


Bottom Line:

The avalanche danger for wet sluffs and slabs today will rise to MODERATE today with daytime warming.  Natural and human triggered avalanches will be probable.  The Ogden mountains received only a superficial refreeze to the highest elevations, so the window for safe travel on the steep slopes will be narrower this morning.  The wet avalanche problems will be more pronounced in the Ogden and Provo mountains.  Give wide berth to weakening cornices and expanding glide cracks.


Mountain Weather:

8000’ highs will reach into the mid-50’s today with 10,000’ temps heading to 34 degrees.  The southwest winds will blow 20mph along the more exposed ridgelines.  A weak cold front is expected to move through tomorrow afternoon bringing a few inches of snow.  A ridge builds back in for late week with the next Low Pressure system forecast to move through over the weekend.


The second annual “Beacon and Eggs” contests are in full swing, with BIG prizes to the winners.  Contests were held yesterday at Solitude with more competition next Saturday at Snowbird.    For more information, go to http://www.snowbird.com/events/events/beaconandeggs.html


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 did not get out yesterday.  Today they will fly in American Fork, with a home run out White Pine.  For more info, call 742-2800.
Special announcement:

The Wasatch-Cache National Forest is authorizing Wasatch Powderbird Guides to operate within established golden eagle mitigation buffers to aid research biologists collecting data to evaluate the effects of heli-skiing operations on nesting golden eagles in the Tri Canyon Area. This authorization is under permit from the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in cooperation with Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and will be in effect through 30 April 2006.  For further information please contract Steve Scheid at the Salt Lake Ranger District at 801-733-2689.

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.