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.



Tuesday, April 11, 2006  7:30 am
Good morning, this is Evelyn Lees with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Tuesday, April 11, 2006, and it’s about 7:30 am. 


Current Conditions:

A gentle spring storm is producing light snow in the mountains this morning, with a trace to 3” being reported.  Temperatures have cooled to just below freezing at 7,000’ and into the mid 20’s at 10,000’.  Winds are from a southwesterly direction, in the 5 to 15 mph range, with gusts in the 20’s and 30’s.  Today’s dust on crust riding conditions will be good where the underlying crusts are supportable and on the high elevation northerly facing slopes, where the new snow has fallen on the last remnants of soft, dry powder.  But it may not be so pleasant on slopes where the underlying crusts are breakable, including some of the off aspects and lower angle northerly facing slopes.


Recent Avalanche Activity & Snowpack Discussion:

The only snowpack activity reported from yesterday was a low elevation glide crack that opened on a northerly facing slope in Parleys Canyon.  Today’s cooler temperatures are just what are needed to give the wet snow time to strengthen, but there is always a lag between air and snowpack temperatures.  So there remains an isolated possibility of triggering any one of the litany of avalanche problems caused by wet snow or warm temperatures.  These include damp sluffs, wet slabs, cornices, or the natural release a glide avalanche.  So if you’re traveling on steep slopes, especially at the low and mid elevations, take the time to dig down, see how deep the refreeze is, and how wet any layers are beneath.  If the sun pops out for any length of time this afternoon, the newest few inches of snow will rapidly heat and sluff easily on steep, sunny slopes. 


Bottom Line:

The avalanche danger is generally LOW today. But low danger doesn’t mean no danger – there is the possibility of unstable snow on isolate terrain features, especially at the warmer elevations below about 8,000’.  Continue to use safe travel procedures, including traveling one at a time on steep slopes, to minimize any risk. 


Mountain Weather:

The slow moving disturbance will continue to produce snow showers and widely scattered thunderstorms this morning, with another 1 to 3” possible.  Precipitation will gradually taper off this afternoon, though scattered rain and snow showers could continue through midnight.  Average ridgetop wind speeds will remain in the 10 to 20 mph range, from the southwest.  8,000’ temperatures will reach the mid 30’s, and 10,000’ temperatures will be low to mid 20’s.  Skies will clear late tonight as the ridge of high pressure moves in.  A warm southerly flow will be over the area Wednesday and Thursday, with non-freezing temperatures at 10,000’ day and night, and moderate to strong southwesterly winds.  The next trough will move in over the area around Friday.

The second annual “Beacon and Eggs” contests are in full swing, with BIG prizes to the winners.  The next big event is 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 and are unlikely to fly today. If they do, they will be in Cardiff, Days, Silver and 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 Wednesday morning.  Thanks for calling.