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.



Friday, April 14, 2006  7:30 am
Good morning, this is Bruce Tremper with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Friday, April 14, 2006, and it’s about 7:30 am. 


Current Conditions:

Although the skies are clear this morning, we should start to see high clouds soon and they should lower throughout the day.  Ridge top temperatures are around freezing, which are a couple degrees colder this morning than yesterday morning.  Because the winds are much calmer this morning than yesterday morning, a temperature inversion formed in all the mountain valleys, where the temperatures are 10 degrees colder than yesterday morning.  Even though most of the temperatures are still above freezing, combined with the clear sky and low humidity, the bottom line is that the snow surface should be frozen and supportable this morning at most aspects and elevations.  There is a 4-inch sun crust on south facing slopes.  North facing slopes above 9,500’ are dry and crusty with a breakable sun crust at lower elevations.


Recent Avalanche Activity & Snowpack Discussion:

Yesterday, the strong winds kept wet avalanche activity to a minimum.  There was the usual round of point release wet sluffs in the afternoon and one glide avalanche released off the steep, east-facing rock slabs in Broads Fork either yesterday morning or the day before.  (See PHOTOS of yesterday’s conditions).  Glide cracks in Stairs Gulch continue to get larger and they could also release any time.


Today, with the cooler temperatures and clouds, wet avalanche activity should stay at a minimum, but as always, you should avoid traveling under glide cracks, which you will find in abundance in places like Stairs Gulch and Broad’s Fork.


Also, with continued winds along the ridge tops, there are still some localized pockets of wind slabs along the upper elevation ridges.  As always, you should avoid steep slopes with recent deposits of wind drifted snow.



Bottom Line:

The overall avalanche danger today will be LOW but there is a MODERATE danger of glide avalanches off steep rock slabs and some very localized, lingering wet avalanche potential at lower elevations.  There is also a MODERATE danger of wind slabs along the upper elevation ridges, mostly on north through east facing slopes.


Mountain Weather:

High clouds should arrive this morning and continue to lower throughout the day.  By afternoon, we should have light showers in the mountains with the rain-snow line starting out up around 9,500’ and lower to around 7,500’ by tonight.  We should get about 4 inches of new snow by Saturday morning, with lingering showers on Saturday.  Ridge top winds will blow 10-20 from the southwest and increase to around 30 mph by afternoon.  Ridge top temperatures will slowly fall from near freezing this morning to the mid 20’s by tonight.  Down at 8,000’ the high should be in the 50’s with sunshine this morning, but it should fall to below freezing overnight.


Extended forecast:

Sunday looks partly cloudy and then we have a strong cold front arriving for Monday and Tuesday, which should give us up to a foot of new snow and drop ridge top temperatures down to the mid teens.  Snow should fall as low as the benches.


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 flew briefly yesterday in American Fork and Cardiff Fork. If they get out today, they will be in American Fork.  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.

Drew Hardesty will update this advisory by 7:30 Friday morning.  Thanks for calling.