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.



Saturday, April 15, 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 Saturday, April 15, 2006, and it’s about 7:30 am. 


Current Conditions:

With last night’s initial rain/snow line at about 9500’, you’ll want to start high and stay high.  As of 6am, 6-8” of 12% density snow blankets the upper reaches of the Wasatch.  The sad, soggy mid and low elevations are suffering through a half inch to an inch of rain.  The winds are westerly at 15-20mph at 10,000’ with the highest peaks registering a couple hours of 30mph. 


Recent Avalanche Activity & Snowpack Discussion:

The new snow should bond well to the old warm, rough underlying snow surfaces, while the low and mid elevations will be problematic for backcountry travelers.  You’ll want to avoid being on any steep unsupportable, saturated slope, particularly ones with a terrain trap at the bottom.  Avoid moving through gulleys with steep slopes above.  The drainage channels within the snowpack are fair, but far from mature.  With all the precipitation, wet point release, slab, and glide avalanches will be more likely today.  In any event, if you are moving through these areas, use good route finding and safe travel skills. 


Bottom Line:

Above 9500’, the danger will be MODERATE with the storm snow.  Mid and low elevations will also have a CONSIDERABLE danger.  If the sun pokes out this afternoon, the wet activity will rise on all sun-exposed slopes.


Mountain Weather:

I was hoping for a good dry cold Arctic Front, but you take what you get.  Showers will continue for a few more hours this morning as the tail end of the system moves off to the east.  Skies will be mostly cloudy with westerly winds 15-20mph.  8000’ temps will reach into the low 40’s with 10,000’ highs just below 30 degrees.  The flow will increase and back to the southwest tomorrow ahead of another winter-style cold-front early Monday. 


The second annual “Beacon and Eggs” contests are in full swing, with BIG prizes to the winners.  The next big event is this morning 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 didn’t fly yesterday and may try to get into Silver, Days, Cardiff, and Grizzly today.   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 Sunday morning.  Thanks for calling.