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 18, 2006  7:30 am
Good afternoon, this is Brett Kobernik with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  We are no longer putting out early morning advisories for the rest of the year.  We’ll put out intermittent updates on the web and Salt Lake City phone line (364-1581) as conditions warrant.  Thanks for all your support and we’ll look for you at the Black Diamond/Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center fundraiser/party in the fall. 


Current Conditions:

The most recent storm provided some very tasty conditions in the backcountry on Monday.  Storm totals in the Cottonwoods were 12 to 15 inches of snow and around an inch of water.  Partial cloud cover on Monday kept temperatures at bay and winds were fairly calm.


Recent Avalanche Activity & Snowpack Discussion:

When the newest snow was still cold, there was very minimal avalanche activity associated with it.  By about 11 am things were changing and rollerballs were starting to form on south east facing aspects.  Also during this warming it was possible to initiate avalanches in the snow that had become damp.  Natural wet activity never played a serious roll and human triggered wet slides were fairly minimal.


Heating will be the main concern for the rest of the week.  The newest snow will still be sensitive to warming on Wednesday so you need to start watching things as the morning progresses.  Rollerballs are the first sign that things are changing.  Southeast will change first then south and then southwest so plan your travels accordingly.  Also, if things warm enough, steep northerly aspects may become active as well.  Place slope cuts above any steep breakovers to see if the snow is going to move.  If you are concerned with a slope that you think will slide, a lot of times you can place a slope cut to clean it out then safely descend the bed surface.


Bottom Line:

Wet activity will be the main concern for the next few days.  Move off of and out from under steep slopes as the snow turns to glop during the day.


Mountain Weather:

For Wednesday we’ll see temperatures warm to near or above freezing at 10,000 feet by the days end.  Winds will be light from the northwest.  High pressure continues for the remainder of the week with temperatures really warming by Friday.  The next chance for a storm looks like Monday.




The Wasatch Powder Birds will use one of their 5 days they are permitted to fly out of their normal season on Wednesday weather permitting.  They’ll try for Mineral, Cardiff, Days and Silver.


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.

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.

We will update this advisory as conditions warrant.  Stay tuned if you’re still recreating in the backcountry.