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.

keeping you on top


Listen to the advisory.  Try our new streaming audio or podcasts

Our new, state wide tollfree hotline is 1-888-999-4019.

To sign up for automated e-mails of our graphical advisory click HERE


Monday, November 20, 2006  7:30 am
Good morning, this is Drew Hardesty with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center.  Today is Monday, November 20, 2006 and it’s 7:30 in the morning. 


Current Conditions:

With a stagnant atmosphere, mountain temperatures remain inverted with overnight lows in the mid-to upper 30’s above 9500’.  On the backside of the ridge of high pressure, winds are out of the south and southwest averaging 15-25mph with some local gusts into the 40’s.  Riding conditions are ok on the upper elevation shady slopes while the sunny and off-aspects build into the first corn cycle of the year.


Snowpack and Avalanche Conditions:

While control work in upper Little Cottonwood still produced avalanches to the ground, no new activity or spooky reports came in from the backcountry.  Bruce went up to investigate the three remotely triggered slides from Saturday, and Bob Athey went to look at the snow along the Park City.  If you’re just catching up to us, a windy powerhouse of a storm rung the bell of our shallow, weak snowpack last Tuesday, resulting in a widespread avalanche cycle, with many slopes pulling out to the ground.  While some of the activity has settled out, a few booby-traps remain, as evidenced by Saturday’s avalanches that were triggered from a distance.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that the recrystallized snow and surface hoar on the snow surface may turn out to be the next sliding surface for the next series of storms. 


In the mean time, be mindful of a few avalanche issues for today.  First, avoid the areas with weak basal snow and lingering deep slab potential on the northwest through east facing aspects above about 9000’.  These slides will likely step to the ground and will be difficult to survive.  Slope cuts are rarely predictable or safe with this snow structure.  And it may still be possible to trigger the avalanche from a distance, even from the flats.  Second, look for a few shallow new wind drifts from the gustier southwesterly winds over the next couple of days as the new drifts will be sitting on the weak surface snow.  They’ll be found at the highest elevations on the lee of steep northwest through east facing slopes as well.  Third, with a poor refreeze of the snow surface on the sunnier aspects, watch for an increase in wet activity with daytime heating. 


Bottom Line:

The avalanche danger remains MODERATE on northwest, north, northeast, and east facing slopes above about 9,000’ and steeper than about 35 degrees.  Anticipate and avoid any new wind drifting on the same aspects over the next couple days.  Finally, the danger of wet activity on the sun exposed slopes will rise to MODERATE with daytime heating.  


Mountain Weather:

We’ll see increasing clouds and southwesterly winds over the next couple of days ahead of a Thanksgiving day cold front.  8000’ temps will skyrocket to the mid-50’s with 10k temps pushing into the mid-40’s.  Winds will be 25-35 in the most exposed locations.  Looks like we may be in for a regime change in the weather, optimistically forecasting a storm Thursday, late Saturday, and perhaps again late Tuesday.



The next FUAC fundraiser will be at Brewvies.  “The Anomaly” by TGR is playing on Dec 7th, with two showings, at 7pm and 9pm.  Advance tickets are available.


We appreciate any snowpack and avalanche observations, so please let us know by calling (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.


Brett will update this advisory by 7:30 on Tuesday and thanks for calling.