Wasatch Cache National Forest
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Sunday, November 26, 2006  7:30 am
Good morning, this is Drew Hardesty with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center.  Today is Sunday, November 26, 2006 and it’s 7:30 in the morning. 


Current Conditions:

Skies are partly cloudy this morning with mountain temperatures in the mid to upper teens.  The southwesterly winds are 15-20 this morning and should remain so until the evening.  If it’s true that Native Alaskans have hundreds of words for snow, I wonder what ‘wind-jacked’ translates to.  Variable would be an exaggerated compliment for the snow surface conditions out there.  It’s enough to give me nightmares of Colorado.


Snowpack and Avalanche Conditions:

Though most slopes are stable, there are still a few isolated places where a person could trigger a slide on the weak sugary layers near the ground.  The weakest snow is on steep, shady rocky slopes with a shallow snowpack.


With a storm in the forecast, it’ll be critical to know the status and extent of the snow surface conditions.  I expect a poor bond with the bullet-proof wind crusts and the areas of weak, sugary faceted snow at the surface.  A significant load may reactivate the basal faceted snow, buried only a couple of feet down in our vertically challenged pack.  While waiting for the storm, check out Brett Kobernik’s video tutorial (5.4mb) on the extended column test, a new stability test developed by Ron Simenhois, a ski-patrolman in Colorado and New Zealand.  His paper can be found here.


Bottom Line:

Most slopes have a LOW avalanche danger today.  However, there are isolated pockets with a MODERATE danger on northerly facing slopes above about 9500 feet that are steeper than 35 degrees. 


Mountain Weather:

It will be another pleasant day in the mountains, with a few high thin clouds moving across the mostly clear skies.  Temperatures will reach the upper 30’s at 8,000’ and near 20 at 10,000’.  The southwesterly winds will remain light, generally less than 15 mph, with slightly stronger speeds across the highest peaks.   A cold, powerful storm remains on track for Monday into Wednesday, with should provide the mountains with significant snow.



Our partners, the FUAC, will hold their next fundraiser at Brewvies on Dec 7th. There will be two showings of TGR’s new film, “The Anomaly”, 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.


I will update this advisory by 7:30 on Monday morning and thanks for calling.