Wasatch Cache National Forest
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Thursday, November 30, 2006  7:30 am
Good morning, this is Brett Kobernik with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Thursday, November 30, 2006 and it’s 7:30 in the morning. 


UDOT in Provo Canyon will sight in their 105 howitzer on Thursday, at 11:30.  Ice climbers should avoid Provo canyon.


Current Conditions:

Winds on Wednesday picked up a bit and blew snow around in the upper elevation terrain.  Mountain temperatures are warming into the single digits.  Northwest winds are currently blowing in the 5 to 10 mph range along the ridges with gusts into the 20s.  Skies are partly cloudy.  Total snow depths to the ground range from 1-2 feet in the Ogden area mountains, 2-3 feet above Farmington, 2-3 feet in the Park City and Western Uinta mountains, 2-4 feet in the Cottonwoods, and 1-3 feet depending on elevation in the Provo Mountains.


Snowpack and Avalanche Conditions:

No new avalanche activity was reported from Wednesday.  There was one report of a natural avalanche that probably released on Tuesday which was on a north facing slope on Mt Superior in Big Cottonwood canyon.  It was 60 to 100 feet wide and ran a couple hundred feet.  The weak layer was not confirmed but could have been a poor bond between the new snow and an old wind crust.


The breezy north winds did transport some snow on Wednesday.  This made the newest snow a bit thicker and did form some fresh drifts.  These drifts did not seem very sensitive by the end of Wednesday but you should approach any fresh drifts with caution.  You’ll find these mainly on northeast through south facing upper elevation slopes.  With ridgetop winds expected to increase a bit today, continue to keep an eye out for fresh wind drifts.  You can test these drifts by stomping on them in safe terrain to see if they crack.  Slope cuts would be another appropriate tool to use today.  It would be easy to get complacent with the stable snow from the last 2 days but don’t let your guard down. 


Bottom Line:

The avalanche danger is MODERATE on upper elevation slopes steeper than about 35 degrees with recent deposits of wind drifted snow.  Moderate means human triggered avalanches are possible.  Most areas out of wind affected terrain have a LOW danger.


Mountain Weather:

Today we’ll see increasing clouds with mountain temperatures warming to around 20 degrees.  Ridgetop winds will blow in the 10 to 15 mph range with gusts in the 20s and should increase during the day.  Gusts may reach 50 mph at the most exposed locations.  A small system will affect the mountains of northern Utah with the chance of a few inches of snow tonight into Friday morning.  Colder air returns through Saturday then high pressure warms things Sunday and Monday.  Chances for snow next week look slim at this point.



UDOT in Provo Canyon will sight in their 105 howitzer on Thursday, at 11:30.  Ice climbers should avoid Provo canyon.


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 you have, 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 Friday morning and thanks for calling.