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.

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Friday, December 01, 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 Friday, December 01, 2006 and it’s 7:30 in the morning. 


Current Conditions:

Winds continued to blow from the west northwest overnight with gusts into the 50s at the most exposed locations.  It also appears that the gusty conditions are getting into the mid elevations as well with gusts in the 20s & 30s along the 8000 & 9000 foot ridges.  Temperatures are in the upper teens to low 20s at most locations.  A trace to a couple of inches of snow fell overnight throughout the range.


Snowpack and Avalanche Conditions:

Pesky winds are today’s focus.  It seems that the winds over the last few days blew snow around, formed some drifts and some small cornices that broke off under their own weight.  No one reported significant activity out of this event but everyone is alert.  (Snow Diagram)


For today the main concern is wind deposited snow.  While weakness within the newest snow doesn’t seem present, any fresh drifts should not be trusted.  Also, as winds help to stiffen the new snow, this may create a slab where the weight of a person may initiate a collapse of the snowpack into deeper weak snow.  You may find fresh drifts at many elevations and mainly on northeast through south facing slopes.  Areas where winds may overload deeper weakness are located in upper elevation northerly facing slopes.  Continue to stomp on any “pillowy” looking snow formations that are in safe low angle terrain to see if they crack.  Slope cuts should be performed where appropriate.  If you experience any “whoomping” or collapsing while traveling, this indicates weakness exists deeper in the snowpack.


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.  Any avalanching today will most likely be the result of recent winds.  Most areas out of wind affected terrain have a LOW danger.


Mountain Weather:

A cool northwest flow looks like it will continue through Saturday.  This will bring colder temperatures, clouds and the chance for light snow as well as continued northwest winds.  For today, ridgetop temperatures will not warm much and will continue to drop into the single digits by Saturday.  Ridgetop northwest winds will continue to blow in the 10 to 15 mph range with gusts into the 20s & 30s.  Stronger gusts will continue at the more exposed locations.  Only a few inches of snow is expected. 


Chances for snow next week don’t look good with weather models depicting a ridge of high pressure as the dominant feature.



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.


Evelyn Lees will update this advisory by 7:30 on Friday morning and thanks for calling.