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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Saturday, December 02, 2006  7:30 am
Good morning, this is Evelyn Lees with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Saturday, December 02, 2006 and it’s 7:30 in the morning. 


Current Conditions:

Another pocket of cold air rippled into northern Utah this morning, kicking off a few light snow flurries and dropping temperatures into the single digits at all elevations.  The northerly winds are thankfully light, averaging less than 10 mph at most stations.  Turning, snowshoeing and snowmobiling conditions are quite good at the higher elevations, with shady, sheltered slopes having delightful, light powder.  Low snow depths still plaguing most terrain below about 8,500’, where it’s still common to hit rocks and the highest ridgelines, peaks and open bowls are wind damaged. 


Snowpack and Avalanche Conditions:

The only avalanche activity reported in the past few days has been a snowmobile triggered slide on Whisky Hill, in the Ogden area mountains.  It was at 9,000’ on a heavily wind loaded, northeasterly facing slope, and about 180’ wide and 2-3’ deep.  In the Salt Lake and Park City mountains, a few very small, soft wind drifts have been triggered and some of the steeper slopes are sluffing.  Snowpits, quick hand pits and pole tests continue to show a spooky number of weak snow layers throughout the pack from top to bottom.  However, on most slopes there is just not enough of a load or a not a cohesive enough slab for an avalanche to occur.  Still, approach steep northerly and easterly facing slopes with caution, as there may be isolated places where a person could trigger a slide on one of the deeper weak layers.  Also approach any wind drifted terrain with caution.  Use safe travel techniques of only one person on a steep slope at a time, and carry and practice with your avalanche beacons.


Bottom Line:

The avalanche danger is MODERATE on shady, northerly and easterly facing upper elevation slopes steeper than about 35 degrees or on any steep slope with recent deposits of wind drifted snow.  Moderate means human triggered avalanches are possible.  Most other slopes have a LOW danger.


Mountain Weather:

The mountains will remain in the icebox today, with a cold, northerly flow keeping temperatures in the low teens at 8,000’ and the single digits at 10,000’.  The northerly winds should remain less than 15 mph, except across the highest peaks.  A strong ridge will be in place over northern Utah through the upcoming week, with the next chance for snow in about a week.     



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.


Drew Hardesty will update this advisory by 7:30 on Sunday morning and thanks for calling.