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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Sunday, December 03, 2006  7:30 am
Good morning, this is Drew Hardesty with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Sunday, December 03, 2006 and it’s 7:30 in the morning. 


Current Conditions:

Under clear skies, temperatures remain in the single digits at most mountain locations with temps below zero in the cold drainages and basins.  Winds remain northwesterly and less than 15mph.  Riding conditions remain excellent where the coverage is good, but some of the steep southerly aspects will have a thin zipper crust this morning. 


Snowpack and Avalanche Conditions:

Except for some minor sluffing in the weakening surface snow, the only avalanche we heard about was an explosive triggered avalanche to the ground in upper Big Cottonwood Canyon.  The 2-3’ deep slide pulled out in upper elevation north facing terrain and propagated out 150’.  It’s my opinion that this activity is the exception rather than the rule for general conditions in the backcountry and we’ll just likely see increased sluffing until the next wind or snow event. 


With gradual warming and clear skies, watch for the southerly aspects to start producing wet loose snow avalanches with daytime heating over the next few days.


Check out a quick tutorial on snow pit diagrams and a movie clip (5.4mb) of a stability test for the upper part of the snowpack.


Bottom Line:

The avalanche danger is mostly LOW today with a few isolated pockets of MODERATE in steep, drifted, rocky north through east facing slopes.  This would be for less than 5% of the mentioned terrain. 


Mountain Weather:

High pressure, accompanied by a warming trend, will generally dominate our weather pattern for the upcoming week.  The winds will remain out of the west and northwest at less then 15mph while 8000’ and 10,000’ temps rise to 30 and 23 degrees, respectively.   



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 Monday morning and thanks for calling.