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
“keeping you on top”
December 25, 2006 7:30 am
Good morning, this is Drew Hardesty with the
Skies are partly to mostly cloudy this morning with mountain temperatures in the mid 20’s while colder air has filtered into the drainages and basins. The westerly winds finally calmed down by about mid-morning, but have since ramped up somewhat overnight and are now blowing 20-30mph with a few gusts into the 40’s. Snow surface conditions are well described as ‘variable’, but it’s worth getting out all the same.
Snowpack and Avalanche Conditions:
Yesterday’s forecast verified
nicely with two unintentionally triggered slides, a few remotely triggered
slides (see flash animation approximation
in the encyclopedia), and some 18” hard slabs releasing from explosive
testing. All were in somewhat exposed,
drifted terrain above about 9200’ on north through east facing aspects, with consistent
reports coming in from the Cottonwoods, the Park City ridgeline, and the
Brighton periphery. A couple shallow
naturals released in the wee hours as well.
One skier near
All were the direct result of the wind loading with most, I suspect, failing on the weak faceted snow formed on the snow surface prior to Thursday night’s skiff of new. With this structure, these drifts can be slow to settle out and I’d expect some of them to remain sensitive today. Trigger-able hard slabs and a snowpack structure that supports avalanches being triggered at a distance warrant extreme caution. The usual bag of mitigation techniques don’t always work. It should also change what you consider to be ‘safe terrain’, especially if you can trigger slides from the flats onto slopes above you or on slopes not directly under you.
Bottom Line for the
The avalanche danger remains MODERATE at mid and upper elevation wind drifted slopes steeper than 35 degrees. The danger will be most pronounced on north to east and southeast facing slopes, but be mindful of any fresh wind drifts from terrain channeling. It will still be possible to trigger avalanches at a distance today. Out of wind-affected terrain, the danger is mostly LOW.
Clouds will continue
to stream into
Yesterday, the Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in AF and will try to head back there, Snake Creek, and the Cascade ridgeline today.
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We appreciate any snowpack and avalanche observations you have, so please leave us a message at (801) 524-5304 or 1-800-662-4140, or email us at [email protected]. (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.
Brett Kobernik will update this advisory by 7:30 on Tuesday morning, and thanks for calling.