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.

ďkeeping you on topĒ


Sunday, December 31, 20067:30 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 31, 2006 and itís 7:30 in the morning.


Iíd like to say THANK YOU to Bob Athey, the rest of our professional observers and the backcountry community-at-large for calling in their snow, weather, and avalanche observations to us.We couldnít do it with out you.


Iíd like to thank our longtime partner Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort for hosting Friday nightís amazing fundraising dinner and film producer David Breashears for sharing his spectacular new Everest Expedition film. A portion of the proceeds will help the avalanche center.


Current Conditions:

Itís looking like 2006 will go out like a lame.I mean lamb.The ridge of high pressure will break down today to allow a system to dive south, and the ridge will redevelop over the intermountain west.Skies are clear this morning with temps in the mid twenties along the ridges, and down into the single digits in the basins and valleys.Winds are generally less than 20mph from the west northwest.†† Riding conditions are fair on the sheltered slopes.Itíll be like watching paint dry, but with the inversion and low level stratus, you can almost watch the surface hoar grow in the mid and low elevations.


Snowpack and Avalanche Conditions:

We received reports of four human triggered slides in the backcountry, which really could best be described as pockety.Two were in the sub-drainages of Days Fork of Big Cottonwood canyon and were less than a foot deep and 50í wide on steep north to northeast facing slopes above 9500í (photo).Another skier triggered a couple 3-5Ē wind skins in upper Butler Basin near Gobblerís Knob on similar aspects and elevations.Some are breaking on recrystallized snow, others on the settled snow from last week.These slides are not widespread nor are they breaking out wide and entraining a lot of snow, but are worth considering when consequences play a role.These will play as reminders to move independently through steep terrain, jump on test slopes, and throw in a ski-check for cheap insurance.

Itís a mixed bag of weaknesses in the upper, mid, and basement portions of the snowpack (see profiles).Remain alert for cracking and collapsing in wind-affected areas and realize that a few booby-traps exist.


Bottom Line for the Salt Lake, Park City, Ogden and Provo area mountains:

Most terrain across the Wasatch has a LOW danger today.Pockets of MODERATE remain on west through north through east facing terrain above about 9000í.Anticipate some wet activity during the midday on the sun-exposed slopes.


Mountain Weather:Itíll be about a repeat of yesterday with clear skies, light westerly winds and mountain temps near 30 at 10,000í and the upper 30ís at 8000í.The only thing to show for the splitting system tonight and will be a drop in temps, a wind shift to the north, and a few clouds.The ridge redevelops on Tuesday with a storm slated for the end of the week.




Announcements: Yesterday, the Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in Cardiff, Mineral, Days, AF, and the Cascade Ridgeline. Today, theyíll return to AF and Provo with a possible home run out White Pine.

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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.

will update this advisory by 7:30 on Monday morning, and thanks for calling.