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.

“keeping you on top”


Saturday, January 13, 2007  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, January 13, 2007 and it’s 7:30 in the morning.


Current Conditions:

Well, the snow you had to shovel in your driveway this past week probably equals the new snow that fell in the mountains.  Storm totals from Thursday were 5 to 10 inches throughout our forecast area, with the higher numbers north in the Ogden area mountains.  The easterly winds have generally been very well behaved, remaining less than 10 mph.  The exceptions stand out – a few of the stations in the Ogden and Provo area mountains had 20 mph averages yesterday and overnight, with gusts to 25, and drifts in the foothills indicate there have been some stronger speeds at the lower elevations.  Temperatures are still falling this morning.  They are generally hovering just below zero, with a few places down to minus 12.  This puts the wind chill at –35 degrees in the windier spots, so cover your skin and keep a close eye on your partners exposed face today, checking for the white spots of frostbite.


Today, you’ll be basically turning and riding on the old snow surface from last week – which could be anything from crusts, wind slabs, tracks and rocks to the rare old soft snow on very sheltered shady slopes.  Some of the southerly facing slopes are inconsistent to the point of being down right dangerous.  Low angle terrain may have the most consistent turns.


Snowpack and Avalanche Conditions:

Loose snow sluffs were the only avalanche activity reported from the Salt Lake, Park City and Provo area mountains yesterday.  Most were not large enough to bury you, though a few could take you for an unexpected ride.  In the Ogden area mountains and the lower elevation foothills, the stronger winds did whip up some new pillowy, sensitive wind drifts, with the easterly direction cross loading the drifts into unusual locations around terrain features.  People were able to trigger these new wind drifts, and they need to be avoided on steep slopes at all elevations.  The new snow has not added enough weight to overload the various weak layers that are deeper in the snowpack.  Check out some recent snow profiles.


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

Today the avalanche danger is generally LOW.  There are pockets of MODERATE danger on slopes approaching 40 degrees or steeper on all aspects, due to sluffing of the new snow and a few rouge wind drifts.  If the winds pick up where you are, stay off of any steep slope with fresh wind drifts.  In the windier Ogden and Provo area mountains, the avalanche danger is MODERATE on slopes of about 35 degrees or steeper, where triggering wind pillows 1 to 2 feet deep and loose snow sluffs is possible. 


Mountain Weather: 

Skies will be partly to mostly cloudy today, with instability showers delivering a few inches of very light snow.  The winds are currently in the process of shifting to a more northwesterly direction, and should remain in the 5 to 15 mph range, with only a few locations averaging 20 mph with gusts to 25.  Temperatures will linger near zero along the ridges, and struggle to reach 5 above at 8,000’.  Sunday will be similar – partly cloudy, light snow showers and extremely cold.  The extended forecast is looking rather bleak, with no new snow expected until the end of the week.



Yesterday, the Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in Cardiff.  Today, they do they will be in Mineral, Cardiff, Days, Silver, Grizzly, White Pine, Snake Creek, American Fork and the Sessions.  If you have questions regarding their areas of operation you can contact them at 742-2800.

Listen to the advisory.  Try our new streaming audio or podcasts

Our new, state wide tollfree hotline is 1-888-999-4019.
(For early morning detailed avalanche activity report hit option 8)

For a list of avalanche classes, click HERE

For our classic text advisory click HERE.

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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.

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