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


Monday, January 15, 2007  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 Monday, January 15, 2007 and it’s 7:30 in the morning.


Current Conditions:

High pressure will continue to build over the region as warm air aloft moves in to enhance and strengthen inversions over the valleys.  The higher mountain stations have temps a few degrees below zero while the thermometers at the bases of some of the alpine drainages have plummeted to 14 below.  The klister will have to stay in the box yet another day.  The northwesterly winds bumped just along the highest ridgelines overnight into the 20-30 mph range with gusts into the 40’s, but are light in more sheltered areas.  Riding conditions are about the same as yesterday – best on the sheltered shady lower angled slopes that weren’t blasted by last week’s wind.  The cold temps and low angle of the sun have prevented the sunny slopes from becoming crusted while surface hoar glitters on much of the terrain.


Snowpack and Avalanche Conditions:

One skier in American Fork managed to find and trigger a foot deep 20’ wide hard slab on the sidewall of a steep gulley yesterday, but that was about it, other than some skier-induced sluffing on some steeper slopes. 


Those traveling today along the highest ridgelines should watch for some new drifting in the low density snow, primarily on the southerly and easterly aspects.  The new drifts, while shallow, may be particularly sensitive as they will come to rest on some very weak surface snow.   Remote triggering is a possibility.


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

Today the avalanche danger is generally LOW with a localized MODERATE danger of loose snow avalanches and shallow new wind drifts in the higher terrain.  Human triggered slides will be possible.


Mountain Weather: 

Sunny skies will prevail with 8000’ temps reaching into the teens and the 10,000’ temps heading to ten degrees.  Along the highest ridgelines, the northerly winds will blow 20-30mph until about midday.  The extended outlook looks pretty bleak.  The next system moves in about mid-week and splits.  The northern branch grazes northern Utah Wednesday/Thursday while the southern branch closes off and spins off the coast of southern California.  The models suggest that Low moves inland and opens up, kicking moisture into Utah from the southwest.



Yesterday, the Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in AF, Snake Creek, and along the Cascade ridgeline.  Today, they’ll return, within a possible home run out White Pine. If you have questions regarding their areas of operation you can contact them at 742-2800.

Our partners, the Friends of the UAC, are hosting the 4th Annual Backcountry Awareness Week Fundraising Dinner on Friday, February 2, 2007. The dinner will be at The Canyons and Olympic Gold Medal Winner Jim Shea will be the keynote speaker. For tickets and information visit www.UtahAvalanceCenter.com

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)

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