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


Tuesday, January 16, 20077:30 am
Good morning, this is Brett Kobernik with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.Today is Tuesday, January 16, 2007 and itís 7:30 in the morning.


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.UtahAvalancheCenter.com


The beacon park is up and running at Solitude Ski Resort if youíre looking for something to do until the next snow.


Current Conditions:

Reports of good riding conditions are few and far between.While you may find sheltered areas where the few inches of snow we received last week are on top of soft snow, most places have a variety of wind, rime and sun crusts below the most recent snow.The moderate winds speeds from yesterday blew the few inches of light density snow around at the higher elevations making things even more variable.Did I mention that weíre also experiencing an overall lean snowpack for this time of the season?(Jan 2006, Jan 2007, Click HERE to understand the charts)Alta had recorded almost 150 inches more snow last year at this same time and many snow stations are at around 60 to 70% of normal.(Snotel Stations:mouse over the station on the map and look at the %Avg at the right of the map)Well, I guess this means while we currently have bad snow at least thereís not that much of it.Also this will sharpen up your bush, shrub and alder route finding techniques which leads me into preferred clothing. Gortex is out, denim is in.Itís much more abrasion resistant.It also provides a little friction in case you take a skidder on a hard crust.Sorry for the mini rant, on a high note temperatures are up above 10 degrees at the upper elevations and winds are generally less then 10 mph from the north along the ridges.


Snowpack and Avalanche Conditions:

Letís get back on track and look at the snow a bit.The variable snow depths consist of layers of week snow with a variety of crusts throughout the pack which makes for a very complex pattern.But, we can break this down to a simple form.The pattern for the season has been small storms which produce a layer of snow that then sits on the surface and becomes weak before the next small storm comes in and does the same thing.These weak layers continue to stack up and weíve never really overloaded them but they havenít gained much strength in many areas either.Thatís the situation right now, the surface is becoming weak and there are some nice sliding surfaces below it but without any significant storms in the future, who cares?Oops, Iím slipping off into a tangent again.


For today the main concern will be fresh shallow wind drifts in the higher elevations.These wonít pose a great threat but be aware they may crack out and cause problems if youíre in exposed terrain.


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 shallow new wind drifts in the higher terrain.

Mountain Weather:

Sunny skies will prevail with 8000í temps reaching into the low 20s and the 10,000í temps heading into the teens.Surface winds will remain light and variable.The next storm again splits with the closed low drifting south over California and northern portion of the trof will clip Utah on Wednesday with a few flurries possible.Long range models still look bleak for snowfall.



Yesterday, the Wasatch Powderbird Guides did not fly due to winds and today theyíll be in Mineral, Cardiff, Days, Silver, Grizzly, American Fork, White Pine, Cascade and the Bountiful 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.

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