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


Thursday, January 18, 2007  7:30 am
Good morning, this is Bruce Tremper with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Thursday, January 18, 2007 and it’s 7:30 in the morning.

January 24th at 7:30pm, our partners, the Friends of UAC will be accepting donations at a photo show by mountain sports photographer Scott Markewitz. Shot both internationally and in Utah, Scott’s images have been showcased in the world’s most prestigious ski and outdoor and capture the essence of what keeps us alive, twitching and checking this report daily. Suggested donation $10. At the Rose Wagner Blackbox Theater, 138 W 300 S in downtown SLC.

On Friday, January 26th, the well-known Alaska avalanche expert, Jill Fredston will give a slide show and a lecture on, Snowstruck, her new book about her career with Alaska avalanches.  Sales from her book will benefit the Utah Avalanche Center.  She will also speak at Alta’s Our Lady of the Snows on Saturday night, January 27th.

Our partners, the Friends of the UAC, are hosting the 4th Annual Backcountry Awareness Week.  As part of this, there will be a 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 Also, the Canyons will be offering avalanche classes on Saturday and Sunday, February 3rd and 4th.  For more information and to register, call 435-615-3325.


Current Conditions:

If you are reading or listening to this, you can consider yourself to be one of the true addicts of the avalanche report.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  To save you time, there’s absolutely nothing going on and there is likely to be nothing going on until at least the end of January.  Try us again in another 10 days.

But if you insist….  Ridge top temperatures have cooled down again this morning, around zero on the highest peaks.  And it may be cold, but at least the wind is blowing hard 15-30 with gusts into the 40’s from the northwest.  Winds should calm later in the day and ridge top temperatures will warm up to nearly 20 degrees.

Snow surface conditions, as one of our observers put it, “If you find areas that are not wind, sun or brush-affected, you have a chance for good turns.”  And most of those areas are already tracked out.  So it’s time to get creative and do some exploring.


Snowpack and Avalanche Conditions:

The snowpack is mostly stable, and the avalanche danger is generally low.   Folks are triggering loose-snow avalanches on steep, mid-elevation breakovers in the extremely weak faceted snow and surface hoar.  But that is the only avalanche activity we have heard of.  Photo of our crust-sandwich snowpack.


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

The snowpack is mostly stable and the avalanche danger generally LOW.  Remember, Low Danger doesn’t mean no danger, and there are isolated places where a person could trigger a small slide – most likely a shallow, loose sluff or a thin, hard wind slab.  These pose the greatest threat if they surprise you in steep terrain, and push you over a cliff or into a gully. 


Mountain Weather: 

Today is another great day to avoid permanent damage to your lungs and get your exercise up above the smog.  We’ll have sunny skies and the zero degree temperatures and winds on the ridge tops will warm up today to 18 degrees and the northwest winds should die later in the day.  By Friday, ridge top temperatures should rise to 21 degrees with light and variable winds.

For the extended forecast, we have a very weak system on Saturday night from the northwest that should temporarily blow out the smog until it builds back up during a strong high pressure next week.



Yesterday, the Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in Cascade, American Fork, Cardiff, Days, Mineral, Mill Creek and Grizzly.  Today they will likely be in the same areas with the addition of White Pine.  If you have questions regarding their areas of operation you can contact them at 742-2800.

Today the Hellgate-Superior portion of Little Cottonwood Canyon road will be closed for highway avalanche rescue training from approximately 9 am to 2 pm.  Travel to Alta will be via the by-pass road.

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

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.

To sign up for automated e-mails of our graphical advisory click HERE

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 Friday morning, and thanks for calling.