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


Friday, January 19, 2007  7:30 am
Good morning, this is Brett Kobernik with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Friday, January 19, 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.  It will be at the Salt Lake REI at 7pm.  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:

After coming unglued about the snow conditions during my shift on Tuesday some people have told me that I need an attitude adjustment and to take things a bit more seriously and I agree.  You can still find good enough riding conditions to have a wonderful day full of joy in the mountains.  (PHOTO)  Temperatures are not as frigid as a few days ago and are in the mid teens to low 20s at most mountain locations and the winds have been light from the northwest over the last 24 hours.


Snowpack and Avalanche Conditions:

Weak snow continues to highlight the snowpack discussion.  Many areas have very weak snow on the surface as well as deeper into the pack and people are finding more and more spots where they’re punching right through to the ground.  As the surface weakens, sluffing on steep slopes will continue.  However, you need a big steep and sustained pitch for these to gain enough mass to even knock a person down.  There are wind slabs around but seem to stay in place for the most part.  Folks are still finding a pocket here or there to come out but they don’t cause much concern.  (PHOTOS)  One skier did find a pocket up to around 75 feet wide on an east southeast facing steep slope pushing 40 degrees on Thursday.  It was a wind slab on top of a thin melt freeze crust with facets below it.  Not much chance for burial but it could have been a messy ride through some trees and rocks.


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: 

Looks like another great day to recreate in the mountains.  Skies will be clear with ridgetop temperatures in the low to mid 20s and light northeast winds.  Saturday afternoon into Sunday brings the next unimpressive system through with our only chance for snow before a nice ridge of high pressure sets in for next week.



Yesterday, the Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in Cascade and American Fork, Cardiff.  Today they’ll be hunting all over like the rest of us in Cardiff, Mineral, Days, Silver, Grizzly, White Pine, American Fork, Cascade, Mill Creek 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

UDOT highway avalanche control work information can be found HERE or by calling (801) 975-4838.


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.

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