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


Wednesday, January 24, 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 Wednesday, January 24, 2007 and it’s 7:30 in the morning.

Our partners, the Friends of the UAC, are hosting numerous events during the 4th Annual Backcountry Awareness Week.  Tonight, there will be a photo show by internationally renown photographer Scott Markowitz at the Rose Wagner Theater at 7:30 pm, which will capture the essence of what keeps us alive, twitching and checking this report daily.   Other upcoming events include a slide show and book signing by Jill Fredston at REI on Jan 26th, a star studded snowmobile ride and dinner on Jan. 27th, a dinner February 2 at The Canyons with Olympic Gold Medal Winner Jim Shea, and avalanche classes at the Canyons on February 3rd and 4th.  Details are below, or click here for more information.


Current Conditions:

Blue bird days, mild temperatures and light winds sum up the mountain weather for the next few days.  Temperatures are already in the mid to upper 20’s this morning, the northerly winds have decreased into the 5 to 15 mph range, and skies are clear.  The prolonged dry spell has caused the total snow depth to flat line, and the green lights are now gone in the Wasatch on the snowpack water equivalent map.   Sunny slopes are crusted, and many upper elevation slopes are wind damaged, sporting breakable crusts.  So search for the soft, recrystalized powder on untracked, sheltered shady slopes.  But when you find it you’ll need to develop a new rhythm of turn, sink, recover and float in the punchy snow.


Snowpack and Avalanche Conditions:

The only avalanche activity continues to be minor sluffing on the shady slopes and a few very shallow small wind slabs.  Today, the sluffing may extend to southerly facing slopes as the snow surface heats up and becomes damp.  These sluffs and wind slabs are only of consequence to a person in very steep terrain, especially above a cliff or gully.  With the ongoing “facet invasion” creating a widespread occurrence of angular snow with poor bonding, I keep telling my boss I need to be in the field to continue the important government investigation of all the angles.  Take a hand lens today, and check out tomorrow’s weak layers for yourself – near surface facets, surface hoar and depth hoar.


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

Today, the avalanche danger is generally LOW, with just a few minor avalanche concerns.   A person could trigger a shallow wind slab or a loose sluff on either the cold, shady slopes or the steep sunny slopes.  These sluffs and wind slabs are only of consequence to a person in very steep terrain, or above a cliff or gully.


Mountain Weather: 

High pressure maintains its strong grip on Utah.  In the mountains, it will be another beautiful clear day, with temperatures warming to near 40 at 8,000’ and freezing at 10,000’.  Winds will be light; generally less than 10 mph from the north.   The only break in the pattern is a weak disturbance that could move through the Great Basin on Saturday, but its unlikely that it will produce any meaningful wind or snow in northern Utah.



The Wasatch Powderbird Guides were in Mineral, Cardiff, American Fork and Snake Creek yesterday and today they’ll be in Mineral, Cardiff, Days, Silver, Mill Creek, White Pine, and the Bountiful Sessions.  If you have questions regarding their areas of operation you can contact them at 742-2800.

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.

On Saturday Jan. 27th, come join us for a star studded fundraising ride. Click here for more details or call 801-963-3819. 


Then 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.


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.

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