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 25, 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 25, 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.  Friday and Saturday nights will be a book signing and slide show by Jill Fredston, the Alaska avalanche expert and the author of the book Snowstruck.  On Friday, she will appear at REI and on Saturday at Our Lady of the Snows at Alta.  Both events begin at 7:00 pm.  There will be a star studded snowmobile ride and dinner on Saturday in the Uinta Mountains, 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:

Yep, you can put off building the arc for a few more days, as one of our observers put it.  it’s still grim out there (grim PHOTOS), and it will get grimmer for at least the next week.  How bad is it?  Here are some charts to compare this season to similar seasons in the past.  Snowbird Brighton Ben Lomond Peak Timpanogos Divide.

We are roughly similar to other low years of 87, 92 and 2003, but nothing compares to the 1976, the year all drought years are compared to, when hardly snowed at all until well into February—and that was well before anyone had ever heard of global warming. Do your own comparisons with the snowpack water equivalent map.  


It’s near freezing on the highest peaks with light and variable winds.  The snow is very old and worn out with wind-blasted snow above tree line and sun-baked snow and bare ground on slopes that face the south half of the compass.  On the northerly facing slopes, there is bottomless faceted snow, which is actually not bad riding conditions if you have a wide vehicle and can find some secret stash that is not already tracked up.


Snowpack and Avalanche Conditions:

The only avalanche activity reported was some minor sluffing on some slopes that were getting wet in the warm sun.  Also, one of our forecasters decided to back off ascending a wet, south facing slope in Snake Creek yesterday because of collapsing into wet, faceted snow.  Otherwise, the snow is mostly stable in all areas.

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, but there are isolated areas of MODERATE danger of wet sluffs on steep, sun exposed slopes in the heat of the day.


Mountain Weather: 

Same as it ever was but warmer.  Today will be clear and sunny once again with ridge top temperatures near freezing and winds will be light and variable.  Friday we will start a slow cooling trend down into the mid 20’s.  And yep, there’s still no significant snow on the way.  We may see a few high clouds this weekend and then the longer range models think we will get a big blast of cold air about a week from today.  But we stand a good chance of exiting January without any more snow.



The Wasatch Powderbird Guides were in the Session Mountains, Mill Creek, Cardiff, Mineral and Days.  Today they will be in the same places with the addition of the Provo area mountains.  They welcome any more specific questions regarding their areas of operation you can contact them at 742-2800.

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.

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