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 26, 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 Friday, January 26, 2007 and its 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 free 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:

Yesterday, we had very warm temperatures with ridge top temperatures above 30 degrees and 8,000 temperatures into the mid 40s. Ridge top temperatures have dropped six degrees from yesterday morning as colder air slowly creeps in from the east. Ridge top temperatures are 25 degrees with a 5-10 mph wind from the northwest.

Snow surface are curiously similar to yesterday and the day before that and before that, and so on. And they will be curiously similar tomorrow and they day after that and, well, OK, you get the idea. Most of the south facing slopes have melted out to bare ground. East and west facing slopes are crusted. Tree line and above are wind blasted. North facing, wind and sun-sheltered slopes are the only bright spot. You can still find a few scraps of soft, recrystallized snow that feels like powder if you dont know any better but slopes that were supportable a few days ago are now pig wallows where you sink to your waist in loose, faceted snow. Plus, you have to be VERY creative and adventurous to find any slopes that are not completely tracked out. If any of this sounds good to you, then you are a fully certified member of the Optimist Club.


Here are some charts to compare this season to similar seasons in the past. Snowbird Brighton Ben Lomond Peak Timpanogos Divide.


Snowpack and Avalanche Conditions:

People continued to report sluffing (PHOTOS) on some slopes that were getting wet in the warm sun. Also, people were finding quite large sluffs in faceted snow on the steep, north facing slopes. Both of these kinds of sluffs were large enough to strain you through trees or bury you.

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 and sluffs in loose, faceted snow on steep north facing slopes.


Mountain Weather:

Temperatures will continue to cool today with ridge top temperatures sinking down to the mid 20 and 8,000 temperatures in the mid 30s. Ridge top winds will remain light from the northwest. Saturday, ridge top temperature will be in the lower 20s.

For the extended forecast, we have a weak disturbance going by to the east of us this weekend, which may give us a cloud or two, but not much more. Then it still looks like a big blast of cold air out of central Canada for next Wednesday, which may actually give us some snow, but probably not much of it.



Yesterday, the Wasatch Powderbird Guides were in the Mill Creek, Cardiff, Mineral and Cascade. Today they will be looking hard for skiable terrain in all their permitted areas except Cascade. 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 Altas 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.

Finally, on February 8th, there will be a Teton Skiing documentary at Brewvies as a fundraiser for the UAC.


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.