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.

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Monday, February 12, 2007  7:30 am
Good morning, this is Drew Hardesty with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Monday, February 12, 2007 and it’s 7:30 in the morning.

An AVALANCHE WARNING continues for the mountains of northern Utah.  Heavy snowfall and moderate to strong winds has resulted in  unstable avalanche conditions and a HIGH AVALANCHE DANGER.


Current Conditions:

With the passing of the cold front, the Cottonwoods picked up another 6” of low density snow, pushing their storm totals to a foot and a half.  On Saturday night and Sunday’s moist west to southwest flow, the Provo and Ogden area mountains were pummeled by 10-18” of heavy snow with water numbers pushing 2˝” in Provo and 3˝” in Ogden.  Rain-snow lines from yesterday hovered at 7500’, but have since lowered a couple thousand feet.  The winds shifted to the northwest overnight and have been less than 20mph.  The highest ridgelines still have speeds at 25-30mph with gusts to 40.  Temps naturally cooled with frontal passage and are in the teens at most locations. 

Snowpack and Avalanche Conditions:

The sheer water numbers in the Provo and Ogden mountains will have easily snapped the back of the weak snowpack in those areas and I expect, with increasing visibility, to see evidence of a good natural cycle.  Ski control teams across the range all had good results with the storm and nearly every observer calling in reported sensitivity in the storm snow, with many slides stepping into older faceted snow.  Bruce Tremper triggered perhaps the largest; a 2-3’ deep and 500’ wide avalanche on faceted snow in South Monitor along the Park City ridgeline.  His and Brett Kobernik’s web galleries, plus a host of other photos from yesterday, can be found on our photos page here.


The danger will be every bit as significant as yesterday, and perhaps even more devious to those venturing into the backcountry.  Without a storm raging, people tend to underestimate the danger, but let’s be clear: the danger is still very real and getting caught in an avalanche today may be unsurvivable.  Hard slab avalanches will continue to pull back onto lower angled slopes and slides will still be able to be triggered at a distance.  Mid and lower elevation shady slopes will still have the potential to gouge down into old wet saturated snow.


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

The danger for the Salt Lake, Park City, Provo, and Ogden area mountains remains HIGH.  Natural avalanching is possible with human triggered avalanches likely.  Those without good route finding or avalanche skills should avoid the backcountry.


Mountain Weather: 

We’ll see a bit of a break in the action this morning, but the next wave of moisture should move in this afternoon bringing a few flurries to the mountains.  The northwesterly winds will blow 15-20mph.  8000’ temps will be in the upper twenties with 10,000’ temps in the mid-teens.  Generally unsettled weather on a northwest flow is expected through the week with a system slated for the end of the week.



Yesterday, the Wasatch Powderbird Guides did not fly, but will try to get a ship into American Fork today.  With questions regarding their areas of operation call 742-2800.

Listen to the advisory.  Try our new streaming audio or podcasts

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


Our statewide tollfree line is 1-888-999-4019 (early morning, 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 Tuesday morning, and thanks for calling.