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, February 14, 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, February 14, 2007 and it’s 7:30 in the morning.

The Banff Mountain Film Festival will be held at Kingsbury Hall February 20 & 21st.  Tickets are $7.50 per show and available at Kingsbury Hall, Art-Tix, the Salt Lake and Sandy REI stores, and the Outdoor Recreation Program at the U of U.  Shows start at 7pm each night.  (CLICK FOR DETAILS)


Current Conditions:

Skies are partly cloudy this morning, with a trace to 2” of new snow overnight.  Temperatures are in the teens to single digits, and the northerly winds are generally averaging less than 15 mph except for a few of the highest peaks.  The sunny southeast through westerly facing slopes are now crusted, with good powder remaining on other aspects.  Low angle slopes have excellent riding conditions.


Snowpack and Avalanche Conditions:

Whoomphing sounds continued to ring throughout the Wasatch yesterday, even on already traveled slopes.  Three slides were triggered remotely on northeasterly facing slopes, the largest 3’ deep x 150’ wide, the other pockets 50’ and 75’ wide.  One skier had a slide break out 40’ above them, 1-2’ deep by 100’, going for a short uneventful ride.  More observations came in of widespread natural activity that occurred during the storm.  For photos, snow profiles and the daily updated avalanche list, click on the links to the left.


Two types of slides have occurred over the past few days – the smaller new snow soft slabs and the larger hard slabs, both of which are failing on facets and surface hoar and can be triggered remotely.  The smaller new snow slides are easily triggered.  They are dangerous, especially in steep terrain or if they wash you into trees or into a terrain trap such as a gully.  In addition to along ridgelines, many are occurring in wind sheltered mid elevation terrain, on steeper rollovers.  Today’s increasing winds may create more sensitive drifts along the higher ridges.


In the more wind affected, higher elevation terrain, there remains an isolated chance you could trigger a much deeper, wider slide of hard, dense snow.  These hard slabs are tricky – they tend to break well above you, or after several people have skied the slope.  Basically, any steep slope that hasn’t slid is still suspect.  In some rocky areas, the chutes have slid, but not the aprons below, which are steep and still could be triggered. 


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

The avalanche danger is CONSIDERABLE on mid and upper elevation slopes steeper than about 35 degrees, facing northwest through southeast.  Human triggered avalanches are likely on slopes that have not slid.   Other steep slopes have a MODERATE danger.   The key to safe travel in the backcountry today is to stay on low angle terrain.  Avalanches can still be triggered from a distance, so avoid travel below steep terrain.


Mountain Weather: 

A brisk northwesterly flow will remain in place through Friday, with occasional mountain snow showers in areas favored by northwest flow.  Increasing clouds today, with a trace to an inch of snow possible.  Temperatures will be in the mid 20’s at 8,000’ and mid teens at 10,000’.  Along the highest ridges, the northwesterly winds will increase, into the 20 to 30 mph range with gusts into the 40’s.  Along the lower ridgelines, winds speeds will generally remain below 20 mph.  Thursday and Friday will be cloudy, with occasional light snow and significantly stronger winds.  A ridge of high pressure will move in for the weekend.



Yesterday, the Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in Cardiff, American Fork, and Grizzly and today will be in Cardiff, Days, Silver, White Pine, and American Fork weather permitting.  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 all the great snowpack and avalanche observations we’ve been getting, so keep leaving us messages 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.