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


Saturday, February 17, 2007  7:30 am
Good morning, this is Brett Kobernik with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Saturday, February 17, 2007 and it’s 7:30 in the morning.

The Banff Mountain Film Festival will be held at Kingsbury Hall next Tuesday and Wednesday, 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:

Yesterday was the seventh day in a row with human triggered avalanches and my money is on today being the eighth.  Temperatures are in the mid teens to low 20s and ridgetop winds are slowing but still gusting from the northwest in the 30s and 40s at the most exposed locations.


Snow and Avalanche Discussion:

There were a few remotely triggered avalanches from skiers yesterday that included one on the east face of Reynolds peak and one on the north aspect of Reynolds.  The east facing slide involved the new snow and a rime crust. This was around a foot deep and 80’ wide and ran around 400 feet vertical.  The pocket on the north side was small and didn’t run as it was on a very low angled slope. 


At least two snow safety workers were caught in avalanches on the job yesterday and one was injured.


Did I mention the large class three and class four natural avalanches that released in Main Days, Banana Days, and off of Scott’s peak on the Park City ridge line.  Well, it sounds like these avalanches would’ve ruined your day not to mention your life if you were caught in them.


Does all this information mean anything to you?  If you’re not getting the hint I’ll spell it out.  A-V-A-L-A-N-C-H-E!  That’s right, it spells avalanche.  Things are dicey out there.  The savviest people are playing it conservative which means sticking to low angled slopes and out from underneath run out zones or areas that have steep slopes above them.  Even some of the most experienced people have had close calls this week. 


Collapsing of the snowpack which makes a loud “whoomping” noise continues but has slowed at little in the last couple of days.  Not all slopes have recent avalanches visible either.  This means that two of the most obvious clues to avalanching may not be present but trust me, the snowpack structure alone demands you stay off of steep slopes.  Also, the current snow structure may allow more then one person to cross a slope before it lets loose.


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

The avalanche danger remains CONSIDERABLE on slopes over 30 degrees especially on north through south east facing slopes.  These slopes should be avoided today.  Stay out from underneath steep slopes as well since collapsing of the snowpack could trigger something above you.  It is likely that you could trigger a very large and dangerous avalanche today.


Mountain Weather: 

It looks like the nice weather today will help to entice people with “powder fever” into dangerous areas today.  Skies will be only partly cloudy with mild temperatures in the upper 20s at 10,000 feet and upper 30s at 8000 feet with decreasing winds throughout the day.  It looks like another nice day on Sunday then the next chance for snow will be Sunday night into Monday.



Yesterday, the Wasatch Powderbird Guides did not fly, and today they will be in American Fork, Snake Creek, Cardiff, Days, Silver, Grizzly and White Pine.  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.

Drew Hardesty will
update this advisory by 7:30 on Sunday morning, and thanks for calling.