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


Monday, February 26, 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 26, 2007 and it’s 7:30 in the morning.


I’ll be giving a talk at the Wild Rose in the avenues Tuesday night at 7pm.  It’s a higher level talk on Forecasting the Different Avalanche Dragons.  Bring your Crazy Creek Chair and a picnic basket.


Current Conditions:

The mountains kept getting pummeled by snow overnight, pushing 24 hour totals to nearly 20” in the Cottonwoods and 8-12” in the outlying areas.  Densities ranged from 6-8% in what has been unanimously described as the best skiing and riding of the year.  The westerly winds picked up the last few hours and are averaging 20-25mph along the high peaks with gusts into the low 40’s.  Temps are in the single digits and low teens. 


Snow and Avalanche Discussion:

Already seems like something from yesterday’s paper, but other than some sluffing and shallow wind drifts, there were a couple avalanches into older snow yesterday.  Along the Park City ridgeline, a skier on the uptrack of a ridge remotely triggered a 1½’-2’ deep and 150’ wide avalanche on an east facing slope at 8600’.  In the Ogden area mountains, a skier unintentionally triggered a 1-2’ deep and 100’ wide slide on a northeast facing slope at 8800’, then witnessed a natural of similar dimensions in similar terrain later in the day.  The natural sympathetic’d out two other adjacent pockets 1-2’ deep and 40’ wide. 


All that is so yesterday.   The natural avalanche cycle in the storm snow should be slowly tapering down this morning, with the potential for a few to run during the day today.  For backcountry travelers, the storm snow avalanches will remain sensitive and one should expect them to move fast and entrain quite a bit of snow on the way down the steeper slopes.  Wind drifting will be relegated to the higher elevations on the easterly aspects and remain sensitive to human triggering.  While southerly aspects seemed clean the past few days, they too now should be eyed with suspicion.  Any avalanches triggered today on northwest through the easterly aspects will have the potential to step down into both mid and basal weaknesses with depths of up to 3-4’ deep.   If you’re heading into the backcountry today, be exceptionally rigid with your safe travel protocol and get way out of the way at the bottom.  Remote triggering remains likely.


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

I’VE ISSUED AN AVALANCHE WATCH FOR TODAY’S CONDITIONS THAT WILL LIKELY GRADUATE TO A FULL BLOWN AVALANCHE WARNING TONIGHT AND TOMORROW.  A current HIGH danger will drop to CONSIDERABLE with some naturalling expected on localized slopes today.  Human triggered avalanches will be probable on slopes over 35 degrees on all aspects with some hard slabs pulling back onto lower angled terrain.  Those without excellent avalanche skills should enjoy riding the chairs or the flats over the next few days.


Mountain Weather: 

A good moisture tap should keep us under mostly cloudy to overcast skies with flurries through the day.  The winds will be westerly to the tune of 20mph along the ridges prior to backing to the southwest this evening and cranking to 45-50mph ahead of tomorrow morning’s cold front.  Temps will be in the low teens at 10,000’ and upper teens at 8000’.  The winds will be the headline news with another 1-2’ of snow expected over the next couple of days.



The Wasatch Powderbird Guides didn’t get out and will be grounded today due to weather.  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.

Brett Kobernik will
update this advisory by 7:30 on Tuesday morning, and thanks for calling.