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


Tuesday, March 06, 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 Tuesday, March 06, 2007 and it’s 7:30 in the morning.

Current Conditions:

Under mostly clear skies this morning ridgetop temperatures below about 10,000’ are right around or just above freezing and winds are light from the west.  Higher elevations and valley bottoms dropped into the mid 20s overnight.


Snow and Avalanche Discussion:

Warmer temperatures changed the dry powder into damp snow on all but the north aspects above around 8500 feet or higher.  While some areas didn’t get below freezing last night the snow surface will have a thin refreeze just from outgoing radiation.


Human triggered slab avalanching continued on Monday with a slab remotely triggered from skiers on Murdock Peak.  The slide was 3 feet deep, 100 feet wide and ran around 500 feet into trees on a northwest aspect.  We also have more information about human triggered avalanches over the weekend.  Two snowmobilers had very close calls in two separate incidents.  One was in the Western Uintas and one was in the Bountiful mountains.  Both triggered sizeable slides that broke into old snow with crowns in the 3 to 5 foot deep range.  I went and looked at another slide that broke into old snow and snapped off at least one tree 6 inches in diameter was in Soldier Fork.  It was more then likely remotely triggered from skiers on an up track.  (Click the photos link on the left for photos.)


If I were going into the mountains today my main concern is the continued chance to pop out a deep slide into old snow.  Many observers are reporting more stable conditions but I notice not many of them are center punching big, steep northeast facing slopes that haven’t avalanched yet.  These slopes are still suspect in my opinion.


Heating will again be a concern for today.  Temperatures won’t be as warm today as yesterday but it will be another day for the snowpack to absorb warm temperatures.  Southerly facing slopes will become damp again and wet activity is possible but shouldn’t produce a widespread natural cycle.  The warmer temperatures and gravity will continue to tug on the thick slab over weak snow.  It’s hard to gauge or quantify just what is happening in this process but just knowing an already volatile slab is getting affected by the warmth is enough to leave it be for a bit.


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

We’ll have pockets of CONSIDERABLE danger on slopes approaching 35 degrees and steeper on the west through north through southeast aspects.  There will be a MODERATE danger of loose wet avalanching on the southerly facing slopes.  There is also a MODERATE danger of a slab avalanche on the southerly facing slopes.  Remember, these slab avalanches are nothing to toy with.


Mountain Weather: 

Today we’ll see partly cloudy skies with ridgetop temperatures a few degrees cooler then yesterday.  They’ll be in the mid 30s along the ridgetops.  Winds will generally be light from the west. 



The Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in the Cardiff, American Fork, Grizzly and Lambs yesterday and will be in Cardiff, Days, Silver, Grizzly, White Pine, American Fork and the Sessions 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 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.

Evelyn Lees will
update this advisory by 7:30 on Wednesday morning, and thanks for calling.