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, March 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, March 12, 2007 and it’s 7:30 in the morning.

Current Conditions:

Overnight lows were in the mid-to-low 30’s, but the radiational cooling will have provided at least a superficial refreeze.  Highs today will burst the 50 degree bubble at 8000’, so the window for the sunny slopes will be tight this morning.   Winds remain generally light and northwesterly.  High north remains dry with everything else crusted.  Skin wax and a sun bonnet are required.    


Snow and Avalanche Discussion:

One party triggered a couple soft slabs in upper elevation southeast facing terrain along the Alta perimeter yesterday.  Each was reported to be up to two feet deep and 200’ wide, though no one was caught.  There was also a report of another natural slab avalanche high in the Cutler Basin beneath Willard Peak in the Ogden area mountains, the second in two days in high southeast facing terrain.  Reported widths were up to 300’ wide, though details were sketchy.  Lastly, the media reported a long running skier-triggered wet avalanche down onto the Superior apron above Little Cottonwood Canyon during the warmest part of the day.  Interesting. 


With overnight lows a full 10-15 degrees warmer than yesterday, it’ll still be possible to pop out a remnant wind drift in steep easterly terrain.  Slow warming tends to increase bonding and sintering in the snow, but rapid warming tends to offset this through increased shear stress between the bonds.  Persistent slabs up to 3-4’ deep may still be triggered in isolated steep, relatively shallow, rocky terrain on west through north through easterly facing aspects.


As daytime highs march toward the mid 40’s at 10,000’ and upper 50’s at 8000’, wet activity will become the rule and not the exception.  Plan accordingly so you don’t find yourself in steep sun-exposed, unsupportable glop in the middle of the day.  Shallow wet slabs up to 10" will easily be triggered from other wet sluffs or human activity.


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

The danger of wet sluff and slab avalanches will rise to CONSIDERABLE today with daytime warming on the sun-exposed slopes.  The danger of triggering a remnant soft slab or deeper slab remains MODERATE, although the consequences for the two are miles apart.  Remotely triggered slides remain possible.

Mountain Weather: 

We’ll have sunny skies, light westerly winds, and soaring temperatures.  A weak cold front pushes through Wednesday to scale back temps a bit, then we’re back in the spring cycle.  No storms as far as the eye can see.



Yesterday, the Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in American Fork and the Cascade Ridgeline.  Today, they’ll return with a home run in White Pine.  For more info, call 742-2800.


The UAC and ACE are offering a day long Women’s Avalanche Awareness class at Alta on March 22nd covering beacon use and basic safe travel, terrain and snowpack information, for a nominal fee.  For more details go to: www.altaarts.org.


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.