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.

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AVALANCHE ADVISORY

Tuesday, March 13, 20077:30 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 13, 2007 and itís 7:30 in the morning.

Current Conditions:

Temperatures were balmy overnight in the mid 30s to low 40s at many mountain locations.Winds are generally less then 10 mph from the west.

 

Snow and Avalanche Discussion:

While I didnít see much activity yesterday I wasnít too surprised to hear about lots of natural avalanche activity on Monday.These slides consisted of mainly small to medium wet loose snow avalanches however there were a few larger slides as well.One happened at around 6 pm off of Mt Superior and stopped just short of the road below the town of Alta.This was a slab avalanche that released due to warmer temperatures penetrating the snowpack.Also, there was another slab that broke into older weak snow and snapped off some trees on the Park City side of the range.This was triggered from a loose snow avalanche that released with explosives in uncompacted snow.Observations from the Ogden area mountains showed that the snowpack is still prone to collapsing and producing shooting cracks.Cornices are starting to peel away from ridgelines.(See the photos link on the left)

 

The same avalanche concerns from yesterday will be present today.All of the activity is heat related whether it be wet loose snow or just warmer temperatures weakening a slab over faceted snow.Both loose snow and slab avalanches could produce sizeable piles of debris that can snap trees.These are tricky conditions in that many off these slides will come down only when theyíre good and ready.Many are not responsive to ski cuts or even explosives.The mountain range will hold its cards tight only letting you see scattered avalanching so donít let it make you think its bluffing.Iíd call it a loaded deck with a weakening slab over facets and continued heating to loosen the snowpack even more.

 

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 again today with daytime heating.  All aspects are suspect at lower elevations and steep southerly slopes should be avoided at all elevations especially as the day progresses.When the snow gets damp and mushy itís time to get off of it.Keep in mind that the warmer temperatures may weaken dry, colder snow slabs enough for them to release as well on northerly aspects.

Mountain Weather:

Itíll be another scorcher today with temperatures into the 50s at the 8000 foot levels.Westerly winds will increase this afternoon into the 10 to 20 mph range gusting to around 40 at the most exposed locations.A storm will brush northern Utah on Wednesday bringing through some moisture that may produce a snow flurry or two.A ridge then builds in starting Friday through the weekend with warmer temperatures.

 

Announcements:

Yesterday, the Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in American Fork.Today, theyíll go for American Fork, Cardiff, Days, Mineral, Silver, the Sessions and Cascade.For more info, call 742-2800.

 

The UAC and ACE are offering a day long Womenís 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 weíve 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.