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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Wednesday, March 21, 2007 7:30 am
Good morning, this is Evelyn Lees with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory. Today is Wednesday, March 21, 2007 and its 7:30 in the morning.


Current Conditions:

A cold front slowly pushing through the area from the south has brought varying amounts of snow to the mountains. The Salt Lake, Park City and Provo area mountains have received 2 to 5 of 8 to 10% density snow, while snow is just starting to fall further to the north. Temperatures have steadily cooled overnight, and are in the upper twenties above about 9,000. The southerly winds are gusting into the 40s across the highest peaks, while elsewhere averages are generally in the 5 to 15 mph range. The new snow is falling on frozen, mostly supportable crusts, and will freshen up the turning, riding and snowshoeing conditions nicely.


Snow and Avalanche Discussion:

The only avalanche activity reported yesterday was a wet slab released with explosive control work in the afternoon in mid Big Cottonwood. It was on a southwest facing slope and broke to the ground.


The cooling temperatures should just about end the recent wet avalanche activity as the liquid water in the snowpack gradually freezes. However, there are still a few isolated places where a person or a group of people could trigger a slide on the layer of facets, especially where they are still wet. Facets exist in the snowpack on almost all aspects, and a slide would most likely be triggered in a steep, rocky or shallow snowpack area.

The new snow should bond well to the rough, old snow surface, but be alert for a few shallow, new drifts along the windier ridgelines that might be sensitive to the weight of a person.


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

The avalanche danger is MODERATE on slopes steeper than about 35 degrees, where there is an isolated chance of triggering a deep slide on the weak facets that exist on almost all aspects. Also, avoid the new drifts of wind blown snow on steep slopes, which will be most common along the ridgelines.


Mountain Weather:

A slow moving cold front will bring periods of snow this morning, before tapering off this afternoon. South of I-80, the heaviest snowfall should be over, with scattered showers expected to add a final inch or two of snow today. The mountains north of I-80 should have heavier snowfall this morning, with accumulations reaching 3 to 5 by afternoon. The brisk, southerly ridgeline winds will taper off later today, decreasing into the 5 to 15 mph range and shifting to the northwest. 10,000 temperatures will drop into the low 20s, and 8,000 temperatures will be in the low 30s. High pressure will build in across the region tonight, with clearing skies and lows in the 20s. A weak storm is possible Friday, bringing a small chance for snow.



The Wasatch Powderbird Guides didnt get out yesterday and weather permitting, they will be flying 2 helicopters in the tri-canyon area today, in Cardiff, Days, Silver, Grizzly and White Pine. For more info, call 742-2800.


The UAC and ACE are offering a day long Womens Avalanche Awareness class at Alta on March 22nd covering beacon use and basic safe travel, terrain and snowpack information, for $30. 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 weve 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.

Bruce Tremper will
update this advisory by 7:30 on Thursday morning, and thanks for calling.