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

Saturday, March 24, 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 Saturday, March 24, 2007 and its 7:30 in the morning.

 

Current Conditions:

Under clear skies, temperatures at most elevations are well below freezing for the third morning in a row in the mid to upper 20s. The northeasterly winds are in the 5 to 15 mph range, with a few of the most exposed stations having gusts to near 30 mph. The typical spring turning, riding and snowshoeing conditions are very good, with isolated powder on steep, northerly facing slopes above about 9,000 and supportable crusts on the other aspects. As the crusts soften, it may just be some of the best corn of the year, and with precise, Swiss-like timing, its possible to make a full day of it in the backcountry by working aspect and slope angle.

 

Snow and Avalanche Discussion:

No new slab avalanches were reported from the backcountry yesterday, though a few crusted slopes did soften enough to get a collapse on the damp snow below. Push-a-lanches were possible on steep, sunny slopes as the surface snow heated up and shallow, loose sluffs were easy to trigger on the steep, shady slopes.

 

As you head into the backcountry today, youll have to deal with the typical heat related wet snow problems, just a bit trickier due to the some faceted layers. As usual, you want to be off the sunny slopes before the snow heats up. If the snow is becoming punchy, sloppy or the crusts bendy, its definitely too warm and you need to immediately switch to a cooler aspect. Corn slabs are possible today, when what appears to be a solid, frozen crust fails on a wet layer beneath. So as you travel, monitor the depth of the refreeze often by digging down or jabbing your pole handle into the snow.

 

On the steep, northerly facing slopes there remains an isolated chance that a person could trigger a slab avalanche, in thinner snowpack area or shallow rocky area. So no matter where you travel today, continue to use good, safe travel techniques of one at a time on any steep slope and observe your partner from a safe place.

 

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

The avalanche danger is generally LOW this morning, and will rise to MODERATE on slopes steeper than about 35 degrees with daytime heating. The rising danger will follow the sun first on easterly facing slopes, then south and then west. Carefully monitor snow conditions, and get off of and out from under steep sunny slopes as they heat up.

 

Mountain Weather:

A warm and mild weekend is in store for northern Utah. Skies will be mostly clear today, with a few mid level clouds moving through this morning and a bit of afternoon cumulus build up, though less than yesterday. The winds will gradually shift to the north today and decrease into the 5 to 10 mph range. Temperatures will warm to the low 50s at 8,000 and to near freezing at 10,000. Skies will be mostly clear tonight and Sunday, and temperatures slightly warmer. It looks like there could be a decent shot of cold snow late Tuesday.

 

Announcements:

The Wasatch Powderbird Guides were in Mineral, Cardiff, and Days yesterday, and today they will fly in American Fork, Cascade and the Sessions. For more info, 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 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.

Drew Hardesty will
update this advisory by 7:30 on Sunday morning, and thanks for calling.