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


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


Current Conditions:

The low pressure rotating off to our east kept temperatures cool and fed clouds in from the northeast which kept the snow cold for the most part.  Solar radiation did affect the snow surface somewhat during brief periods of clearing.  A northeast wind event yesterday morning did some damage to the snow surface as well as producing some drifting.  Winds slowed in the afternoon but another similar northeast wind event occurred last night with not quite the wind speeds we saw yesterday.  Snow flurries throughout the day produced a few more inches of snow.  Temperatures cooled into the teens overnight and even into the single digits at 11,000 feet.


Avalanche Discussion:

Many folks that were out enjoying the recent fresh snow experienced the affect of yesterday’s winds.  Widespread shallow but manageable wind slabs were triggered by people as well as a few natural slides also.  The consequences of burial or even getting injured by these were minimal as far as what I saw as well as the observations I’ve heard from others that were out in the backcountry.  There was one report of a ski resort snow safety worker going for a short ride after accidentally triggering a wind slab out of bounds in Little Cottonwood.  No significant wet activity was observed.  (Click the Photos link for obs and photos from Thursday)


Lingering wind slabs will be the main concern again today.  These shouldn’t be as sensitive as they were yesterday but last nights winds may have produced a fresh round that folks should watch for.  These will be manageable and for the most part won’t pose a real great threat.  Slope cuts will be a very effective tool again today.  Approaching these wind slabs from the top is the preferred technique rather then tickling them from below.


While it looks like we’ll see a good amount of cloud cover again today, at this time of the season we always need to be aware of solar radiation heating the snow during any periods of clearing.  This can change the snow very rapidly making it unstable in a very short period of time.  Consider where you are or where you may be traveling if the skies decide to clear all of a sudden.  Sometimes you can see avalanche activity within a half an hour when the sun pokes through especially after fresh snowfall like we have now.  East through south through west aspects may produce wet activity during any clearing today.


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

The avalanche danger is generally LOW on most slopes with a pockety MODERATE danger of triggering a wind slab on many different aspects.  There is also a potential for the danger to rise to MODERATE during periods where the skies may clear as the day progresses mainly on slopes approaching 40 degrees with a sun exposed aspect.


Mountain Weather: 

The low pressure continues to rotate off to our east which will feed some moisture into our area mostly in the form of clouds along with a few snow flurries possible.  Winds look like they’ll stay in the 5 to 10 mph range from the north and northeast gradually shifting to the northwest and increasing a bit as the low gets pushed away from us to the east.  Temperatures stay fairly cool but will be somewhat warmer then yesterday with ridgetop highs making it to around 30.  This weekend we’ll see partly cloudy skies with slightly warmer temperatures.  A short wave trough moving through northern Utah Sunday night into Monday should produce a shot of snow.



The Wasatch Powderbird Guides didn’t fly yesterday and if they can fly today, if cloud cover allows them, they’ll be in Silver, Days, Cardiff, Mineral, Grizzly White Pine, American Fork, Mill Creek and Cascade.  They may use two aircraft in the Tri-canyons today. For more info, call 742-2800. 


The Canyons Professional Ski Partol Association is hosting a fundraiser for the Friends of the Utah Avalalanche Center, Sunday April 1, at 7:30 at Side Car in Park City.


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 Saturday morning, and thanks for calling.