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


Tuesday, April 10, 2007  5:00 pm
Good evening, this is Drew Hardesty with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather information.  Today is Tuesday, April 10, 2007 and it’s 5:00 in the evening.


We are issuing advisories on an intermittent basis for the remainder of April.


Current Conditions:

Reminds me of winter out there.  A cold front with lingering instability Monday night into Tuesday produced 6-9” of high density snow and graupel in the upper Cottonwoods with a few inches reported north and south of the central Wasatch.  The west to northwesterly winds played something of a spoiler, blowing 20-25mph with the highest ridgelines humming along at a sustained 45-50mph, with gusts to 70.   Temps are in the low teens.  It’s no dust on crust, folks.  The graupel and high density snow made for excellent riding conditions with a few face shots thrown in here and there, though many of the upper elevation west and north facing starting zones are scoured.


Avalanche Discussion:
Simple ski pole tests allow penetration through an un”seized-up” wet snow structure, but it’s just a footnote to the cold snow avalanche issues on top.  The stronger winds Tuesday whipped the snow into uneven drifts at the high and mid-elevations, with pillows more commonly found on the south through east lee terrain.  Forcing and channeling loaded other encatchment areas across the undulating terrain, so pillows will be found in more than just the usual starting zones.  While I wasn’t able to trigger any avalanches today, snow column isolation tests in drifts up to 18” produced a couple of easier shears in the new snow on graupel and another wind-driven interface. 


If you’re heading out on Wednesday, look for a few clues from the snow.  Cracking in the snow will provide idea, and avoid the rounded and scalloped drifts in steep terrain.  Test slopes will give some good info, but it seemed like more of a complex patchwork of drifting rather the usual predictable patterns.  Slope cuts will be an effective tool in and below the usual starting zones.   Tulips and daffodils are blooming in the valley, but it’s now possible to trigger drifts up to 18” deep in steep terrain that received the most snow and wind.


Mountain Weather: 

Wednesday provides a quick breather ahead of the next storm Wednesday night into Thursday.  It looks like a bit more of the energy will dive south, but the northern Wasatch could pick up 3-5”” by Friday.  Another storm impacts the area Sunday into Monday.  Temps remain in the low teens Tuesday night into Wednesday.  The northwesterly winds will blow 25-30mph, before dropping off to light and variable under Wednesday’s weak ridge.


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 our classic text 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.

We will
update this advisory on an intermittent basis for the rest of April and thanks for calling.