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.

ďkeeping you on topĒ


Friday, November 30, 20072:30 pm
Good afternoon, this is Bruce Tremper with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.Today is Friday, November 30, 2007 and itís about 2:30 pm.


Current Conditions:

The wind has been howling for the past 24 hours and the snow surface is a mess of hard wind slabs and bare rock.Itís so bad it almost looks like Colorado.There is almost no snow on south facing slopes at all elevations and the only snow deep enough for recreation is on north facing slopes above about 8,500í, and I realize that Iím really pushing the definition of recreation.There is only about a foot and a half of total snow depth at 10,000í on north facing slopes.Some of the higher elevation ski resorts have a couple runs open on artificial snow and the smart people are sticking to the groomers, which the best game in town right now and itís surprisingly good.


Avalanche Discussion:

We have a storm getting cranked up as I type this and we expect it to lay down about a foot of dense snow overnight.The snow that falls on bare ground should stick well but the snow that falls on northerly facing slopes above about 9,000í may have some problems.First, you should carefully check how well the new snow is bonded to the old snow by digging down with your hand or jumping on small test slopes.You will no doubt be able to find some sensitive wind slabs on steep slopes, so as usual, be suspicious of smooth, rounded wind pillows.Second, there is no lack of rotten, weak, depth hoar that formed since snow first fell in mid October.It exists on the aforementioned north facing slopes up high but it is quite pockety and variable. (Photo gallery of my field work) If we do get a significant dump of new snow on top of these layers, there may be a few booby traps around where you can trigger slides onto these deeper, weak layers.


Bottom Line:

The avalanche danger is generally LOW in most locations.But it should rise to MODERATE danger by Saturday morning on northwest, north and northeast facing slopes steeper than about 35 degrees above about 9,000í in elevation. If we get more than about a foot of dense snow, the danger could rise to CONSIDERABLE on those same slopes.


Mountain Weather:

The storm is ďcomplexĒ as they say and we donít know exactly what will happen.There is very moist air streaming in from the southwest that should hammer southern and central Utah, but the Wasatch Range is right on the northern border of the action.It may be a situation where the Provo area mountains might get a over a foot, the Cottonwood Canyons might get around a foot and north of Salt Lake might get very little snow.Be sure to check conditions in the morning before heading out.Winds will blow around 40 mph this afternoon from the southwest and slow to around 10 mph by morning.Ridgetop temperatures should start around 20 degrees and cool down to around 14 degrees by morning.

The extended forecast calls for much warmer temperatures for the rest of the week with a slight chance of more snow on about Wednesday.




For an avalanche education class listing, click HERE.


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The UAC has job openings.  Click HERE for info.


We are in the office most days.You can reach us by calling 524 5304 or e-mail us at [email protected].Keep in mind it may take a few days if you are looking for a return message.


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.

If you are getting out and see anything we aught to know about please let us know.You can leave a message 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 Saturday morning.