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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Thursday, December 06, 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 Thursday, December 06, 2007 and it’s about 7:30 am.


Current Conditions:

Under mostly cloudy skies there was some light and scattered precipitation this morning in northern Utah.  Temperatures are in the low to mid 20s along the ridges and around 30 or better at the lower mountain locations.  Winds are from the west in the 10 to 15 mph range only gusting in the 20s and 30s at the more exposed locations.


Snow surface conditions were perfect for the more adventurous and slightly deranged backcountry traveler on Wednesday.  While Drew had a snow stability check list last weekend, I have a snow condition checklist from Wednesday:  Variable wind crusts at upper elevations; check.  Heat crust on the surface to around 10000 feet or better; check.  Areas of unconsolidated, punchy snow on mainly north aspects above 9500 feet; check.  Thin, damp manky snow at lower elevations; check.


On a positive note, the thin blanket of snow that recently covered the mountains which is just barely enough for cautious travel in all but the higher north facing terrain has consolidated significantly and should freeze to a fairly supportable layer.  This means that another layer of snow on this base should open up quite a few more options for backcountry recreation at the lower elevations as well as east, west and southerly aspects.  This also implies that we won’t need to stick our necks out in the more dicey upper elevation north aspects to enjoy an outing. 


Avalanche Discussion:

No avalanches were reported from Wednesday.  Cracking and Collapsing continues at the upper elevation northerly aspects indicating a still irritable snowpack.  Many backcountry observers and avalanche workers are expecting more avalanche activity at these locations over the next few days if we receive another decent shot of snow.


Bottom Line:

Salt Lake, Park City and Provo area mountains: South, east, west, and lower elevation north aspects have a generally LOW danger.  The avalanche danger remains MODERATE on northwest, north and northeast facing slopes steeper than about 35 degrees and above about 9,500’ in elevation. Keep in mind that the avalanche danger will be on the rise over the next few days. 


Ogden area mountains: The avalanche danger is generally LOW due to the lack of faceted snow near the ground.   


Mountain Weather: 

A very moist Pacific storm is knocking at our door and will affect our area tonight into the weekend.  Today we’ll see mostly cloudy skies with ridgetop temperatures in the mid 20s with west winds in the 5 to 15 mph range gusting in the 20s and 30s at the more exposed locations.  Tonight we’ll see some snow starting and should wake up with 4 to 8 inches throughout the Wasatch range.  Periods of snow will continue through Saturday.  We could see an inch to an inch and a half of water by the time the storm winds down which translates to a foot or better of snow.  Southern areas of the state will do better.  Temperatures will again be in the low to mid 20s Friday and dropping into the teens Saturday.  Winds never really get very strong but will pick up a bit early Friday morning from the south.



Wasatch Touring in Salt Lake City will have a beacon park set up at their shop on Saturday and you can demo several brands of beacons.

For an avalanche education
class list, click HERE.  

If you want to get this avalanche advisory e-mailed to you daily click

The UAC has temporary job openings for doing avalanche outreach in more rural areas.
  Click HERE for info.

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’re getting out and see anything we should 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.

I will update this advisory by 7:30 Thursday morning.