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, December 11, 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 Tuesday, December 11, 2007 and it’s about 7:30 am.


There will be a benefit for the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center at Brewvies Thursday, December 13th, 2007.  1st show: 6:30pm.  2nd show: 9:00pm.  Admission: $7 pre pay / $10 at the door CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS  Movies from TGR and KGB.


Alta Community Enrichment will be sponsoring a free women's avalanche beacon clinic this Thursday, December 13th, from 9 am until around noon.  Meet inside the Albion Grill at Alta's Ski Lift's upper lot.  Skies, snowshoes or just boots OK.  Extra beacons will be available. 


For more information call 742-9712 OR EMAIL [email protected].


Current Conditions:

Under mostly clear skies this morning, mountain temperatures dipped into the single digits and winds picked up into the 15 to 25 mph range from the northeast with the higher elevations around Ogden showing the strongest winds in the 30 to 40 mph range gusting into the 50s.  Soft powder remained on the surface Monday with wind crusts forming on some aspects at the upper elevations.  These wind affected areas will probably be more widespread today with the shift in wind direction.


Avalanche Discussion:

No avalanches breaking into old snow were reported from the backcountry on Monday.    Can you still trigger one?  Most experienced people say “oh yeah” and might even point you to an area where they know you could get a slide to release.  Some collapsing into the older snow was reported from Monday.  Also, there were reports of some sluffing of the newest snow on steeper aspects as well as some shallow wind slabs that released naturally in the Provo mountains.  People experienced some minor cracking in these wind affected areas as well.  (Click HERE for photos and obs from the recent Cardiff Peak avalanche)


For today you will still want to avoid the steeper northerly aspects as the snow structure is still suspect.  Weaker faceted snow under the last couple of snow storms still has the potential to collapse and release an avalanche.


With the switch in wind direction, wind affected areas will be more widespread today at the upper elevations.  Watch for cracking which is an indicator of freshly formed drifts.  My guess is that you’ll probably be able to find these shallow wind slabs and crusts on many upper elevation aspects today.  These probably won’t pose a great threat but you should be aware that they’re around.


Bottom Line:

The avalanche danger is MODERATE on upper elevation northerly facing steeper slopes.  I cannot stress enough that the consequences are quite severe if you do trigger an avalanche in this terrain.  Human triggered avalanches are possible on the upper elevation northerly facing steeper slopes in the Salt Lake, Park City and Provo area mountains.  There is less chance of triggering an avalanche that breaks into old snow in the Ogden area mountains.  There is also a MODERATE avalanche danger in regards to fresh wind drifts today.  The consequences of these shallower slabs are not near as great as an avalanche breaking into old snow.


Mountain Weather: 

Today we’ll see more clearing as the day progresses.  Temperatures will remain fairly cold with highs in the teens along the upper ridges.  Northeasterly winds will continue but will slow as the day goes on.  It looks like we’ll see a minor weather disturbance late Wednesday with a better looking system Thursday night into Friday which could produce snow.


(Click HERE where you can get another look at the weather on our revamped weather page.  This page is updated everyday by around noon.)



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.

Evelyn Lees
will update this advisory by 7:30 Wednesday morning.