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 20, 2007  7:30 am
Good morning, this is Bruce Tremper with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Thursday, December 20, 2007 and it’s about 7:30 am.


Current Conditions:

With a foot of light density snow, riding conditions were much improved yesterday.  3 inches of higher density snow fell overnight.  With strong winds and heavy snow today, expect slabby, deep snow, difficult trail breaking conditions and poor visibility.  Unless you are an incurable avalanche geek, today would be a good day for last minute holiday shopping.


Avalanche Discussion:

I have issued an AVALANCHE WARNING for the mountains of northern and Central Utah.  We expect high winds and heavy snow today, which will create a high avalanche danger on most aspects and on elevations above about 7,500’.  Human triggered avalanches will be likely and natural avalanches possible.  People without excellent avalanche skills should avoid the backcountry or recreate at resorts where avalanche control is conducted.

Tuesday night, we had a foot of light density snow that came down fast and furious with some density inversions in the new snow that people were able to trigger in the morning, but they seemed to settle out later in the day. 

Today, the winds will blow hard all day from the southwest 30-40 mph with higher gusts and we should have about 8 inches of new snow this morning.  Dense, windblown snow on top of the light density snow from yesterday will create widespread areas of sensitive wind slabs on most terrain above about 7,500’ in elevation.  Some of these new-snow avalanches could step down into deeper weak layers making much larger avalanches, especially in areas where the total snowpack depth is less than 3 feet.   After a break in the afternoon, a strong cold front will arrive around dinner time which will give us another foot of snow overnight and may exacerbate avalanche hazard for Friday.


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

The avalanche danger is HIGH on slopes steeper than 30 degrees, above about 7,500’ with recent wind deposits. The danger is CONSIDERABE on slopes without recent wind deposits.  The danger MODERATE on slopes below 7,500’.  People without excellent avalanche skills should avoid the backcountry.


Mountain Weather: 

We are expecting 4-8 inches of new snow this morning with strong winds from the southwest, 30-40 mph with higher gusts.  There will be a break in the precipitation this afternoon but don’t be fooled.  A strong cold front will arrive around dinner time, possibly with lightning.  Winds will drop and we should pick up another 8-13 inches of snow overnight.  Ridge top temperatures will be around 25 degrees today and will drop to 5 degrees by morning.


Little Cottonwood Canyon will be closed this morning for avalanche control from about 7:15 am until 8:30 am.

The Wasatch Powderbird Guides will be not be flying today.


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.

Brett Kobernik
will update this advisory by 7:30 Friday morning.