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 25, 2007  7:30 am
Good morning, this is Evelyn Lees with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Tuesday, December 25, 2007 and it’s about 7:30 am.


Current Conditions:

The Wasatch are covered in a fresh layer of white,

Much to the snowshoers and skiers delight.

Why, just overnight, another 8-16 inches fell,

That makes 3 to 5 feet this week – do tell!!

The powder will be deep, and fluffy and light,

It’s the stuff in which ‘bilers and boarders like to take flight.

Overnight, with speeds in the 40’s to 60’s, the northwesterly winds really blew,

Gusting and blowing from a southwesterly direction, too.

Now wind speeds have dropped into the 15 to 25 mph range,

Still fast, but from last night’s strong speeds that’s quite a change.

The winds have shifted to the north northwest,

And across the high ridges are blowing their best.

With temperatures near five, watch out for your nose,

Cold toes and cold fingers – wear lots of clothes.


Yesterday, explosives let loose one more deep slide,

And several sensitive wind slabs were kicked off the mountain side.

So there are two avalanche problems to worry about today,

Both new wind drifts and weak facets will come into play.


First, for the new snow, accompanied by the wind so strong,

Triggering a wind drift will make your day go easily wrong.

The snow is drifted in the upper terrain, along ridges and rocks,

But also at mid and low elevations, anywhere the terrain the wind blocks.

The new snow and wind drifts are common on slopes facing east,

But watch for crossloading, only very sheltered low elevations have the least.

Sensitive cornices, drifts from slope top to slope toe,  

Stay off those steep wind drifted slopes even down low. 


Now the sugary facets near the ground continue to be trouble,

They’re tricky, inconsistent; any slide will create deep, deep rubble.

They’re on upper elevation slopes – facing northwest, north, and northeast

Avoid those steep, shady slopes - don’t tease the beast.

The facets could be triggered in a thin, shallow, rocky spot,

They’ll break out deep and wide, near the ground in the rot.

A small slide triggered could start down the slope,

Break out an additional slide much deeper than one would hope.


So, on steep and wind drifted slopes and those of a northerly aspect - be wary!

The avalanche danger is CONSIDERABLE, edging towards HIGH, which is scary.

Human triggered avalanches are probable, natural slides could take place

Avoid getting caught, for fresh tracks - it’s not a race.

With so much new snow, avalanche conditions are serious out there,

Other steep slopes have a MODERATE danger, so take care.

But if you play on slopes less steep than 35, fun can be had,

Enjoy the lower, wind sheltered terrain, and you won’t be sad.


Light snow showers and flurries will continue today,

Adding 1 to 3 inches this morning in which to play,

By early afternoon, the sun will peek out and the snow decrease,

Temperatures will stay chilly, only to 15 degrees will they increase

Along the ridges, the northerly winds will continue to flow,

In the 15 to 20 mph range they will blow.

Along the highest ridges the gusts to forty will be stout,

So bundle up warmly if you’re out and about.


And for tomorrow, another storm is on tap,

Bringing more snow and wind, across the northern Utah map, 

Snow showers through Thursday, more snow on Friday,

It’s going to be an incredible beautiful snowy holiday.


So be careful as you enjoy all the beautiful white,

We wish you all wonderful holidays, and a safe return home tonight.


Avalanche Discussion:


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

The avalanche danger is CONSIDERABLE today on steep, wind loaded slopes, which will be found on a variety of elevations and aspects.  The danger is also CONSIDERABLE on the upper elevation northwest, north and northeasterly facing slopes.  Other steep slopes have a MODERATE danger for new snow slides.


Mountain Weather: 


Wasatch Powderbirds didn’t get out yesterday due to weather, and if the weather allows they will be in …Cardiff, Silver, Days and returning through Grizzly.


For information on the Canyons avalanche fatality, click HERE.


For an avalanche education class list, updated 12/22/07, 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 Wednesday morning.