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, January 15, 2008  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, January 15, 2008 and it’s about 7:30 am. 


Current Conditions:

Yesterday temperatures warmed into the low to mid 30s at the 8 to 9000 foot range and are now in the 20s at most locations.  Winds coming from the west southwest have been increasing in speed overnight and are in the 10 to 20 mph range gusting into the 40s and 50s at the higher locations.


Avalanche Discussion:

There was some avalanche activity on Monday in the form of both wet and dry snow slides.  One skier took a short ride when a recent wind drift released on the south face of Gobblers Knob.  (PHOTO)  He was able to get out of it within 40 feet.  It ran 400 feet vertical.  His partner then provoked another suspect slab with instant gratification as it released as well.  He was pushed a short distance.  My party also found some sensitive pockets along the upper ridges in the southern Wasatch and one knocked me over as I purposely goaded it.  (PHOTOS & OBS)  There was also natural wet activity on aspects with any hint of southerly exposure.  A few piled up snow on the Big Cottonwood highway and the largest seemed to be on the west facing aspect of Timpanogos which ran around 1000 feet vertical.


Today we will want to watch for recent and fresh drifts of wind blown snow.  These will be pockety in nature and mostly along the upper ridgelines and mainly on east through south facing slopes.  Shooting cracks are great indicators of these slabs.  The pockets should be manageable as long as you recognize them before getting onto the middle of them.  Slope cuts are an effective tool with these.  Consequences are greater if you are in exposed terrain above rocks or trees.


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

Along the higher ridges there will be a MODERATE danger of triggering a recent or fresh drift of wind blown snow.  These will be mainly on slopes facing east through south with slope angles of 35 degrees or greater.  The danger is more pockety on other aspects but watch for cross loaded terrain features. 


Mountain Weather:

A cold front will move through this morning bringing snow showers and gusty northwest winds.  Chances for snow flurries will remain through the day with 2 to 5 inches possible.  Temperatures will be in the upper teens to low 20s.  We’ll remain in a cool northerly flow over the next few days with chances for snow flurries.  The next decent system looks like it may happen late in the weekend.

The UAC depends on contributions from users like you to support our work.  To find out more about how you can support our efforts to continue providing the avalanche forecasting and education that you expect please visit our Friends page.


The Wasatch Powderbird Guides were in American Fork, the Sessions and Lambs Canyon on Monday.  Today, weather permitting, they’ll be in American Fork, the Sessions, Cardiff, Days, Silver, and Grizzly.  For more information, call them at 801-742-2800, or go to their daily blog.

The free avalanche beacon parks are up and running at Solitude, Snowbird and Canyons.  They’re great places to practice by yourself or with friends.


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


UDOT highway avalanche control work info can be found by calling (801) 975-4838.

Our statewide tollfree line is 1-888-999-4019 (early morning, option 8).

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 on Wednesday morning.