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


Saturday, February 16, 2008  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 Saturday, February 16, 2008 and it’s about 7:30 am. 


Current Conditions:

Under mostly clear skies, temperatures are in the upper teens to low 20’s this morning, with some colder air pooled in the canyon bottoms.  Winds are from a westerly direction, in the 5 to 15 mph range, with a few of the highest peaks averaging 30 mph.  For powder, look for wind sheltered, shady slopes, preferably in less traveled areas with a smooth, untracked old base.  The sunny southeast through westerly facing slopes are crusted, and may not soften much today. Travel conditions are fast, making it a fun time to explore.  


Snow and Avalanche Discussion:

No human triggered avalanches were reported from the backcountry yesterday, though a recent glide avalanche in Broads Fork with substantial debris was observed.


The snow pack is mostly stable, and avalanche concerns focus on the foot of new snow from last Wednesday.   Today’s winds may form a few shallow new drifts along the higher ridgelines, which will be especially sensitive if they get loaded onto a slope with a fresh crop of surface hoar.  Also, old drifts from the easterly wind event may still be sensitive, and found in surprising places.  After a couple of clear nights, sluffing will be more pronounced today on the steep, shady slopes.  And finally, be observant of the location of glide cracks, and give the runout below them a wide berth, as their erratic release is hard to forecast.


The forecast for increasing clouds and cooling temperatures by noon should keep wet sluff activity to a minimal today, but if the snowpack starts to heat up where you are, avoid travel on steep slopes with damp snow. 


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

The avalanche danger is generally LOW.  There are pockets of MODERATE danger along the upper elevation ridgelines and in open bowls where a few new and old wind drifts could be triggered on steep slopes.  If the cloud cover is less than forecast, the avalanche danger may rise to MODERATE on steep sunny slopes and all low elevation slopes with daytime heating.


Mountain Weather:

A weak storm system will graze the area today, with skies becoming mostly cloudy by late morning.  Temperatures will be in the upper 20’s at 8,000’, and will cool back down into the upper teens at 10,000’.  The westerly winds will gradually shift to the north, with most elevations will remaining in the 10 to 20 mph range, though the highest terrain could have 30 mph averages with gusts in the 40’s.  Another weak system will bring a few more clouds for Sunday, followed by warm, dry conditions through Tuesday.  Then a moist, westerly flow will develop late in the week, bringing an end to our current mini drought. 

Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in Cardiff, Days, Silver, Grizzly, American Fork and Cascade on Friday.  If they can fly today, they’ll be in Mineral, Cardiff, Days, Silver, Grizzly, American Fork and Cascade.  For more detailed information please call (801) 742-2800 or go to their daily blog.


The ‘Best of the 2007’ Banff Mountain Film Festival is coming to The University of Utah, this Tuesday, February 19th and Wednesday, February 20th at 7pm.  Films are different each night, and tickets are available at the box office, door, or REI.  For more information call 801-581-7100.


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).

Watch video tututorials and fieldwork from UAC staff at our YouTube channel.

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.

If you see any avalanches or interesting snow conditions, please leave us 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.

Drew Hardesty will update this advisory by 7:30 on Sunday morning.