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


Monday, February 18, 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 Monday, February 18, 2008 and it’s about 7:30 am. 


Current Conditions:

Skies are mostly clear with mountain temperatures generally in the teens with some of the canyon bottom readings in the single digits which shows a slight temperature inversion.  Northwest winds continue to average in the 30 mph range gusting into the 40s along the highest ridges but speeds are much slower along the mid elevation ridges.


Snow and Avalanche Discussion:

For a holiday weekend with nice weather, the backcountry was fairly quiet on Sunday.  A couple of skiers found a few drifts that released on them with one skier getting pushed around a bit.  The one thin minor wind slab was on a northwest facing slope at around 10,500 feet and the other more significant pocket was on a southeast facing aspect off of Mt Tuscarora at about the same elevation.  The larger pocket cracked out about 50 feet wide.  This might be interesting to look at say if you were in an avalanche class that just happened to be going on this weekend at the Wasatch Mountain Club.


When stability increases, so does our confidence in getting into more radical terrain.  However, often the radical terrain is along the upper elevations and on the steepest slopes.  These are just the places where we will have a chance to trigger a recent wind slab still today.  Watch for these on numerous aspects in the higher terrain and use well placed slope cuts to test these.  While these wind slabs can push a skier, snowboarder or snowshoer around, snowmobilers will hardly notice these when they release.


With the southerly facing and lower elevation terrain having already gone through a number of melt freeze cycles, today’s temperatures won’t be so outrageous to produce much wet activity but those slopes will most likely become damp.


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

The avalanche danger is generally LOW.  There are pockets with a 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. 


Mountain Weather:

A ridge moves in today and remains through Tuesday producing mild weather with mostly clear skies.  Northwest winds will continue at their current speeds through today before slowing into Tuesday.  Temperatures will be near 30 at 8000 feet and in the mid 20s along the upper ridges.

Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in Cascade and American Fork yesterday. The plan for today is to fly in American Fork and Cascade. They may use Grizzly Gulch or White Pine for a home run.  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 Tuesday morning.