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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Wednesday, February 20, 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 Wednesday, February 20, 2008 and it’s about 7:30 am. 


Current Conditions:

Under increasingly cloudy skies, temperatures are in the 20’s at most elevations this morning, and the southwesterly winds are very light, in the 5 to 15 mph range.  Only a few favored stations in the Ogden and Provo mountains have speeds to 25 mph.  The untracked, sheltered, shady slopes have good turning and riding conditions in the weakening surface snow.  These elusive pockets of “recycled powder” are tucked away among expanses of old wind drifts, tracks and crusted sunny slopes, which may be slow to soften today without the sun.


Snow and Avalanche Discussion:

Tuesday was another quiet day in the backcountry, with a damp sluff the only avalanche activity reported. 


Although it’s Low Danger, there are a variety of isolated, small avalanches concerns that could mean big trouble if you’re in the wrong spot and get pushed off a cliff or into a terrain trap.  Even with the clouds, daytime temperatures may warm the snow enough that damp sluffs could be triggered on steep slopes, including low elevation shady slopes.  In the high alpine terrain a few of the old, hard drifts may still be forced into motion.  And finally, continue to avoid the terrain directly below glide cracks, which release erratically.


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

The avalanche danger is generally LOW, with only isolated places where a person could trigger a slide. Practice safe travel techniques – expose only one person at a time by moving from one island of safety to another and use good communication within your group.


Mountain Weather:

A weak Pacific weather disturbance moving through southern Utah will spread clouds into northern Utah today and tonight, triggering a few mountain snow showers.  Temperatures today will be in the low 20’s at 10,000’ and near 40 at 8,000’.  Winds will remain light from the southwest.  This is not enough of a disturbance to clear out the choking valley inversions - that will have to wait for the stronger storms in the forecast for late Friday and again on Sunday.   If clouds allow, tonight’s full moon will bring a viewing of a total lunar eclipse, occurring between 8 and 9 pm.


Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in Cardiff, Mineral, Cascade, and White Pine yesterday. If weather allows, the plan for today is to fly in Mineral, Cardiff, Days and Silver with home runs through Grizzly Gulch and White Pine.  For more detailed information please call (801) 742-2800 or go to their daily blog.


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.

Bruce Tremper will update this advisory by 7:30 on Thursday morning.