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, February 26, 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, February 26, 2008 and it’s about 7:30 am. 


Current Conditions:

If you’re reading this report from your house right now and you’re planning on getting into the mountains, you’re late!!  Drop what you’re doing and get out there before the snow turns to junk and starts sliding.  Temperatures were cold overnight in the low teens but that won’t last long.  Winds really dropped off over the last 6 hours and are just averaging 10 to 15 mph along the higher ridges.  Snowfall from the last 24 hours was generally 4 to 8 inches which fell mostly during the day on Monday.


Snow and Avalanche Discussion:

Observations from the backcountry on Monday included no natural avalanche activity, lots of sluffing on steeper slopes, numerous human triggered pockets along the ridges within the new snow and one human triggered avalanche that broke 2 feet deep and 100 feet wide.  A number of observers including myself noted collapsing of stiffer wind slabs as well as some collapsing of a thin melt freeze crust.  UDOT avalanche control work produced many class 2 avalanches in Little Cottonwood with none quite reaching the road.  On the flip side, many folks had no problem finding areas with mostly stable snow and excellent conditions.


Heat induced avalanche activity is the focus for today.  Temperatures will get warm but not outrageous.  However, with new snow at this time of the year it’s not so much a function of what the thermometer reads but more importantly how much direct solar radiation will happen.  The sun was hidden for the most part on Monday so today will be the new snow’s first encounter with the sun which is always the most active day.  Careful route selections will be the key as the day goes on.  Think about where you will exit this afternoon.  You may not want to be coming back down a southerly facing slope or out a steep walled lower elevation gully this later today.  Easterly facing slopes may heat faster then you anticipate also.  (PHOTOS from wet activity Sunday) (ROOF  ALANCHE)


Lingering pockets along the upper ridgelines also warrant a mention for today.  While most of these have been stabilizing over the last 24 hours, warmer ambient air temperatures today may be enough to affect their stability.  Slope cuts should be used in excess along the ridges.


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

The avalanche danger rating will be all over the place today depending on your aspect, elevation and timing.  A LOW avalanche danger can be found on most slopes out of the wind affected terrain before about 9 this morning.  By then the avalanche danger will start to rise on southerly facing slopes to MODERATE and may reach CONSIDERABLE as the day goes on.  Expect natural avalanching on slopes facing the sun.  A MODERATE danger exists for lingering pockets formed from winds over the last 48 hours along the upper elevation ridges.


Mountain Weather:

We’ll see partly cloudy skies today with maybe some convective clouds bubbling up.  Temperatures will get into the mid to upper 30s at 8000 feet and near 30 along the higher ridges.  Winds will remain light for the most part from the west northwest.  Expect slightly warmer temperatures on Wednesday.


Wasatch Powderbird Guides did not fly yesterday due to weather and will be in Mineral, Cardiff, Days, Silver, and American Fork with home runs through White Pine and Grizzly.  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 Wednesday morning.