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


Wednesday, March 05, 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 Wednesday, March 05, 2008 and it’s about 7:30 am. 


Current Conditions:

Storm totals from the last 24 hours are only a trace to around 3 inches of new snow which mostly fell early Tuesday.  Northwest winds were gusty getting into the mid and lower portions of the drainages somewhat but tapered off late in the afternoon.  Temperatures stayed cool with mostly cloudy skies and are currently in the single digits to low teens.


Snow and Avalanche Discussion:

The northwest winds on Tuesday were transporting the new snow erasing old tracks and forming some drifts up to 2 feet deep.  These drifts were not very sensitive for the most part only cracking after much provoking.  In general, I expected to see more wind damage then I found.  Under the newest snow, southerly slopes have a moderately thick melt freeze crust while northerly slopes have settled powder.  I did not note any significant weakness in the upper portion of the snowpack aside from the fresh drifts.


For today, the drifts that formed Tuesday will be our main focus.  It doesn’t seem like they’ll pose much problem but if you’re along the upper elevation ridges keep them in mind.  If you find one that pops out it will most likely be a pocket and not entrain much snow.  It could be enough to knock you down or take you for a ride though if you’re snowshoeing, skiing or snowboarding.  Snowmobilers will hardly be affected by these pockets.  You’ll find these mainly on easterly facing slopes but as usual watch for cross loading on all aspects.


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

The avalanche danger is generally LOW however there are pockets with a MODERATE danger along the upper elevation ridges that have recent wind drifts on them.  These are mostly on easterly facing slopes but always watch for crossloading on all aspects.  Keep in mind that with lower avalanche danger ratings we tend to push ourselves into more complex terrain which is just the place we’re most likely to find one of these pockets today.


Mountain Weather:

We’ll see some clouds over the mountains today with the chance of a snow flurry.  Temperatures will remain fairly cold with highs in the mid to upper 20s at 8000 feet and low 20s along the upper ridges.  Northerly winds will be in the 5 to 15 mph range gusting into the 30s and 40s along the more exposed locations.  High pressure gradually moves in over the next few days with slowly warming temperatures.  The next chance for snow looks like it will be this weekend.


Wasatch Powderbird Guides did not fly on Tuesday.  Weather permitting today they’ll have two aircraft in the Try Canyons operating in Mineral, Cardiff, Days, Silver, Grizzly, White Pine, and Mill Creek.  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.