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
“keeping you on top”
March 26, 2008 7:30 am
Good morning, this is
It’s the third night in a row with above freezing temperatures at some elevations. Currently, temperatures are in the low 30’s at 10,000’ to near 40 at some of the 7,500’ elevations. A weak disturbance brought a band of clouds across the area overnight, but skies are trying to clear this morning. The southwesterly winds are averaging 15 mph, with gusts in the 20’s to near 40 at the highest elevations. It will be another sloppy snow day, with any surface refreeze shallow and short lived. Even the surface snow on northerly facing slopes got damp to around 10,000’ yesterday.
Snow and Avalanche Discussion:
The most interesting avalanche
activity yesterday was on mid to upper elevation northerly
facing slopes where the surface snow is heating for the first time. A party triggered a small sluff in the Crows
Feet, a NW facing slope at approximately 9,500’ that widened to full width, ran
full vertical of a couple thousand feet and filled up the gully. I also found it easy to trigger damp sluffs
on steep northerly aspects above 9,000'. In addition, there was a report of low
elevation wet sluffs in the
It’s been a multi-day warm spell, and there is one final hot day to deal with before a cool down. Any surface refreeze is shallow, and the avalanche danger will increase rapidly with sun and daytime heating. Wet sluffs will become easy to trigger on steep slopes on most aspects and elevations. So where ever you are, if the snow is getting wet and sloppy, it’s time to head to low angle terrain or to an aspect with cooler snow. Terrain is the key to safe travel – these damp sluffs are dangerous if they push you off a cliff, take you for a long ride, or shove you into a terrain trap such as a gully and then bury you under 6 feet of cement like snow. Also keep tabs on the thickness of the refrozen crust this morning, and investigate the snow beneath. It is possible to trigger the frozen crusts – often called “corn slabs” - if there is wet snow beneath.
Bottom Line for the
The avalanche danger is
generally LOW early this morning, but will rapidly increase
to MODERATE with daytime heating and sun. Damp and wet sluffs will be easily triggered
on steep slopes of all aspects and elevations, and their danger will depend on
the terrain. Avoid terrain traps such as
gullies and continuously steep slopes where a sluff can build up speed and
A westerly flow over
the area is bringing a series of weak disturbances across northern
The Wasatch Powderbird Guides did not fly yesterday. If they can fly today, they’ll try for Mineral,
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Our statewide tollfree line is 1-888-999-4019 (early morning, option 8).
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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.