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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Friday, March 28, 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 Friday, March 28, 2008 and it’s about 7:30 am. 


Current Conditions:

The Wasatch picked up 2 to 5 inches of fresh snow Thursday morning with winds moving it around quite a bit after the storm passed.  Temperatures dropped into the single digits overnight at numerous mountain locations and are generally in the mid teens.  Westerly winds slowed considerably overnight and the skies cleared somewhat with clouds now moving in again.


Snow and Avalanche Discussion:

The new snow combined with gusty winds drifted the snow around producing some minor natural activity along the upper lee ridges.  These drifts that formed would crack under the weight of a person as well.  (PHOTO)  The pockets were small and didn’t run very far posing not much threat.  Drew was able to sniff out a slab that collapsed and broke into faceted snow on Thursday.  It was around 1.5 feet deep, 40 feet wide, and ran a few hundred feet not piling up a whole lot of debris.  This weakness produced some activity a couple of weeks ago which was spotty at the time and is even more so now.


Avalanches won’t pose a great threat out there today but you will want to use normal backcountry procedures for the current conditions.  Minor fresh wind slabs and warming of the new snow are the concerns for today.  Slope cuts will be an affective tool for both of these issues.  In the colder wind drifts you’ll get instant gratification if they are going to crack.  On aspects where the snow warms, slope cuts may initiate a sluff below you.  Be patient and let it run to get an idea if it is going to entrain much snow before diving in.  Cloud cover may keep wet activity minimal but have it in mind.


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

This morning most areas have a LOW avalanche danger.  There is a pockety MODERATE danger in the more exposed terrain where recent drifts formed.  These will mainly be on upper elevation north through southeast facing slopes steeper then 35 degrees.  The danger for wet activity may rise to MODERATE with daytime heating.  You can avoid this issue by getting in and getting out of the mountains early.

Mountain Weather:

Increasing clouds this morning with scattered snow this afternoon in warm air advection is expected.  Clouds are moving in this morning.  Temperatures at 8000 feet will get into the mid to upper 30s and winds will be from the southwest increasing a bit as the day goes on.  A cold front similar to Thursday’s disturbance should produce snow into Saturday morning with somewhat gusty westerly winds.  I’m expecting only a few inches of snow this afternoon and a few more with the cold front tonight making a 3 to 6 inch event.  Weather remains unsettled through Sunday bringing another chance for snow.


The Wasatch Powderbird Guides did not fly yesterday.  If they can fly today, they’ll try for Mineral, Cardiff, Days, Silver, Grizzly, Mill Creek and White Pine with two helicopters in the Tri Canyons.  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.

Evelyn Lees will update this advisory by 7:30 on Saturday morning.