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 29, 2008 7:30 am
Good morning, this is
There is a cold front on our doorstep, and the southwesterly winds have been gusting into the 40’s and 50’s overnight, with many stations having average speeds of 20 to 30 mph. Temperatures stayed warm overnight – and are currently in the mid to upper 20’s, with some of the lower elevation still in the 30’s. The little bit of new snow from Thursday improved conditions more than one would expect, especially out of the high traffic areas where it fell on a smoother old snow surface, and today’s new snow should freshen up the riding and snowshoeing conditions once again.
Snow and Avalanche Discussion:
The combination of new snow and gusty southwesterly and westerly winds will be creating the main avalanche concern for today – sensitive new wind drifts that could crack out and slide under the weight of a person on slopes steeper than about 35 degrees. These drifts will average 6 to 12 inches deep, and will be most widespread on slopes above about 8,000’ with an easterly component. Watch out for drifts along the high ridgelines and also around mid-slope terrain features such as gully walls, breakovers and subridges. It may also be possible to trigger some sluffs within the new snow on continuously steep slopes.
There are a few more isolate avalanche concerns to be on the lookout for. If you’re getting into upper elevation, northerly terrain, there is the slight possibility of triggering a deeper slide on an upper layer of faceted snow. Here is to link to a slide triggered with a collapse on Thursday. Also, the recent warm weather has some of those big old cornices creaking and cracking – a few have yawning cracks behind them that could swallow you whole, now hidden beneath the new snow. And finally, mostly cloudy skies and cooler temperatures should keep heating to a minimum today, but if the snow surface turns into damp, snowball snow where you are, sluffs will become easy to trigger on steep slopes.
Bottom Line for the
The avalanche danger is MODERATE on wind drifted slopes steeper than about 35 degrees, with drifts most widespread on north through southeasterly facing slopes at mid and upper elevations. Out of the wind drifted terrain, a there is a mostly LOW avalanche danger. If the clouds thin or the sun comes out where you are or you’re in lower elevation terrain that received rain this morning, there will be a MODERATE danger of wet sluffs on steep slopes.
A weak cold front will
push into northern
The Wasatch Powderbird Guides did get out yesterday for a few runs. If they can fly today, they’ll try for Mineral,
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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.