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, April 01, 2008  7:30 am
Good morning, this is Evelyn Lees with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Tuesday, April 01, 2008 and it’s about 7:30 am. 


Current Conditions:

Under mostly clear skies, there’s a parade of single digit temperatures this morning, with a few stations even dipping below zero.  Winds have shifted to the southwest and generally decreased to less than 10 mph, with even the highest gusts less than 25 mph.  Storm totals of the velvety powder are mostly in the 10 to 17 inch range, with variations by elevation and drainage.  It will be powder ‘round the clock this morning, with no sun damage from yesterday, and the best riding is on wind sheltered slopes, especially where there was a smooth, softer old snow surface. 


Snow and Avalanche Discussion:

There were no surprises yesterday.  From Ogden south through Provo, all areas had an overnight natural cycle of shallow, new snow avalanches, followed in the midday hours by easily triggered soft slabs and sluffs, some running far, especially on the glacial ice crusts.  The human triggered new snow slides averaged about a foot deep and 40’ wide, becoming less sensitive as the day went on. A link to Brett’s more detailed observation and a Provo area photo.


Today, backcountry travelers will continue to be able to trigger sluffs and shallow soft slabs with in the new snow, especially on wind drifted slopes loaded by yesterday’s west to northwesterly winds.  While predictable and generally manageable with slopes cuts, a foot deep slab is large enough to catch and carry a person, especially if it pulls out above you, so approach steep terrain with a defensive attitude.


Wet sluffs and slabs will be the second avalanche concern with direct sun in the forecast.  While the steeper sunny slopes will get the brunt of the solar radiation, the sun is so high in the sky now it’s affecting all aspects.  How widespread any wet activity will be depends on the timing and thickness of the clouds.  Thin clouds may help to heat the low to mid elevation northerly facing slopes.  So, where ever you are, if the snow surface becomes sticky or snowball moist, and roller balls go wild, it means the snow is poised for damp sluffs, which have the potential to be sizable.


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

The avalanche danger is MODERATE on slopes steeper than about 35 degrees, especially where wind drifted; human triggered sluffs and soft slabs are possible.  There is also a MODERATE danger with sun and daytime heating for human triggered damp sluffs on steep, southerly facing slopes and low elevation slopes.


Mountain Weather:

A southwest flow today will bring a slow increase in high and mid level clouds.  Temperatures will warm to near 30 at 8,000’ and into the mid teens at 10,000’.  The winds will remain delightfully calm, with average speeds 5 to 15 mph, and only the highest peaks even gusting into the 20’s.  After a morning of mostly sunny skies, the increasing clouds may bring a few light snow flurries by late afternoon. Periods of light snowfall will occur tonight through Thursday morning, followed by high pressure Thursday afternoon through Friday.   



Our partners, the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, with the Canyons Professional Ski Patrol Association, will be hosting a joint fundraising event Sunday, April 6th, at Harry O's in Park City, 427 Main Street, for the UAC and Canyons Professional Ski Patrol Association.  There will be a raffle with gift certificates from Backcountry.com and an awesome silent auction.  The house will be rocking with Space Patrol opening for Junior and Transportation. We hope to see you there!

The Wasatch Powderbird Guides didn’t get out yesterday, and today they will be in Mineral, Cardiff, Days and Silver with homeruns through White Pine.  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.

Brett Kobernik will update this advisory by 7:30 on Wednesday morning.