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, April 02, 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, April 02, 2008 and it’s about 7:30 am. 


Current Conditions:

With warm air advection overnight, scattered snow showers layed down a little fresh snow with Alta recording 4 inches new.  It doesn’t look like the Ogden, Park City or Provo mountains received notable amounts.  Mountain temperatures are in the low 20s and there are light winds from the west southwest.


Snow and Avalanche Discussion:

Every observation I received from Tuesday included at least some mention of minor avalanche activity mostly in the form of skier released shallow soft slabs.  (PHOTOS)  These were most pronounced on the northerly half of the compass in areas that were drifted in from the recent winds.  In Porter Fork a very trustworthy observer reported a soft slab in mid elevation terrain that was not wind loaded.  Near Mt Ogden, a backcountry observer reported skier initiated damp avalanching that would run up to 700 feet piling up debris 4 feet deep in gully bottoms.


For today we will want to watch for lingering instabilities in the form of small soft slabs as well as sluffing that may occur with the new snow.  This will be another day where these issues are very manageable for people with some backcountry traveling experience.  Place slope cuts before diving in.


While I don’t expect much wet activity today we need to keep alert on this front also.  Cold dry snow is very susceptible to warming.  Roller balls and point releases are precursory clues to more significant activity.  Push on the snow and use slope cuts to see if you can initiate damp snow slides anywhere you notice the snow becoming damp.


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

Most areas have a LOW avalanche danger this morning but there is a pockety MODERATE avalanche danger on slopes steeper than about 35 degrees, especially where wind drifted; human triggered sluffs and soft slabs are still possible but won’t pose much threat.  Watch for the avalanche danger to rise to MODERATE in areas where the newest snow becomes damp if the weather dictates.  Stay out of gully bottoms especially in areas where people may be above you.


Mountain Weather:

We’re situated between a trof to our north and a closed low off the California coast giving us a generally westerly flow.  (PHOTO, SATELLITE LOOP) Warm air advection will yield to a cold front moving through today and into tonight which will produce scattered snow.  2 to 6 inches is possible.  8000 foot temperatures max out near freezing and will stay in the mid to upper 20s in the 9 to 10,000 foot range.  Westerly wind speeds stay fairly slow with gusts less then 20 along the mid elevation ridges and gusting in the 30s and 40s at the more exposed locations.  Temperatures drop back into the teens tonight and the chance for snow ends.



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 flew in Cardiff, Days and Silver on Tuesday and most likely won’t get out today but will try for Mineral, Cardiff, Days, Silver with home runs through White Pine and Grizzly.  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.

I will update this advisory by 7:30 on Thursday morning.