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


Monday, April 21, 2008  11:30 am
Good morning, this is Bruce Tremper with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Monday, April 21, 2008 and it’s about 10:00 am. 


Special Announcement: 

We are only doing intermittent updates until about the end of April.


Current Conditions:

On my last advisory on Friday, I said that we would get a “mostly dry cold front”.  Instead, we got a completely dry cold front.  Actually, I’m exaggerating.  Alta reported .01 inches of snow.  I’m not sure how you can measure that, but if Alta reported it, it’s probably true.  Actually, I could have said that we would get a “dusting” and I would still have been correct.  The ferocious winds on Saturday gave us a red alert for air quality and laid a layer of Sevier Lake dust on top of the snow surface, making kind of herky jerky riding conditions.  But hey, at least it got cold—like near zero on the ridgetops and put frost on the tulips in town.


Snow and Avalanche Discussion:

Despite the strong winds, the pre-existing snow surface was frozen to a consistency of a parking lot and there wasn’t much to blow around.  Bruce Engelhard, one of our observers in Big Cottonwood Canyon, reported yesterday that, “I know we always say Low hazard doesn’t mean no hazard, but I would be willing to argue about the validity of that comment today.”  In other words, don’t expect to see much action in the avalanche department until it warms up again.

When it does warm up, you will need to watch for the usual springtime wet sluffs on steep, sun exposed slopes, especially in the heat of the afternoon.  Get out early and get home early or change to a colder aspect when the snow gets soggy enough to sink in past your ankles while walking on foot.

Mountain Weather:

Unfortunately, there’s not much action in the weather department either.  In fact, I’m wondering why I’m still updating the advisory but we promised we would update until “near” the end of April, so I’m sticking to it.

I won’t bore you with a boring weather forecast either, especially when you can get a better picture by looking at the Forecast Graph.   But suffice it to say, we should start to cultivate a good crop of corn on the south facing slopes.  The tedium might be interrupted by a few clouds and a chance of light snow on Thursday but otherwise each day should be remarkably similar to the next for the next 10 days or so.

You can easily monitor the weather yourself by using the following links:
Alta Forecast Graph from the National Weather Service (I love this product).
48-hour weather charts of past temperature and wind (a product produced by our own Brett Kobernik.)
Cottonwood Canyons Forecast from the National Weather Service.

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.

We’ll do intermittent updates as conditions warrant through April.