Salt Lake Avalanche Advisory

Forecaster: Brett Kobernik


Bill Levitt, the Mayor of Alta for 34 years, died Tuesday evening. Bill Levitt was a longtime, loyal supporter of the Utah Avalanche Center as well as public safety issues in Little Cottonwood Canyon. He was the person responsible for an ongoing 25k contribution from Salt Lake County as well as regular contributions from the Town of Alta. We want to acknowledge his mighty contributions and give our condolences to the hundreds of people who, like us, loved him.


Danger by aspect and elevation on slopes approaching 35° or steeper.
(click HERE for tomorrow's danger rating)

Danger Rose Tutorial

With human triggered avalanches probable on a variety of aspects coupled with the nature of the faceted weakness, this puts the avalanche danger at CONSIDERABLE. The danger is perhaps less pronounced on south and southwest facing slopes where the weak underlying snow is not as reactive. Winds this afternoon may make the danger increase. If you are unsure of how to identify weak underlying snow or fresh wind drifts, you should avoid any steep slopes today.


The Central Wasatch picked up a decent shot of snow on Wednesday with the Ogden Mountains in the 10 inch range, Park City Ridgeline 8 to 12 inches, upper Big Cottonwood 9 to 14 inches, upper Little Cottonwood 17 to 20 inches, and the Provo mountains with around 10 inches. Densities were fairly light averaging about 5 percent. Snow water equivalent totals with the foot to 20 inches of snow is around an inch to 1.2 inches. Mountain temperatures are in the low teens and down into the single digits. Ridgetop winds have really dropped off from the northwest with a few moderate gusts still along the mid elevations.


Fairly widespread avalanche activity was reported from the Cottonwoods and Mill Creek Canyons on Wednesday. This was in the form of human triggered, human triggered remotes, and natural soft slabs 6 to 12 inches deep. They were failing both within the new snow as well as the recent, now buried near surface facets which act as a weak layer. The largest avalanche reported was 200 feet wide. As of interest, UDOT instrumentation in Little Cottonwood recorded the last natural avalanche last night at about 6pm.


      Over the next 24 hours.

Human triggered new snow soft slab avalanches are the primary concern for today. Most likely the instability within the new snow will be a thing of the past but weakness with the underlying facets will persist. Loose underlying faceted snow persists mostly on west through north through southeast facing slopes varying in thickness and in depth. It is very hard to manage this type of weakness as it does not always provide instant gratification with slope cuts. It may allow you to descend certain slopes making you gain confidence but release on others. If you find new snow sitting on top of any sugary grains, don't trust this structure on steeper slopes.


      Over the next 24 hours.

With lots of light density snow available for transport, any bump in wind speed could quickly enhance slab conditions. Wind directions start from the northwest then switch southwest as the day goes on. This will load primarily easterly facing aspects but as always, watch for crossloaded terrain features on all aspects.


We'll see mostly cloudy skies today with ridgetop highs in the low 20s. Ridgetop winds start out light from the northwest increasing and switching to the southwest as the day goes on. We'll have a chance for a few inches of snow tonight into Friday in warm air advection then another chance for snow on Saturday.


Discount Lift tickets: Ski Utah,, Alta, Deer Valley, Park City, The Canyons, Wolf Mountain, Snowbasin, Beaver Mountain, Brighton, Sundance, and Solitude have donated a limited number of tickets for sale at discounted prices.

For the Wasatch Powderbird Guides schedule go to their blog

Dawn Patrol Forecast Hotline, updated by 05:30: call 888-999-4019, option 8,

Daily observations are frequently posted by 10 pm each evening.

You can get a free iPhone application from Canyon Sports to display the Bottom Line.

To get a daily avalanche advisory e-mail click HERE.

For a text only version click the upper left link under Search

For canyon closures call UDOT at (801) 975-4838

Send us your avalanche and snow observations. You can also call 801-524-5304 or 800-662-4140, or email to

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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.

Evelyn Lees will update this forecast on Friday morning. Thanks for calling.

This information does not apply to developed ski areas or highways where avalanche control is normally done.  This advisory is from the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content. This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur.

This advisory provided by the USDA Forest Service, in partnership with:

The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, Utah Division of State Parks and Recreation, Utah Division of Emergency Management, Salt Lake County, Salt Lake Unified Fire Authority and the friends of the La Sal Avalanche Center. See our Sponsors Page for a complete list.