Salt Lake Avalanche Advisory

Forecaster: Brett Kobernik


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

Danger Rose Tutorial

There are pockets with a CONSIDERABLE danger which include both fresh wind drifts on the upper elevation northerly aspects as well as slab avalanches breaking into a persistent weakness on the mid elevation northerly aspects. With careful evaluation, more advanced users will find lots of terrain with a MODERATE danger. Be honest with yourself about your avalanche skill level to help you choose the right terrain for today. The danger level varies greatly from place to place.


Stronger then expected wind speeds on Saturday tops the headlines. A southeast wind event kicked up yesterday morning and did a number on the recent perfect powder transporting it into sensitive drifts. Winds slowed for a period but overall have been sustained or even increased a bit, still from the southeast. Ridgetop temperatures are in the mid 20s and we had a period of snow recently this morning adding a trace to an inch.


Most of the avalanche activity on Saturday revolved around the surprise wind event. A handful of people, including myself, thanks to the acute response of my very observant partner Miss Wendy Wagner, witnessed natural avalanches release shortly after the wind event started. The most significant was on Figure 8 hill that released as a fresh wind load slab then stepped down to take out most of the recent storm snow. Many people triggered fresh wind drifts that were mostly manageable but a couple of them could have caused problems. The most notable was a slide in West Monitor that was reported as 2 to 3 feet deep and about 100 feet wide. To round things out was a remotely skier triggered avalanche 2 feet deep and 100 feet wide in West Porter Fork that failed on surface hoar.


      Over the next 24 hours.

The avalanche activity from Saturday clearly demonstrates our concerns for today as well. With continued winds and loose snow available for transport, the chance for triggering a fresh wind slab will be the main focus today. These probably won't be as sensitive today as yesterday but could be deeper. This is most pronounced in the upper elevations on the northerly facing slopes. Watch for crossloaded terrain features and approach any drift or pillow with caution. Consider that west facing slopes that usually get stripped by the wind may be loaded. Ski cuts may be effective and should be used with caution.


      Over the next 24 hours.

Saturday's remotely triggered slide in Porter Fork which broke on surface hoar shows this weakness to still be active. Recent snow and additional wind transported snow have enhanced this problem again. Most likely locations for this problem are northerly slopes in the 8000 to 10000 foot level. Lower portions of the lower drainages in Big Cottonwood Canyon as well as many locations through Mill Creek, Lambs Canyon and around the Park City Ridgeline are still capable of producing dangerous avalanches. These are not manageable and ski cuts should not be used to try and mitigate them. Avoidance is the best technique.


We'll see periods of snow today adding up a few inches or possibly a bit more. Ridgetop winds will continue from the southeast in the annoying range before switching more south and southwest. It looks like they'll continue to be annoying and gusty for a good portion of today. Ridgetop temperatures will be in the mid to upper 20s. Periods of snow may continue tonight into Monday adding another 1 to 3 inches or a bit more if we're lucky. Snow showers taper off Monday morning.


SLC: Please contact Alta Central (801-742-2033) if you trigger a large avalanche in the backcountry, especially if you are adjacent to a ski area, to alert them to the slide and whether anyone is missing or not. Rescue teams can be exposed to significant hazard when responding to avalanches, and do not want to do so when unneeded. Thanks.

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.

Wasatch Powderbird Guides flight plan.

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

Daily observations are frequently posted by 10 pm each evening.

Free UAC iPhone app from Canyon Sports.

Subscribe to the daily avalanche advisory e-mail click HERE.

UDOT canyon closures UDOT at (801) 975-4838

We appreciate all your avalanche and snow observations. You can also call us at 801-524-5304 or 800-662-4140, or fill out the observation form on our home page.

Donate to your favorite non-profit – The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center. The UAC depends on contributions from users like you to support our work.

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 will update this forecast tomorrow 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.