Salt Lake Avalanche Advisory

Forecaster: Evelyn Lees


The warm, sunny weather is rapidly melting the October snow on the steeper sunny slopes and at the low and mid elevations. High elevation, shadier slopes still have a reasonable continuous snow layer in the Salt Lake area mountains. If you’re out making turns, rocks are a significant hazard.

There have been few problems with this early season snow, and many slopes have dense, settled layering. However, the top few inches of surface snow from last weekend’s mini storm is loose and weakening on high elevation, northerly facing slopes, and there are some buried crusts worth keeping an eye on.

A decent storm is possible starting Sunday night, and could be followed by a progressive pattern, so we may start having increased avalanche activity next week. We have returned to work, and will be issuing intermittent afternoon updates as conditions warrant. We will switch to our normal morning schedule when the snowstorms and avalanche conditions decide it's time.

In the mean time, remember that avalanche accidents often occur in the early season. Ski areas are not yet doing avalanche control and you should consider them to be backcountry terrain where you will need to follow standard backcountry protocol such as going one at time, don't jump in above another person, carry rescue gear and have at least basic avalanche education.

This is a good time to put fresh batteries in your beacon, practice in your back yard and brush up on your avalanche skills with the Know Before You Go video Part 1, and Part 2, websites or books.

The Education Page is filling up with lots of class choices, from evening awareness talks to Level 3’s.

Be sure to check out upcoming events on our home page such as the upcoming Utah Snow and Avalanche Workshop at the Depot this Saturday, November 6th. It is an afternoon of continuing education for advanced amateurs.

Finally, if you are getting out, you have the opportunity to contribute to your own avalanche center by filling out the observation form on our home page, send an email to or leave a message on our answer machine at or 1-800-662-4140.


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.