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

The avalanche danger remains LOW. You will have to go out of your way to find trouble out there. Watch the most exposed ridgelines for minor drifting that may be sensitive to a person.


Ridgetop temperatures are in the mid teens and in the mid 20s at the 8000 foot level. Winds are light from the northwest. The snow surface consists of user friendly settled powder on the northerly aspects to not so friendly melt freeze crusts on southerly slopes. Some surface hoar has been noted from observers.


There’s been no recent avalanche activity reported. Winds drifted snow slightly along the higher elevation ridges where you could find small fresh cornices that would crack on Saturday.


      Over the next 24 hours.

Watch for any fresh drifts along the ridges that may crack under the weight of a person. With rocks really being the biggest threat out there right now, let’s take a look at our overall snowpack structure in the Cottonwoods. As of now our snowpack looks pretty good with no significant widespread persistent weakness within it. (Snow Profile) Of course you can find shallow spots that have faceted weak grains and you can get stubborn shears on different layering but overall things are not bad. Our fear is that this won’t be the case for long and the pack will deteriorate due to faceting of the current snow grains. When the pack is shallow, it is quite susceptible to faceting since snow temperature gradients can be steep and deteriorate the snow quite fast. However, we need to have the right weather conditions for this to happen. So lets take a look at the week ahead. Snow temperature gradients are often steepest right near the surface, ie near surface faceting. One of the best ways to slow or stop faceting of the current near surface is to add another layer of snow. That looks like what will happen over the next couple of days. The best conditions for near surface faceting are cold temperatures and clear skies. Later in the week things should clear up but 700mb temps go to around 0C which is quite warm air, not the ideal situation for faceting. The high north terrain will no doubt facet somewhat despite of the warm temperatures but the duration of this clear period is short with an anticipated trof moving in for the weekend. So while a thin early season snowpack is vulnerable to deteriorating, this week’s anticipated weather pattern could spare us serious damage.


It looks like we’re going to see snow showers and flurries starting later today and extending into Wednesday. Today we’ll have cloudy skies and ridgetop temperatures should get into the low to mid 20s and ridgetop winds will be from the northwest gradually increasing as the day goes on. There should be a period of fairly consistent snowfall tonight. Snowfall is going to trickle but I think we could see 4 to 8 inches in the Cottonwoods or a bit more if we’re lucky by the time things are said and done Wednesday.



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

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.

We will update this advisory by 7:30 tomorrow morning.

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.