Salt Lake Avalanche Advisory

Forecaster: Bruce Tremper

AVALANCHE WARNING »

Dangerous avalanche conditions are occuring or are imminent. Backcountry travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended.
Notice:

An Avalanche Warning continues for all the mountains of Utah. An EXTREME (Level 5) danger continues in the Provo area mountains with A HIGH (LEVEL 4) elsewhere. Backcountry travelers should avoid avalanche terrain including avalanche runout areas.


SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

Little Cottonwood Canyon is closed this morning for avalanche control. Be sure to monitor their phone and text messages for updates.

UDOT canyon closures UDOT at (801) 975-4838 or the text on the upper left of our home page.


BOTTOM LINE

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


Danger Rose Tutorial

There is an EXTREME (LEVEL 5) avalanche danger in the Provo area mountains with a HIGH (LEVEL 4) danger elsewhere. Backcountry travelers should stay off of and out from underneath slopes of 30 degrees or steeper. For skiers and boarders, this would be a good day to recreate at the ski resorts.


CURRENT CONDITIONS

Wow, what a storm. This fire-hose of a storm has slammed California and has brought incredible amounts of water to all the Utah mountains. The Provo area mountains have around 9 inches of water in the past 3 days. The Ogden area mountains have up to 6 inches, and the Cottonwood Canyons have a measly 5 inches. But they are rapidly catching up with the cold front overnight. Last night, Alta had astoundingly high precipitation intensity of a half inch of water in an hour and close to that rate continued for three hours last night as the cold front passed. Yesterday afternoon the rain-snow line rose to over 8,000 feet but the cold front lowered it down to the valley floor overnight. If that’s not enough, freezing levels should rise again on Tuesday.


RECENT ACTIVITY

Yesterday evening I got a sketchy, second-hand email from someone who was buried and broke their leg somewhere in Cardiff Fork. They were able to ski out on their own with the help of their companions. I’m still waiting to hear more details.

Otherwise, significant natural and explosive-triggered avalanches occurred throughout the mountains of Utah with the apparent epicenter in the Provo area mountains where nearly every path seems to have run very large (see our Current Conditions section). The extremely high precipitation intensity overnight created what one ski area reported this morning as “Naturals running during the night up to 2 feet, widespread, all exposures and elevations.”


THREAT #1

WHERE PROBABILITY SIZE TREND
      Over the next 24 hours.

It’s not rocket science. When you pile 2-3 feet of extremely heavy, dense snow on top of the pre-existing, light, fluffy, cold snow, you are going to get avalanches, especially when you pile it on extremely quickly like we did overnight. Enough said.


THREAT #2

WHERE PROBABILITY SIZE TREND
      Over the next 12 hours.

Pouring rain saturated the lower-elevation snow yesterday as the rain-snow line rose to over 8,000’. Although the cold front has lowered the snow line to the valley floor, the soggy snow insulated by a fresh blanket of snow may take a few hours to get the message. Continue to avoid steep slopes with wet snow, which you will find mostly between 6,000 and 8,000’.


MOUNTAIN WEATHER

5-9 inches of snow should fall today with snow densities at a more Utah-like 10 percent. But the fire hose is still aimed at us and it will continue to shake around a bit, which will continue to alternate warm and cold air, combined with lots of water. Yep, that means it will warm up again probably late tonight into Tuesday with freezing levels again rising to an annoying level. Ridge top temperatures may be back up near freezing on Tuesday. This pattern should continue through Thursday morning.


GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

If you trigger an avalanche in the backcountry - especially if you are adjacent to a ski area – please call the following teams 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.

Salt Lake – Alta Central (801-742-2033)

Ogden – Snowbasin Patrol Dispatch (801-620-1017)

Provo – Sundance Patrol Dispatch (801-223-4150)

Discount Lift tickets: Ski Utah, Backcountry.com, 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.

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.

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

UDOT canyon closures UDOT at (801) 975-4838

You have the opportunity to participate in the creation of our own community avalanche advisory by submitting avalanche and snow observations. You can also call us at 801-524-5304 or 800-662-4140, or email to uac@utahavalanchecenter.org

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.