Salt Lake Avalanche Advisory

Forecaster: Brett Kobernik


There will be a Wasatch Backcountry Rescue training going on this morning in Big Cottonwood Canyon so don't get alarmed if you see a bunch of activity up there.


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 in the Level 3 (CONSIDERABLE) range for stubborn wind drifts along the northerly facing ridgelines with human triggered avalanches likely. Mid elevations may also be in this category if you come across areas where the wind has transported snow. The danger will be on the rise during the day today and will most likely spike and reach it’s height late this afternoon into this evening. Keep in mind that the danger can spike rapidly during periods of intense snowfall.


Southerly or southeast winds have continued in the moderate to strong category and if anything have increased over the last 24 hours. Temperatures are mild with most stations in the mid 20s to around 30. 1 to 3 inches of snow fell overnight in the upper Cottonwoods and along the Park City Ridgeline. New snow amounts are much less in lower elevations.


Sensitive wind slabs make the headlines from Sunday with one very minor “caught and carried” along Pioneer Ridge in upper Big Cottonwood. These slabs ranged from 6 to 12” deep and 40 to 80 feet wide and were pretty soft in nature. Both human triggered and naturals were reported. It was an easy concern to deal with as the wind loaded drifts were pretty sensitive and would crack out with a little prodding making it easy to tell if you were in the more pronounced areas of instability. These were most pronounced along the upper elevation ridges. Once out of the wind, the snow was much more stable.


      Over the next 24 hours.

Wind slabs will be the biggest concern again today but will behave a bit differently is my guess. I suspect they will be more stubborn but pack more of a punch if you trigger one. Without them being as sensitive and giving you instant feedback, it’s easy to get lured into terrain that you think won’t slide because you haven’t seen any activity. As the day goes on and snow starts, it’ll continue to get drifted into fresh drifts. The most likely places are west through north through east facing slopes especially along ridges. You’ll need slopes of 35 degrees or steeper as well.


      Over the next 24 hours.

I’m continuing to mention deep slabs today. It’s unlikely that anyone will be “monkeying” around in areas where this is a concern but remember that this wind event is loading some slopes big time and I won’t be surprised to hear of a natural avalanche that’s broke into older weak layers. Higher north facing wind loaded terrain is the most likely spots for a deep slab release.


      Over the next 24 hours.

Watch the new snow as it falls. It probably won’t pose much threat until late this afternoon but be aware of any periods of intense snowfall where the danger will spike.


We’ll see mostly cloudy skies with snow and gusty southerly winds today. Snow flurries may start this morning but the bulk of it will fall this afternoon and into tonight. Winds continue to be annoying in the moderate to strong range from a southerly direction still with possibly a little east to it. They switch more west and decrease tonight. Temperatures should gradually cool during the day. Unstable air remains in place through Tuesday which is favorable for lingering snowfall. Models are generating ¾ to an inch and a ¼ of water which makes me think we should see an average of 8 to 12 inches total with a bit more possible in the most favored areas.


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,, 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.

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UDOT canyon closures UDOT at (801) 975-4838

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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.

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.