Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Salt Lake Area Mountains Issued by Brett Kobernik for Monday - October 28, 2013 - 10:16am
current conditions

Up & Running:

The Utah Avalanche Center staff is back to work again for the upcoming season. We will update the Salt Lake avalanche advisory on the website as needed until there is enough snow to get into our full operation for all the regions including phone line and podcasting at that time.


We've had snow on the ground in the higher terrain for most of October and it has become faceted and weak. The good news is, it's only on the uppper elevation north facing slopes which doesn't cover all that much acreage in the grand scheme of things. The bad news is, it's more weak snow than we'd like to see on those slopes and it certainly could turn into a weak layer that produces avalanches once we add more snow layers. It covers large enough portions of the starting zones to produce a big enough avalanche to injure or kill a person. (see observations below) Unfortunately, many of these areas are exactly where we want to go since they hold the most snow.

If you are planning on getting out early season, keep in mind that there will be weak snow on the upper elevation northerly terrain lurking under any new snow we get. Collapsing or "Whoomping" underfoot is a tell tale sign. It's easy to dig down and see if there is old sugary snow under the new snow.

This reminds me very much of the start of the winter two years ago where early season 'powder fever' grasped hold of many people producing a day of human triggered avalanches that many won't forget culminating in a fatality late in the day. ADVISORY NOV 13, 2011, ADVISORY NOV 14, 2011. Early season excitement can be hard to control. With a little patience, we'll make it past the current weak snow.


48 hour charts Seasonal Charts

A number of the winter weather stations are up and running and can be viewed by charts in our 48hr weather chart page. We've started our seasonal history chart for this season also which will contain danger ratings and significant weather events which is new for this year.

We have a low pressure system that is moving in this afternoon and should produce a good shot of snow tonight into Tuesday morning. This large system will continue to affect our area into Wednesday although the snowfall will me more spotty after the initial punch. I'm anticipating about a 6 inch snow event out of it or maybe a bit better.

Avalanches & Observations:

We are posting avalanches and observations for the upcoming season so if you're getting out please let us know what you're seeing. SUBMIT OBSERVATIONS

Here are the observations from the start of the season:

Silver Fork 10/27/2013 Observation: Silver Fork Kobernik Details
Cardiff Fork 10/27/2013 Observation: Cardiff Fork Kobernik Details
Little Cottonwood Canyon 10/27/2013 Observation: Little Cottonwood Canyon Kobernik Details
Days Fork 10/27/2013 Observation: Days Fork Kobernik Details
Cardiff Fork 10/25/2013 Observation: Cardiff Fork mark white Details


We are posting blogs also and after installing some more spam control, we are going to try using annonymous comments again in hopes that people will participate in conversation. Here's the first blog of the season:

Salt Lake 10/25/2013 Blog: Avalanche Transciever Apps for Smartphones Brett Kobernik Details

Avalanche Classes:

The UAC as well as many of the other avalanche class providers have classes scheduled already and you can see them under Education from our main menu on our website.

Emailed Avalanche Advisories:

We will be changing our method of emailing avalanche advisories so that we can provide a better product for our email users. This will require you to sign up again but we will make the process as painless as possible and give plenty of notice prior to making the switch. Stay tuned.

We'll update this advisory as conditions warrant.

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 and Park City – Alta Central (801-742-2033), Canyons Resort Dispatch (435-615-3322)

Twitter Updates for your mobile phone - DETAILS

UDOT canyon closures UDOT at (801) 975-4838

Remember your information can save lives. If you see anything we should know about, please participate in the creation of our own community avalanche advisory by submitting snow and avalanche conditions. You can also call us at 801-524-5304 or 800-662-4140, email by clicking HERE, or include #utavy in your tweet.