Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Salt Lake Area Mountains Issued by Brett Kobernik for Sunday - January 5, 2014 - 6:04am
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There is an overall MODERATE avalanche danger today. Human triggered avalanches are possible. Watch for areas with recent deposits of wind drifted snow mainly on the more easterly facing slopes. Keep in mind that you may find crossloaded terrain features on many aspects. The danger is more pronounced along the upper elevation ridges.

special announcement

Canyons Ski Patrol will host a FREE AVALANCHE TALK on Wednesday, January 8th at 7pm in the Treasure Mountain Junior High. It will feature Brett Kobernik talking about persistent weak layers and how to manage them. This will be a combination of technical information and practical application.

current conditions

A trace to a few inches of snow fell during the day on Saturday bringing totals in the 3 to 5 inch range. Winds drifted the snow so you will find areas where it is deeper. Overnight temperatures dropped into the single digits and below zero above 10,000 feet. Winds increased again into the moderate and strong category, generally from the west.

recent activity

No significant avalanche activity was reported from Saturday. Observations included scattered "pockety" fresh drifts that weren't all that sensitive. By "pockety" I mean smaller drifts scattered here and there in the starting zones not really connecting large areas.

I'd like to thank Greg Gagne, Mark White and Todd Leeds who all submitted observations from different areas around the Cottonwoods yesterday and came up with similar opinions about the new snow and wind. These guys are experienced, regular contributors and make up a good portion of the backbone of our observers crew.

Avalanche Problem 1
type aspect/elevation characteristics
over the next 24 hours

The new snow itself didn't bump the avalanche danger yesterday but the wind transporting the small amount of snow is what you need to concentrate on today. For the most part, the fresh drifts will be scattered and not all that big. They will also be stubborn. This said, don't disregard them. They are still relatively fresh and this is when they usually catch people off guard. Keep in mind that there is an abundance of weak buried snow that these fresh drifts may be sitting on just waiting for a little nudge from someone.


Skies should clear up this morning and we'll have temperatures in the teens today along with continued stiff west northwest winds. A ridge moves in for the early part of the week bringing warmer temperatures and slower wind speeds. There are a couple of periods that may produce some snow starting mid week, none of them look all that great right now but perhaps we'll get enough to call it a refresher again.

general announcements

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.

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)

Snowbasin Resort Dispatch (801-620-1017), Powder Mountain Dispatch (801-745-3772 x 123).

Sundance Dispatch (801-231-4150)

EMAIL ADVISORY Get the Salt Lake avalanche advisory emailed to you every morning.  CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

DAWN PATROL Hotline updated daily by 5-530am - 888-999-4019 option 8.

Twitter Updates for your mobile phone - DETAILS

UDOT canyon closures:  LINK TO UDOT

Utah Avalanche Center mobile app - Get your advisory on your iPhone along with great navigation and rescue tools.uned.

Wasatch Powderbird Guides Blog/Itinerary for the Day.  They'll be up and running later this winter -

Lost or Found something in the backcountry? - http://nolofo.com/

Discount lift tickets are now available at Backcountry.com - Thanks to Ski Utah and the Utah Resorts.  All proceeds go towards paying for Utah Avalanche Center avalanche and mountain weather advisories.

To those skinning uphill at resorts:  it is your responsibility to know the resort policy on uphill travel.  Some allow uphill travel and have guidelines, some don't. Contact the Ski Patrol at each resort for details. IMPORTANT: Before skinning at a resort under new snow conditions, check in with Ski Patrol.  Resorts can restrict or cut off access if incompatible with control and grooming operations.

Benefit the Utah Avalanche Center when you shop from Backcountry.com or REI:  Click this link for Backcountry.com or this link to REI, shop, and they will donate a percent of your purchase price to the UAC.  Both offer free shipping (with some conditions) so this costs you nothing!

Benefit the Utah Avalanche Center when you buy or sell on ebay - set the Utah Avalanche Center as a favorite non-profit in your ebay account here and click on ebay gives when you buy or sell.  You can choose to have your seller fees donated to the UAC, which doesn't cost you a penny.

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 or Instagram.

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