Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Salt Lake Area Mountains Issued by Evelyn Lees for Saturday - January 25, 2014 - 6:43am
bottom line
  • The avalanche danger is generally LOW, with Pockets of MODERATE danger on steep, upper elevation slopes, facing north through east. On these slopes, there is a very isolated chance of triggering a slab avalanche.
  • The snow on the steep, sunny slopes will heat today, and if it becomes wet and sloppy where you are, switch to a cooler aspect.
  • The avalanche danger is greater in the Logan and western Uintas area mountains, so check out their specific forecasts.



special announcement
  • Registration ends tonight at 6pm for our Snowbasin FreeRide Avalanche Workshop taking place Jan 26-28. We have a star-studded line up of pro athletes and avalanche experts on tap for this sweet event. Don't miss it - for more details click on the link at the top of the page. Uphill gear not required.
  • Dawn Patrol Hotline - remember we record an early avalanche information hotline usually by 5:15 each morning - 888-999-4019, option 8.

FOCUS GROUP PARTICIPANTS NEEDED! We are trying to learn more about sidecountry riding and need your help. If you are between 17 – 30 years old, sometimes use lifts to get into the backcountry, and have little or no formal avalanche training, we want you to be a part of a focus group in SLC Feb 4. This will help us learn how to make avalanche education more relevant to you and those you ride with. We'll have FREE SKULLCANDY GEAR and pizza for all who join us for 2 hours. Hit us up if you think you fit the bill, at [email protected] PLEASE SHARE THIS with people you think might fit that description.

current conditions

Touring and exploring weather conditions continue, with clear skies and light northwesterly winds. In a few spots, the mid elevation temperatures had trouble creeping below freezing, but combined with the clear skies, there is an excellent overnight refreeze. Upper elevation temperatures are in the low 20s.

Typical variable snow conditions out there - some cold, soft snow remaining on sheltered, shady mid and upper elevation slopes, mixed in with rain and rime crusts and old hard wind slabs. The crusty sunny slopes will soften nicely today, for a “corn like” experience in places where the snowpack is deep enough.

recent activity

No backcountry avalanche activity reported from this forecast area in the past several days. However, top notch sightseeing is available in the Uintas (photos below)– visits to the sites of recent avalanches are always educational.

Avalanche Problem 1
type aspect/elevation characteristics
LIKELIHOOD
LIKELY
UNLIKELY
SIZE
LARGE
SMALL
TREND
INCREASING DANGER
SAME
DECREASING DANGER
over the next 24 hours
description

I am fishing for something of interest here….no new avalanche activity has been reported in the Wasatch mountains for days, yet distrust remains of the snowpack on the steepest shady slopes. With widespread faceted weak layers with in the snowpack and near the ground, it’s the feeling that there are still a few “bad apples” out there – remnants of a slab/weak layer combo, somewhere, on a steep slope. In other words, there are still isolated places where a person could trigger a slab avalanche large enough to carry and bury you, and it only takes one.

Continue to have a cautious approach to aggressive terrain, and think defensively, with an escape route planned and by trying avoided the line with the worst consequences.

Avalanche Problem 2
type aspect/elevation characteristics
LIKELIHOOD
LIKELY
UNLIKELY
SIZE
LARGE
SMALL
TREND
INCREASING DANGER
SAME
DECREASING DANGER
over the next 24 hours
description

The snowpack is generally stable, but even with a low danger, human triggered slides are still possible in isolated areas. Use normal caution, with the following considerations:

  • Avoid both old and any newer hard wind slabs, mostly found in upper elevation terrain.
  • Wet sluffs could be triggered today as the snow heats up on steep sunny slopes.
  • Each person in your party should carry an avalanche beacon, shovel and probe.
  • Travel one at a time in steep terrain, and watch your partners.
weather

I’m going with the conspiracy theory now…looking at this winter’s lackluster performance, it’s the only explanation…

Meanwhile, monotonous high pressure will bring another sunny day with temperatures warming to near 40 at 8000’ and to near freezing at 10,000’. The northwesterly winds will be light, with speeds averaging less than 15 mph at all elevations. A painfully slow change looks to start next week, with slowly cooling temperatures and periods of clouds leading the way.

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 exist.

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 (801-223-4150)

EMAIL ADVISORY We have switched to a new SLC email advisory system. If you would like to get the daily advisory by email, or if you have been getting the advisory by email since the beginning of the season and wish to continue, you will need to subscribe here.​  

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.  

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

Ski Utah mobile snow updates

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.