Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Salt Lake Area Mountains Issued by Bruce Tremper for Saturday - April 26, 2014 - 8:32pm
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We have not issued any danger ratings because of little information and very changeable conditions. Watch for instabilities within the new snow by jumping on small, test slopes, digging down with your hands and using a good slope cut before committing to steep slopes.

special announcement

We have gone to intermittent avalanche advisory updates for the rest of April. With the expected weekend storm, we will likely update sometime during the weekend, probably Saturday night or Sunday morning. We are not publishing danger ratings because we don't have very good information this time of year. Plus spring avalanche conditions depend directly on the weather, which is inherently very unpredictable in spring.

We are still publishing observations so keep them coming if you are getting out in the backcountry!

current conditions

Alta reports 10 inches of storm total with 1.22 inches of water equivalent. The storm snow amount is very elevation dependent so the few other observations that came in have less snow. Most people report that the new snow got soggy fast, both from some some greenhouse warming during the day and from the very warm and most pre-existing snow surface. Remember, you can always check current conditions for yourself at the National Weather Service Snow Page.

recent activity

The reports from Little Cottonwood Canyon report just a few wind slabs, some loose snow sluffs and even a few rollerballs from new snow getting damp. But nothing too significant. Greg Gagne posted an excellent observation from Day's Fork where he found similar conditions.

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

Note: the danger rose is all grey because we are not publishing danger ratings this time of year.

The storm snow behaved today in the usual manner for most spring storms with some shallow wind slabs in steep, wind exposed terrain, some loose snow sluffs, some wet activity on the old, damp snow surface and even a few rollerballs as the snow heated us. It's hard for me to forecast avalanche conditions this time of year with a straight face because avalanche danger depends directly on weather and spring weather is extremely changeable and sometimes varies dramatically from place to place. So the forecast always ends up being IF-THEN statements and the only way to forecast avalanche conditions is to continually test the snow yourself as you travel. In other words, test the snow as you travel by jumping on small test slopes and using slope cuts before you commit to a slope.

But if I had to guess, I would expect that the snow will settle out quite well by Sunday and be fairly well behaved. But they are expecting another few inches of snow tonight so you, once again you will have to practice your usual stability tests as you travel. With continued snow on Sunday night into Monday, we will likely continue with more of the same.


The forecast is for 3-7 inches of additional snow overnight with temperatures around 20 degrees. On Sunday, the daytime highs should get up near freezing at 8,000' with scattered clouds and perhaps a couple additional inches of snow from lingering showers. Wind should remain moderate from the west 20-30 along the high ridges and half that along most ridges. And we're not done with snow because there looks like another disturbance on Sunday night into Monday morning that should give us another 6-or-so inches of snow. Tuesday through the rest of the week, we have a warming trend.

Be sure to monitor the latest weather conditions before heading out. Here are a few of my favorite sources:

Cottonwood Canyons Forecast from the National Weather Service
The Alta meteogram from the National Weather Service
And my personal favorite, if you want to get more hard core, the NAM-12 Theda-e time-height from the University of Utah Department of Meteorology.

general announcements

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.

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)

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.​  

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.

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

Ski Utah mobile snow updates

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.

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.