Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Salt Lake Area Mountains Issued by Evelyn Lees for Saturday - December 6, 2014 - 6:09am
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The avalanche danger is mostly LOW, with a MODERATE danger on upper elevation slopes above about 9,500’ facing northwest through north through northeast. It may be possible to still trigger a slide on the upper elevation, shady slopes breaking near the ground.

special announcement

You're going to love it! Yesterday we released the Knowledge is Powder video for snowmobilers. The Utah Avalanche Center, with major funding from the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association, has released a very exciting 9-minute, avalanche safety video for snowmobilers. You can view it on Vimeo. Here is the link: https://vimeo.com/113677686 See our complete Press Release on the Blog. Please share this with your friends on social media. Many thanks to the hard work by producer and editor Trent Meisenheimer along with Craig Gordon and everyone who helped shoot, provide footage, act and all the extras.

Also, looking for a Christmas beacon for yourself or someone you love? Steve Achelis has updated his popular beacon review website. See more of Steve's projects on our Blog

current conditions

Under cloudy skies, temperatures remained warm overnight, in the upper 20s to mid-30s in the Salt Lake and Park City mountains. The southwesterly winds are light, averaging less than 15 mph at most stations. Even across the highest ridgelines, speeds are only averaging to 20 mph, with occasional gusts to 40.

Though shallow, the snow is generally supportable, making for reasonable travel conditions, whether you are snowmobiling, touring or snowshoeing. Packed trails and roads are the best access to higher terrain, where there is a bonus inch or two of dense soft snow sitting on the shady northerly facing slopes. All other aspects and the low elevations will be frozen crusts in the mornings (with slide for life potential on icy slopes), and may be slower to soften today due to the clouds. Here are some observations from yesterday:

Salt Lake 12/5/2014 Observation: Birthday Chutes P Diegel Details
Salt Lake 12/5/2014 Observation: Superior Weston Shirey Details
Salt Lake 12/5/2014 Observation: Cardiac Ridge mark white, b kobernik Details

recent activity

No new avalanches were reported from the backcountry.

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

The focus is still on facets near the ground, and there is a lot of variability in our shallow early season snowpack. Snow pits are showing basal facets ranging from moist and strengthening to dry, sugary and loose, and not always with a logical pattern. A snow pit or quick hand pit on one slope may not be representative of the snowpack on another slope.

Evaluate the snow and your terrain choices on upper elevation, northerly facing slopes carefully, as this is where you may still be able to trigger a slide breaking near the ground. Think about the consequences of your terrain, and avoid travel above cliffs, trees and terrain traps and slopes that are unsupported below.


It will be mostly cloudy today, with a slight chance for snow flurries as a weak splitting storm system moves across Utah. 10,000’ temperatures will be in the upper 20s, 8000’ temperatures will warm to near 40. The southwesterly winds will be light, generally averaging less than 15 mph, with the high peaks occasionally gusting to near 30 mph. Looking to the future, there is unfortunately not much to talk about in the weather department. High pressure and above average temperatures will dominate our weather until around Friday, when there is hope for a little snow.

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, 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)

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

Sundance Dispatch (801-223-4150)

EMAIL ADVISORY  If you would like to get the daily advisory by email 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.

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 will soon be 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.  You can see the uphill travel policy for each resort here. IMPORTANT: Before skinning or hiking 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.