Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Salt Lake Area Mountains Issued by Brett Kobernik for Tuesday - January 6, 2015 - 6:49am
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The avalanche danger will rise to MODERATE during the mid day and into the afternoon as temperatures increase. Plan your routes accordingly so you don't end up in terrain traps or below steep slopes when the avalanche danger increases. Don't linger under the eves of roofs that are holding a substantial amount of snow.

special announcement

Events this week include a Black Diamond Fireside chat with Drew Hardesty on Wednesday, Jan 7th and The Utah Adventure Journal Speaker Series featuring ice climber Will Gadd on Thursday, Jan 8th. For details go to our Events Page.

The beacon parks are up and running. The Canyons Beacon Park is located mid-mountain, across the iron bridge as you head toward Tombstone; the Solitude Beacon Park in Big Cottonwood Canyon is located at the west end of the lower parking lot; the Snowbird Little Cottonwood Beacon Park is located on the by-pass road below the heliport.

You can now choose which region’s forecast you would like emailed. Sign up HERE ​ to get the daily forecast emailed.

current conditions

Warming on Monday sure did a number on what cold powder was left. Backcountry travelers reported damp surface conditions on all aspects as high as 9500 feet. Rollerballs and pinwheels were also noted in observations. Extensive wind damage up high along with the assault and vandalism of the favorite slopes over the holidays will demand you lower your expectations and get creative. The high elevation winds have subsided and temperatures are in the upper 20s along the higher ridges and around freezing in the mid elevations.

While the warm temperatures are not ideal for keeping riding conditions good, they will be beneficial in combating the near surface faceting process that forms weak layers during periods of high pressure.

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

Wet and heat related avalanche activity is at the top of your concerns today. I find it difficult to accurately predict the extent of how much wet activity we will see but here are some things to think about.

  • Cold snow getting rapidly warmed for the first time often causes wet avalanche activity
  • Generally, triggering wet avalanches is not the problem but being somewhere when natural wet avalanches occur above you is where the danger is.
  • Damp or wet snow surface, rollerballing or pinwheeling, and small wet loose snow slides are often precursors to more dangerous wet avalanche activity.
  • It is easy to mitigate danger by avoiding steep gullied terrain traps as well as staying clear of the bottom of any steep slopes especially as the mid day heat sets in.
  • Keep an eye on roofs where the cold snow heats for the first time and may cause "roof-a-lanches" or natural avalanches off of roofs.

We'll see mostly clear skies as the day goes on with light winds and warm temperatures. Highs along the upper ridges will max out in the low 30s and anticipate 40 or better at 8000 feet. Wednesday looks like it'll be more of the same with slightly warmer temps. It will still be warm Thursday and Friday but we'll see a slow decreasing trend in the temperatures followed by some clouds starting late Friday and through the weekend. We may see some minor snow late in the weekend and early next week.

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, or on Twitter, follow @UDOTavy, @CanyonAlerts or @AltaCentral

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 are now available at Backcountry.com with more resorts to come soon.  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.