Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Salt Lake Area Mountains Issued by Brett Kobernik for Saturday - February 21, 2015 - 6:46am
bottom line

Most terrain has a LOW avalanche danger today. There is a 'pockety' MODERATE avalanche danger along the upper ridges and terrain features where new snow has drifted in deeper. This will be most pronounced on the north through east facing ridges above 9500 feet but watch for crossloaded terrain features on all aspects in the higher terrain.

special announcement

Join us for Vertfest 2015, a weekend of riding, mountaineering, and avalanche skills clinics and the Wasatch Powder Keg Ski Mountaineering race at Brighton Mar 7 & 8. This is a great way to boost your mountain skills with some inexpensive half-day clinics led by pros. There will be gear give-aways and live music. Details here.

current conditions

The fresh snow is quite welcome even if it's not all that much. The upper Cottonwoods picked up around 3 inches on Friday and another 3 to 5 inches overnight giving us 5 to 8 inches total. Friday's snow was medium density with some graupel mixed in. It looks like the snow overnight was lower density. Ridgetop temperatures are in the mid teens to low 20s. Winds are generally light along the mid elevation ridges from the west. There were some stronger gusts along the highest peaks overnight which have slowed now.

recent activity

There was one minor skier triggered wind slab reported from Silver Fork on Friday. In observations, people made note of some drifting and 'manageable' fresh wind slabs as well as skier initiated sluffing of the new snow.

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

Fresh drifts and wind slabs will be the only real concern out there today. These aren't going to pose much threat unless you are caught off guard in terrain with severe consequences. Watch for cracking as you travel which might give an idea of how sensitive and how widespread the new drifts are. Poke and prod at the new snow to get a feel for any sensitivity. The new snow and drifts are not a big enough concern for people traveling on snowmobiles but skiers, snowboarders and snowshoers should pay attention.


We'll see periods of snow during the day today from time to time with a few more inches of accumulation anticipated and ridgetop temperatures around 20. Westerly winds should be fairly well behaved. The storm will be more focused on Southern Utah Sunday into Monday. In our area we'll see mostly cloudy skies with slim chances of snow flurries and ridgetop temperatures in the upper teens and low 20s.

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.  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.