Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Salt Lake Area Mountains Issued by Evelyn Lees for Friday - January 1, 2016 - 6:32am
bottom line

The Avalanche Danger is MODERATE on mid and upper elevation slopes facing west through north through east that are steeper than about 35 degrees, where in isolated places a person could still trigger a large avalanche breaking to the ground. Lower angle slopes and those that have slid offer safer choices. There is also a MODERATE danger for triggering small new wind slab, especially along the higher ridgelines.




special announcement

Tuesday, Jan 5th - Whole Foods Market in Cottonwood Heights has invited us back to participate in 5% Day, where for one day they donate 5% of the net sales to the Utah Avalanche Center. We will also be in the store from noon until 6:00 pm answering questions and spreading the winter stoke! More information here.

Wednesday, Jan 6th – Join us at 7 pm for a showing of the award winning film Meru at Brewvies to benefit the Utah Avalanche Center. For details and advance purchase discount tickets, go here.

current conditions

Under clear skies, temperatures are still in the single digits this morning, but mostly above zero instead of below. The only remaining negative numbers are where the cold air has pooled in the canyon bottoms. Winds are a slight spoiler though – from a southeasterly direction, they’re averaging 20 to 25 mph across the peaks and high ridge lines, and gusting to 45 mph in a few locations.

Snow quality remains excellent on most aspects, with powder over a supportable base.

recent activity

No new avalanches were reported from the backcountry yesterday, but with the great visibility, more reports came in of the impressively widespread avalanche activity from around December 23rd.

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

The facets on the ground are strengthening in some areas, but they remain weak, loose and sugary in others. Capped with a strong slab, triggering one of these slides is getting harder and harder, but if you do trigger one, it will still break near the ground. Slopes steeper than about 35 degrees facing west through north through east that did not slide last week continue to be suspect - especially in shallower snowpack areas and rocky terrain. Low angle terrain and slopes that have avalanched are safer.

Some slopes that have slid are obvious, others not so much. Look at the slopes that slid in the photos below. Left is Wolverine Cirque, Kirkkert photo; Right is Mark White photo, observation HERE


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 southeasterly winds are blowing and drifting the light density snow - loading it both on and off the ridge lines. Avoid these soft cracky drifts, which are most widespread on northerly and westerly facing slopes.

In addition, you may be able to trigger a few loose snow sluffs in the weakening surface snow.

weather

Under clear skies and lots of sunshine, a slow warming trend will allow 10,000’ temperatures to reach into the mid teens today. The southeasterly winds will continue to blow along the ridge lines in the 15 to 25 mph range, slowly decreasing through out the day. A switch to a southwesterly flow Saturday and Sunday will bring increasing clouds and winds, with temperatures warming into the mid 20s to low 30s.

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.

To get help in an emergency (to launch a rescue) in the Wasatch, call 911.  Be prepared to give your GPS coordinates or the run name. Dispatchers have a copy of the Wasatch Backcountry Ski map.

Backcountry Emergencies. It outlines your step-by-step method in the event of a winter backcountry incident.

If you trigger an avalanche in the backcountry, but no one is hurt and you do not need assistance, please notify the nearest ski area dispatch to avoid a needless response by rescue teams. Thanks.

Salt Lake and Park City – Alta Central (801-742-2033), Canyons Resort/PCMR Dispatch (435)615-1911

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.

Powderbird Helicopter Skiing - Blog/itinerary for the day

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.  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.