Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Salt Lake Area Mountains Issued by Drew Hardesty for Tuesday - November 22, 2016 - 8:05pm
bottom line

Most terrain continues with a LOW avalanche danger. The danger continues to be most pronounced in the high northerly terrain with new snow and additional wind drifting. Remember the definition of this Low allows for unstable snow in isolated places - north facing slopes at the highest elevations where pockets of old, weak snow may not have bonded well to this new snow.

I will issue the next advisory Thursday morning,

special announcement

Little Cottonwood Canyon Backcountry Closure: UDOT will be sighting-in and testing their highway weapons in Little Cottonwood Canyon on Wednesday Novemeber 23, 2016. The ENTIRE LCC backcountry will be closed from 8pm on Tuesday night to 8am Wednesday. Highway 210 will close at B gate from 6am on Wednesday to 8am. ALSO, please remember that the LCC backcountry closures extend 1000 meters off the ridgeline into Big Cottonwood Canyon. Highway and backcountry opening times are estimated.

Some ski resorts have closed their mountain to uphill traffic, including SNOWBIRD. If you're heading to a ski area please check in with the individual ski resort and find out their uphill traffic policies. If you walk up one ski area with another adjacent to it, please respect and check in with the sister resort before riding down into their resort. More info and links to the resorts here.

Between now and Jan 15th: Donate to the Utah Avalanche Center by shopping at Whole Foods Market Utah! when you visit Whole Foods Market Trolley Square, Sugarhouse & Cottonwood Heights locations and bring in your re-usable bags, Whole Foods will donate a dime per bag to Utah Avalanche Center when the cashier asks if you want to “keep or donate” your bag credit and you say “DONATE".

current conditions

This is just a quick evening update to remind folks of a couple things:

  1. LCC backcountry closures through 8am Wednesday morning.
  2. The first human triggered avalanche of the season occurred today - Tuesday - in the main Baldy Chute above Alta ski resort. No one was caught or carried. Alta has not yet opened for the skiing public. Photo below.
  3. We'll likely start daily advisories Thanksgiving morning.

recent activity

See above.

Cracking and one minor collapse noted by snow safety professionals in upper Little Cottonwood Canyon in upper elevation northerly terrain.

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

Monday's storm of about 10" sits above last Thursday's 5" snowfall. In most terrain, this intro to winter fell on bare, dry ground. The high northerly terrain above, say, 9500', still holds 2-5" of weak sugary snow that may be prime for avalanching when we receive enough snow and wind. Today's slide in upper LCC at 11,000' may be an indicator of this. Evelyn found sensitivity 3-4" down in the recent storm snow - this may prove sensitive again on Wednesday as well.

The photo below shows dense new snow on top of old weak snow. This layering can produce avalanches in isolated locations at the highest north facing slopes.

Check out the video below showing the distribution of old snow from aerial footage collected at the end of last week.

Aerial Mapping of the Wasatch from Trent Meisenheimer on Vimeo.


The next disturbance should move through Wednesday afternoon into early Thursday to bring another refresher to the mountains.

general announcements

Remember your information can save lives. If you see anything we should know about, please help us out 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 request 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.

EMAIL ADVISORY If you would like to get the daily advisory by email you will need to subscribe here.‚Äč

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 critical to know the resort policy on uphill travel. You can see the uphill travel policy for each resort here.

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.