Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Salt Lake Area Mountains Issued by Evelyn Lees for Friday - November 25, 2016 - 6:30am
bottom line

Avalanche danger is MODERATE on steep slopes with fresh drifts of wind blown snow. These wind slabs will be most widespread along upper elevation ridgelines, though look for smaller drifts on mid elevation slopes, in open bowls and along gully walls. There is also a MODERATE danger of triggering a narrow, deeper slide breaking on facets near the ground on upper elevation northerly facing slopes.

The shallow snow pack means hitting rocks and logs is still likely.




special announcement

Alta and Snowbird are closed to uphill traffic as they get their resort ready for daily operations. The summer road into Albion Basin to the Catherine's area and Grizzly Gulch remains open. Generally speaking, 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

Under clear skies, there is a slight temperature inversion in the mountains - canyon bottoms are in the teens, with mid twenties to low 30s at 9,000’. The southwesterly winds are averaging 10 to 15 mph at most stations, while speeds across the highest peaks have increased to 30 mph.

The early season snow pack is still very shallow, though deeper areas have a supportable base with up to a foot light powder on top. The sunny, southerly facing slopes are crusted. Approximate upper elevation snow depths:

  • Upper Cottonwoods – 18 to 24 inches
  • Park City side - about 12 – 18 inches
  • Ogden area mountains - 6 to 16 inches at the mid to upper elevations
  • Provo area mountains – 4 to 8” at the low to mid elevations
recent activity

No backcountry avalanches were reported yesterday, however explosive work at the resorts did trigger a few slides in the new snow, large enough to bury a person. These slides were similar to those that ran during the natural avalanche cycle Wednesday night in upper Big and Little Cottonwood – new snow only, up to a foot deep, but many wide and large enough to bury a person.

Looking up at a smaller (snowed over) natural avalanche that ran Wednesday night. Trace Carrillo photo.

Avalanche Problem 1
type aspect/elevation characteristics
LIKELIHOOD
LIKELY
UNLIKELY
SIZE
LARGE
SMALL
TREND
INCREASING DANGER
SAME
DECREASING DANGER
over the next 48 hours
description

Today, new drifts of wind blown snow are the number one concern. There is plenty of powder snow available for transport, and the increasing southwesterly winds will drift snow both along the high ridge lines and down into mid slope open bowls. Plumes of snow blowing off the ridge lines and new cornices mean the wind is transporting snow. Shooting cracks in the snow indicate a sensitive wind slab, to be avoided on steep slopes.

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

On upper elevation, northerly facing slopes, there is a shallow layer of dry, weak facets at the ground. No avalanche activity has been reported on this layer, but these facets are still suspect, and a slide could break near the ground.

Below: A fist full of facets, from that shallow layer near the ground. Cody Hughes photo.


weather

High pressure will bring sunny skies and warm temperatures to the mountains today. 8,000’ temperatures will reach the low 40s, and 10,000’ temperatures warm into the low 30s. The southwesterly winds will slowly increase today - by afternoon, averages to 20 mph will be common along most ridge lines, with the highest peaks averaging 35 mph, with gusts in the 50s by evening. Saturday, look for increasing clouds and southwesterly winds, with the next storm slated for Saturday night into Sunday morning. Utah stays in the fast moving storm track, with more snow next week.

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.