Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Salt Lake Area Mountains Issued by Evelyn Lees for Saturday - December 3, 2016 - 6:42am
bottom line

Avalanche danger is MODERATE on steep upper elevation slopes facing northwest, north and northeast, where a slide breaking to the ground could be triggered in localized places. There is also on MODERATE danger at the upper elevations on any steep slope where new drifts of wind blown snow have formed.

Have your backcountry party review their avalanche gear, do a training session, and travel one at a time on steep slopes. The consequences of getting caught in any avalanche in our thin, early-season snowpack include taking a ride over rocks and deadfall.




special announcement

The Week in Review Blog. It’s a summary of the weather and avalanche events over the past 6 days, with separate sections for the Logan, Uinta, Wasatch and Manti/Skyline area mountains. An awesome way to get caught up on the important events before you head out and recreate in the snow


Please read, please share with others - UAC/UDOT Comms plan: New Avalanche Explosives Work Backcountry Closure Procedures Going Into Effect.

current conditions

Skies are clear to partly cloudy this morning, and temperatures once again in the single digits at most elevations. Winds have shifted to a more westerly direction, and are averaging 10 mph, with gusts to 15 mph. Speeds across the highest peaks have ramped up a bit more - into the 20s, with gusts in the 30s.

The snow remains excellent with light powder on all but the south and southwesterly facing slopes, which crusted yesterday when the sun peaked out. Storms early in the week opened up a lot of terrain, but it’s still a shallow, early season snowpack – around 3 feet at the upper elevations, but only 12 to 18” at the mid and low elevations and most trailheads.

recent activity

No activity reported from the backcountry yesterday.

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 early season snow lingered on northwest, north and northeast facing slopes, forming a faceted layer of snow on the ground. The most recent backcountry slide failing on the facets was Wednesday, on a slope with a smooth rock slab beneath the snow.

This basal faceted layer remains suspect, and is found on north, northeast and northwesterly facing slopes above about 9,500’, and would be easiest to trigger in terrain that has smooth rock slabs or grass beneath the snow. Great powder exists on most other aspects, elevations and lower angle 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

Yesterday’s forecast winds didn’t materialize, but this morning wind speeds are increasing and already stronger than yesterday. There is lots of loose powder to blow around, so identify and avoid any of the dense, cracky new wind drifts that form. The longer and deeper the cracks, the more sensitive and larger the wind slab is. The drifts will be most widespread along the higher ridge lines, and with the way the wind swirls around in the mountains, drifts will be found on a variety of aspects.

weather

Skies will become partly to mostly cloudy today, with the cloud bases lowering below the peaks this afternoon. The northwesterly winds will ramp up this morning, and the high peaks could see speeds averaging 35 mph, with gusts into the 50s, though speeds should decrease this afternoon. At the low to mid elevations, winds should remain light. Temperatures will warm into the upper 20s at 8,000’ and the teens at 10,000’. An approaching 2-part storm will bring winds and very cold temperatures, but is now looking moisture starved. Still, expect a small shot of snow Sunday night into Monday and again Tuesday morning.

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.

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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.