Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Salt Lake Area Mountains Issued by Evelyn Lees for Wednesday - April 19, 2017 - 7:12am
bottom line

UPDATE: TODAY, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19TH. SEE BELOW.

Remember after each ski resort closes for the season they no longer perform avalanche mitigation with explosives, so treat it just like backcountry terrain.‚Äč




special announcement

We have stopped issuing avalanche advisories for the 2016/2017 season. For the rest of the month we will issue Friday updates for the central Wasatch Mountains and updates any time there is measurable snowfall; however, we have discontinued issuing avalanche danger ratings all together.

Watch the video below about things to watch for this spring.


This does not mean the end of avalanches. Spring storms and warm temperatures may make avalanche danger rise. If you scroll down, we provide some general avalanche advice to follow for typical spring weather patterns and we provide a series of other links you can use for current conditions and mountain weather.

current conditions

A vigorous front arrived yesterday evening, with a very high ran/snow line that eventually dropped to around 7,500'. While the new snow is "right side up", one report is of densities going from 18% down to 13% - not exactly powder snow. Under mostly cloudy skies, light snow is still falling in parts of the Wasatch mountains. Temperatures have cooled into the twenties and low 30s, with a few upper 30s at the Ogden area mountain trailheads. Westerly winds are light, averaging 5 to 15 mph.

Ogden area mountains: about 2-4" of dense snow up high, with only an inch or two at the trailheads when the rain finally changed to snow.

SLC/Park City area mountains: 4 to 6" of new dense snow at the upper elevations in the Cottonwoods, with 3 to 4" along the Park City ridge line. Water content about 1/2" to 1" of water content.

Provo area mountains: more rain than snow, perhaps 1-2" of snow at the mid elevations and over a 1/2' of rain at the trail heads.

For more information:

  • Weather stations and wind sites click HERE.
  • Weather forecast and discussion click HERE.
  • NOAA snow and avalanche page click HERE.
recent activity

No new avalanches have been reported.

Although we will be shutting down regular operations, we will continue to post recent avalanche activity and observations through the end of April, so please do continue to send them to us. You can check the latest observations here. We also follow avalanche-related activity on Instagram - be sure to tag your photos with #utavy .

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

At the low and mid elevations, it will be possible to trigger wet loose sluffs in the rain soaked snow, especially in the few inches of new snow sitting on the old wet snow. At the upper elevations, any "dry" new snow sluffs and slabs will rapidly turn wet when moving or when hit with the sun.

The bottom line for wet avalanches:

Get out early and get home early. Get off of--and out from underneath--any slope approaching 35 degrees or steeper when the snow becomes wet enough to not support your weight. Warning signs may include:

  • Roller balls (pinwheels) in new snow that is getting wet for the first time
  • Natural or human triggered wet sluffs
  • Small sluffs fanning out into larger slides, or running long distances
  • Punchy or collapsing crusts

Any of these signs mean it's time to head home, or at least change to an aspect with cooler snow or head to lower angle slopes. Remember, even "smaller" slides can be dangerous in high-consequence terrain, such as above a terrain trap, trees, rocks, cliffs or a long, large avalanche path.

Cornices and glide cracks continue to be a concern - avoid travel beneath the large, overhanging cornices and yawning glide cracks. Stay well back from the edge of the cornices traveling along the ridge lines.

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

At the upper elevations, avalanches can occur within the new snow today, especially in any wind drifts created during the storm. Overnight, the westerly winds averaged 20 to 25 mph for several hours, so expect to find wind drifts along the mid and upper elevation ridge lines today. Also test the bonding of the new snow to the old snow surfaces.

It's easy to test the new snow as you travel by jumping on small test slopes to see if they avalanche or just dig down with your hand to see how well the new snow is bonding to the old snow. Snow can change dramatically in both space and time so never let your guard down. Especially avoid any steep slope with recent wind deposits, which are almost always dangerous.

weather

Mostly cloudy skies today, with a few rain and snow showers possible, especially this afternoon with daytime heating. Temperatures will warm to near 50 F at 8,000'. The westerly winds will be light, averaging 10 to 15 mph, with gusts to 30 along the highest ridge lines. The next storm is expected to arrive tomorrow (Thursday) early afternoon persisting through the evening hours. Snow levels near 7500 feet falling to 6500 feet during the evening. Several inches of new snowfall is expected for the mid and high elevations.

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.

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 occur