Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Salt Lake Area Mountains Issued by Trent Meisenheimer for Tuesday - April 3, 2018 - 4:13am
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The avalanche danger is LOW with generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for and avoid any new drifts of wind blown snow. There are widespread icy crusts on most aspects and elevations - so be prepared for hard, “slide for life” conditions in steep terrain. Ice axes, crampons and ski crampons may be appropriate for steep objectives.

special announcement

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current conditions

An angry inch it was.... This morning it's clear and cold with mountain temperatures bottoming out in the single digits at all stations across the range. Winds continue to blow from the north/northwest with speeds 10-15 mph gusting into the 20's across the exposed ridges. Upper elevation wind chill is -15°F. Don't forget your puffy coat. A trace to 3" of new snow fell with yesterday's cold front.

recent activity

No new avalanche activity was reported from the backcountry yesterday. However, there was a report from the Silver Fork Headwall in upper Big Cottonwood Canyon submitted overnight. It seems to be a couple days old and the timing is unknown - looks like a cornice fell and triggered a slide 50-80' wide and up to 3' deep. HERE is the observation.

Avalanche Problem 1
type aspect/elevation characteristics
over the next 12 hours

Wind slabs: Wind drifted snow is the headline news and will be your biggest concern for today. Strong winds and new snow have dotted the upper elevations with shallow wind drifts and sensitive wind slabs. These wind slabs will be small and either fail on the slick underlying crusts or possibly fail within a buried layer of preserved graupel on the northerly facing terrain. I would expect these to be sensitive to the weight of a rider this morning. Shallow drifts of wind blown snow can be very consequential if you're in extreme terrain where even a small avalanche can have disastrous consequences. Be on the lookout and avoid sensitive drifts of wind blown snow.

Heads up SLC: Provo and Timpanogos have a very different and a more dangerous snowpack. If you're thinking of heading to Provo make sure to get the forecast found HERE.

I really like this video below from professional skier Greg Hill explaining his strategy on changing conditions. This is especially true in the spring time where conditions change minute by minute.


It will be a spectacular day to be in the mountains today with sunny skies and cold temperatures. Northerly winds will remain brisk with speeds of 10-15 mph at upper elevations. Temperatures remain cold topping out in the upper 20's to low 30's at 9,000'. Tonight we will have increasing clouds under a west/southwest flow as a series of small weak bands ebb and flow over the mountains for the next few days. None of these bands look to be impressive. However, an inch here and there can really improve the riding. This weekends storm continues to look like a good chance of snow Saturday into Sunday. Monday looks to be a sunny powder day and might be a good day to call in sick.

general announcements


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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.