Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Salt Lake Area Mountains Issued by Greg Gagne for Friday - April 6, 2018 - 4:43am
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Avalanche conditions are generally safe and the danger is LOW.

special announcement

Lift tickets for Snowbasin and Powder Mountain remaining. The tickets are discounted almost 50%. Details and order information here. All proceeds from these go towards paying for avalanche forecasting and education!

current conditions

Under cloudy skies mountain temperatures range from the upper 20's to mid 30's F and winds are out of the west/southwest. At mid elevations winds are less than 10 mph with gusts in the teens, gusting into the 20's mph at upper elevations. A trace to 2" of damp snow fell since yesterday, and the top few inches of the snow surface is spongy with a frozen crust underneath, providing soft and supportable travel.

Our Week in Review can be found by clicking here, including coverage of a recent avalanche cycle in the Provo mountains.

recent activity

No avalanche activity was reported Thursday.

Heads up if you're considering skiing Timpanogos or other peaks further south this spring. The Provo area mountains have a very different and more dangerous snowpack. It's worth reviewing an avalanche cycle that occurred last week in that area. With more precipitation coming this weekend, especially most of that falling as rain, we'll be watching the snowpack in that area to see how it responds and if more avalanches occur.

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

The avalanche hazard is Low and avalanches are unlikely. You may still find a frozen snow surface on northerly aspects at the very uppermost elevations where a slide on the slick surface is possible.

Below is a video from Thursday's field day Mark Staples and I had in White Pine Canyon where we found weak, faceted snow sitting between the March 22 rain crust and a recent temperature crust near the surface of our snowpack. The accompanying photo illustrates Mark pointing to this weak layer. Although we currently enjoy a period of general stability, identifying and mapping weaknesses in the snowpack is a crucial component to long-term safe travel and riding in avalanche terrain.

For those interested in hearing more about how pros identify and track weak layers in the snowpack, be sure to listen to the latest UAC podcast where Drew interviews pro observer Mark White.


A weak disturbance will bring light snow showers to our region today, with 1-2" of damp snow possible. Mountain temperatures will range from the upper 30's and into the low 40's F. Skies will be cloudy and winds will be generally light to moderate, gusting in the teens at mid elevations, and 20's mph at upper elevations.

More interesting weather for Saturday as we are under at atmospheric river event (the dashed line in the image below). Up to 1.5" of water is possible with this system, with the period of heaviest precipitation falling later Saturday afternoon and evening. Unfortunately most of that will fall as rain, with a rain/snow line approaching 10,000'. By the time colder air arrives later Saturday night, the atmosphere begins to dry out. This will limit snowfall numbers. By Sunday morning we may measure 1-2" of snow at 9000', with slightly higher amounts above that elevation.

We can wring some hopeful news out of the longterm forecast with a possible cold system coming out of the northwest later next week.

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.