Advisory: Salt Lake Area Mountains
Trent Meisenheimer
Tuesday - April 3, 2018 - 4:13am

Bottom Line

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.

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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: Normal Caution

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.

Mountain Weather

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.

Advisory: Uintas Area Mountains
Craig Gordon
Tuesday - April 3, 2018 - 3:00am

Bottom Line

In a sea of generally LOW avalanche danger, a MODERATE danger exists on steep wind drifted slopes at and above treeline and human triggered avalanches are POSSIBLE. In addition, a very isolated chance of triggering a deep, dangerous avalanche still exists. The usual suspects include- steep, rocky terrain facing the north half of the compass, especially slopes with a thin, weak snowpack. Human triggered avalanches are POSSIBLE in terrain with these kind of characteristics.

Special Announcement

This Sunday April 8th will be the last of the regularly scheduled advisories for the western Uinta Mountains.

Current Conditions

Yesterday's fast moving cold front delivered 3"-5" of snow across the north half of the range, with half that amount falling from Noblett's to Daniels. Skies are clear and it's cold with temperatures registering in the single digits. West and northwest winds blow in the 20's along the high ridges. Riding and turning conditions are aspect dependant. South facing slopes offer smooth, suportable, corn-like conditions that, with strong springtime sun, will soften later today. Whilst on the other half of the compass, shallow, soft snow is found on upper elevation wind sheltered, shady slopes.

Above are 24 hour temperatures and snow depth in Chalk Creek along with winds and temperatures from Windy Peak. More remote Uinta weather stations are found here

A great body of recent trip reports, observations, and snow data here.

Recent Activity


This slide triggered Sunday in Timberlakes knocked the legs out from under a large piece of corni, which then released a fresh slab on a heavily wind drifted, east facing slope. Certainly big enough to roll a rider. Thanks Jess for the info!

A full list of recent avalanches is found here.

Avalanche Problem 1: Wind Slab

Winds have a little new snow to work with and fresh drifts, sensitive to our additional weight are today's most obvious and manageable avalanche problem. Predictably breaking at or below our skis, board or sled, today's shallow slabs are easy to detect and easy to avoid. Lose a little elevation and you lose the problem. Or simply steer clear of fat, rounded pieces of snow, especially if they feel or sound hollow like a drum.

Avalanche Problem 2: Deep Slab

We haven't heard of any avalanche activity breaking to deeply buried weak layers for over a week now and that's good news. Of course, last nights cold snap helped weld the snowpack in place. Where the pack is deep, it's happy in its own skin. For the most part, I think these instabilities have gone dormant for the moment. However, I'm not ready to let my guard down where the pack has remained thin and weak all year. Prime suspects include steep, rocky, upper elevation terrain facing the north half of the compass, along with slopes that already avalanched this season.

Mountain Weather

Today, look for clear skies, light winds, and cold temperatures with highs only reaching into the mid 20's. Clouds increase this evening ahead of a series of relatively weak but increasingly moist disturbances that cross the area through the end of the week and into the weekend.

General Announcements

The information in this advisory expires 24 hours after the date and time posted, but will be updated by 7:00 AM Wednesday April 4th, 2018.

If you're getting out and about, please let me know what you're seeing especially if you see or trigger and avalanche. I can be reached at craig@utahavalanchecenter.org or 801-231-2170

It's also a good time to set up one of our very popular avalanche awareness classes. Reach out to me and I'll make it happen.

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.

Advisory: Skyline Area Mountains
Brett Kobernik
Monday - April 2, 2018 - 6:53am

Bottom Line

Most of the terrain along the Skyline has a LOW to MODERATE avalanche danger. There is a remote chance that a person could trigger an avalanche that breaks to the ground on slopes approaching 40 degrees in steepness that face north through east above about 9500' in elevation. If you avoid this terrain you will avoid avalanche danger.

Current Conditions

Mountain Weather

Monday: A 40 percent chance of snow showers after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 36. Windy, with a west wind 14 to 24 mph increasing to 34 to 44 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 60 mph. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
Monday Night: A 20 percent chance of snow showers before midnight. Partly cloudy, with a low around 10. Wind chill values as low as -13. Windy, with a west northwest wind 33 to 40 mph, with gusts as high as 55 mph.
Tuesday: Sunny, with a high near 31. Wind chill values as low as -7. West northwest wind 9 to 18 mph.
Tuesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 21. Southwest wind 9 to 14 mph.
Wednesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 41.

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Advisory: Uintas Area Mountains
Craig Gordon
Monday - April 2, 2018 - 3:01am

Bottom Line

In a sea of generally LOW avalanche danger, there's an isolated, or MODERATE danger of triggering a deep, dangerous dry snow avalanche. The usual suspects include- steep, rocky terrain facing the north half of the compass, especially slopes with a thin, weak snowpack. Human triggered avalanches are POSSIBLE in terrain with these kind of characteristics.

Special Announcement

Next Sunday April 8th will be the last of the regularly scheduled advisories for the western Uinta Mountains.

Current Conditions

A fast moving cold front is racing towards the region. Ahead of this feature, clouds are increasing, southwest winds blow 40-60 mph along the high ridges, and temperatures hover near freezing. Riding and turning conditions are aspect dependant and may be a bit underwhelming today. South facing slopes offer smooth, suportable, corn-like conditions that, with lack of strong springtime sun, may be late to soften today. Whilst on the other half of the compass, a few patches of soft shallow snow are found on upper elevation wind sheltered, shady slopes.

Above are 24 hour temperatures and snow depth in Upper Moffit Basin along with winds and temperatures from Windy Peak. More remote Uinta weather stations are found here

A great body of recent trip reports, observations, and snow data here.

Recent Activity


This slide triggered yesterday in Timberlakes knocked the legs out from under a large piece of corni, which then released a fresh slab on a heavily wind drifted, east facing slope. Certainly big enough to roll a rider. Thanks Jess for the info!

A full list of recent avalanches is found here.

Avalanche Problem 1: Deep Slab

We haven't heard of any avalanche activity breaking to deeply buried weak layers since last Saturday and that's good news. Of course, last weekends cold snap helped weld the snowpack in place and where the pack is deep, it's happy in its own skin. For the most part, I think these instabilities have gone dormant for the moment. However, I'm not ready to let my guard down where the pack has remained thin and weak all year. Prime suspects include steep, rocky, upper elevation terrain facing the north half of the compass, along with slopes that already avalanched this season.

Mountain Weather

Under mostly cloudy skies, southwest winds crank into the 50's and 60's along the high ridges. Temperatures rise into the mid 30's and dip into the 20's overnight after the cold front arrives. Not much in the way of moisture, but maybe we squeak a couple inches out of this "storm" before high pressure builds for midweek. A promising looking storm develops for late in the week.

General Announcements

The information in this advisory expires 24 hours after the date and time posted, but will be updated by 7:00 AM Tuesday April 3rd, 2018.

If you're getting out and about, please let me know what you're seeing especially if you see or trigger and avalanche. I can be reached at craig@utahavalanchecenter.org or 801-231-2170

It's also a good time to set up one of our very popular avalanche awareness classes. Reach out to me and I'll make it happen.

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.

Advisory: Uintas Area Mountains
Craig Gordon
Sunday - April 1, 2018 - 4:38am

Bottom Line

The avalanche danger increases to MODERATE and human triggered avalanches are possible on steep, sun exposed slopes as temperatures rise and strong sun bakes the snow surface.

In addition, there's an isolated, or MODERATE danger of triggering a deep, dangerous dry snow avalanche in steep, rocky terrain with a thin, weak snowpack.

Special Announcement

Next Sunday April 8th will be the last of the regularly scheduled advisories for the western Uinta Mountains.

Current Conditions

Happy Easter!

A weak cold front slid through the region overnight and temperatures are dipping into the high 20's and low 30's this morning. In addition, clearing skies reveal a beautiful moon. Along the high ridges, west and southwest winds blow 35-50 mph. Riding and turning conditions are aspect dependant. Sunny slopes offer smooth, suportable, corn-like conditions that soften with strong springtime sun. Whilst on the other half of the compass, a few patches of soft shallow snow are found on upper elevation wind sheltered, shady slopes.

Above are 24 hour temperatures and snow depth near Trial Lake along with winds and temperatures from Windy Peak. More remote Uinta weather stations are found here

A great body of recent trip reports, observations, and snow data here.

Recent Activity

No significant avalanche activity to report from yesterday.

A full list of recent avalanches is found here.

Avalanche Problem 1: Loose Wet Snow

Strong sunshine will bake all steep, sun exposed slopes at all elevations. Winds may temper some of the heating, but that's merely a superficial cooling and the snowpack is still taking on heat. So... if the snow you're riding on becomes damp, manky, or the bottom starts falling out, simply change aspect and head to a cooler slope which isn't getting baked. As the day wares on and temperatures soar, you'll want to get off of and out from under steep, sun-exposed slopes.

Avalanche Problem 2: Deep Slab

We haven't heard of any avalanche activity breaking to deeply buried weak layers since last Saturday and that's good news. Of course, last weekends cold snap helped weld the snowpack in place and where the pack is deep, it's happy in its own skin. For the most part, I think these instabilities have gone dormant for the moment. However, I'm not ready to let my guard down where the pack has remained thin and weak all year. Prime suspects include steep, rocky, mid and upper elevation terrain facing the north half of the compass, along with slopes that already avalanched this season.

Mountain Weather

Expect mostly sunny skies this morning with high temperatures climbing into the 40's. West and southwest winds blow in the 50's along the high peaks. A quick hitting storm for Monday has some promise to deliver a shallow coat of white paint.

General Announcements

The information in this advisory expires 24 hours after the date and time posted, but will be updated by 7:00 AM Monday April 2nd, 2018.

If you're getting out and about, please let me know what you're seeing especially if you see or trigger and avalanche. I can be reached at craig@utahavalanchecenter.org or 801-231-2170

It's also a good time to set up one of our very popular avalanche awareness classes. Reach out to me and I'll make it happen.

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.

Advisory: Uintas Area Mountains
Craig Gordon
Saturday - March 31, 2018 - 3:37am

Bottom Line

While not widespread and making up a small portion of the slopes available to ride on today, a MODERATE avalanche danger exists in mid and upper elevation terrain, particularly in the wind zone, above treeline and human triggered avalanches are POSSIBLE. Dangerous avalanches can still be triggered in steep, rocky terrain with a thin, weak snowpack, especially on slopes facing the north half of the compass, and particularly those with an easterly component to their aspect.

LOW avalanche danger is found on most south facing terrain and wind sheltered slopes.

Special Announcement

Next Sunday April 8th will be the last of the regularly scheduled advisories for the western Uinta Mountains.

Current Conditions

Skies are clear and an amazing moon awaits as you walk out the door this morning. Temperatures hover in the upper 20's and west-southwest winds are blowing 30-45 mph along the high peaks. Sunny slopes offer smooth, suportable, corn-like conditions that soften with strong springtime sun. Whilst on the other half of the compass, a few patches of soft shallow snow are found on upper elevation wind sheltered, shady slopes.

Above are 24 hour temperatures and snow depth near Trial Lake along with winds and temperatures from Windy Peak. More remote Uinta weather stations are found here

A great body of recent trip reports, observations, and snow data here.

Recent Activity

We were able to trigger a few shallow, yet sensitive, fresh drifts along the leeward side of Double Hill on Thursday.



Ted found this large natural slide triggered late last week during the big wind storm. Breaking rather wide and a couple feet deep, it's old news, but gives you an insight to how this snowpack reacts to a big load of wind and water. More on Ted's travels along with with a full list of recent avalanches is found here.

Avalanche Problem 1: Wind Slab

Over 72 hours of steady west and northwest, and now southwest winds, continued whipping up a fresh batch of drifts, like the one pictured above. Mostly prominent on the leeward side of upper elevation ridges, there might be a cross-loaded pocket around a terrain feature like a chute or gully wall. In any case, today you'll want to look for and avoid fat, rounded pieces of snow, especially if they sound and feel hollow like a drum. Once triggered, today's wind slabs have the potential to break deeper and wider than you might expect.

Avalanche Problem 2: Deep Slab

Deep slabs-

They're tricky, they're dangerous, they're unpredictable, and this notoriously deceptive avalanche dragon came alive late last week on the eastern front. The good news is... last weekends cold snap welded the snowpack in place and most of these instabilities appear to be dormant for the moment. The bad news is... this strong, cohesive slab often allows us to get well out onto the slope before it fails and now the snow is breaking to the ground taking out the entire seasons snowpack.

Steep, rocky, mid and upper elevation terrain facing the north half of the compass are prime suspects as are slopes that already avalanched this season, and terrain that has remained thin all year. So here's the exit strategy... if you're looking for soft snow and safe riding, simply tone down your slope angles and avoid terrain with steep slopes hanging above you.

Mountain Weather

Expect mostly sunny skies this morning with high temperatures climbing into the 40's and southwest winds blowing near 50 mph along the high peaks. Clouds increase late in the day as a very weak disturbance crosses the area this evening. Not much going on in the weather department over the weekend, but a small storm on Monday has some promise to deliver a shallow coat of white paint.

General Announcements

The information in this advisory expires 24 hours after the date and time posted, but will be updated by 7:00 AM Sunday April 1st, 2018.

If you're getting out and about, please let me know what you're seeing especially if you see or trigger and avalanche. I can be reached at craig@utahavalanchecenter.org or 801-231-2170

It's also a good time to set up one of our very popular avalanche awareness classes. Reach out to me and I'll make it happen.

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.

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