The Wizard of the Wasatch (WoW)

The Wizard of the Wasatch (WoW)

Bob Athey is the Wizard of the Wasatch. His website is “Snow and avalanche conditions in the Wasatch range including photos, diagrams, snow pit graphs and trip reports in winter. Images of wildflowers, goats and other wildlife, changing season leaves, and trip reports from hikes and runs in the summer and fall.”

Spend some time poking around his site. You’ll be well rewarded for your efforts. Here too is a collection of articles and videos featuring the WoW.

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16. A Forgotten Wilderness: Nature’s Hidden Relationships in West Central Idaho.

A Forgotten Wilderness: Nature’s Hidden Relationships in West Central Idaho

“Idaho author Matthew Deren discovered a hidden niche from the ground up in West Central Idaho as he researched a book about nature’s hidden relationships in the temperate forests between McCall and Riggins.”

“‘I noticed a convergence zone in West Central Idaho that no one had really discovered before,’ Deren says. ‘It’s a point where the south meets the north, the dry meets the wet, and where civilization meets the wild. It’s the largest temperate block of wilderness in North America.’”

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Field Guide to Snow Crystals

Field Guide to Snow Crystals

Field Guide to Snow Crystals is the classic original book on the subject of snow crystals. It is a collectors item with copies on Amazon ranging from $45 to $290 for a new hardcover copy. While it may be outdated in terms of the level of understanding of snow crystals, it is nonetheless one of the early and most well respected guides on the subject.

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Utah Avalanche Center & USDA Forest Service

Alta Snowfall by Month

chart and a table that contains historical snowfall data by month as recorded at the Alta Guard station which is now part of the UDOT avalanche snow safety operation. This historical data was first compiled by Montgomery Atwater who was the first snow ranger in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

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Skiing in Utah: A History

Skiing in Utah: A History

Skiing in Utah: A History is a study of skiing in Utah from early days when it was essentially a form of transportation to the late 1970’s and the advent of ski resorts as embodied by Snowbird. The book covers various topics including ski jumping, avalanche prediction and control. It deals with specific ski areas including Alta, Brighton, Solitude, Park City and Snowbird. “In many ways the ski history of Park City and Snowbird illustrates the sport’s transition from avocation to industry.”

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Avalanche Basics

Avalanche Basics from Avalanche.org

Avalanche.org connects the public to avalanche information and education in the United States. Avalanche.org is a partnership between the American Avalanche Association (A3) and the US Forest Service National Avalanche Center (NAC). The site consolidates data from professional forecast centers to provide real-time avalanche information.

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Mt. Nebo Field Study – March 5, 2019.

Mt. Nebo Field Study – March 5, 2019

This is just a sample of the work that goes into assessing snow stability. Utah Avalanche Center staff do this work daily through out the Winter along the Wasatch Mountains and in other regions of Utah. this observation is remarkable in that it’s a deep snow study pit with a distinct fracture occurring during testing. This will be unfamiliar for those who are not accustomed to skiing in hazardous backcountry environments.

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Know Before You Go – Avalanche Education

Know Before You Go – Avalanche Education

Know Before You Go is a free avalanche awareness program. Not much science, no warnings to stay out of the mountains, no formulas to memorize. In 1 hour, you will see the destructive power of avalanches, understand when and why they happen, and how you can have fun in the mountains and avoid avalanches. The Know Before You Go program is non-profit and depends on grants and donations. KBYG is a program of the Utah Avalanche Center, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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The Real Super Tour, Photo: Kennan Harvey

The Real Super Tour

“A hard climbing philosopher, Josh is also a believer. “There’s nothing more pure and simple,” he states, “than launching into a big climb in the middle of winter. No other people, no mechanical sounds, no artificial colors; just rock and snow and breathing and the immensity of the mountains. A horizontal length of testy and mercurial ridgeline to be navigated before we can have some hot food and some rest. Doesn’t get much better than that.” It occurred to us that when you don’t have any protection, both ends of the rope are sharp, both partners are equal.”

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I AM Dangerous (Danger, dangerous, stupid: Not all the same)

I AM Dangerous (Danger, dangerous, stupid: Not all the same)

Molly Absolon, writing for the Mountainside column of the Jackson Hole News & Guide, writes about being dangerous. She writes of her reaction to an essay that Drew Hardesty wrote titled “I AM Dangerous.” Drew Hardesty is a forecaster for the Utah Avalanche Center in the winter and a Grand Teton National Park climbing ranger in the summer. Drew had recently sent her an essay he’d written about danger. “The essay went on to explore the notion of danger, and, in the end, Drew embraced the idea that we are dangerous if we spend our lives in the mountains engaging in potentially risky behavior.”

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