Despite getting a decent shot of snow early this week, conditions are generally pre-season and thin. Your greatest concern will be hitting rocks while trying to make turns or, perhaps, falling. If you do find your way to higher elevations, you'll find a somewhat fairly stable snowpack of crusts, facets, and quickly faceting new snow. There's just not enough of a slab or a load yet to cause failures in the buried weak layers. With the forecasted prolonged period of high pressure, expect the entire snowpack to get weaker and lose cohesion, specifically the newer snow.
The winds have been moving snow along the ridgelines so there is a small possibility of triggering an isolated wind slab at the highest elevations. These will sound hollow and feel chalky underfoot and you'll potentially feel or hear a collapse. Stay off of steep, wind-drifted slopes to avoid this issue.
Overall, the snow is mostly stable but for small pockets of lingering wind slabs and fast moving sluffs in the low density snow in steep terrain.
Tonight at 6:30pm MST live on Facebook, Bruce Tremper and Mark Staples will talk about lessons learned from avalanche accidents, fatalities and close calls.
Snowbasin opens today! They have a few runs open and are working hard to add more.
Get important updates from the UAC via text message directly to your phone. Its very simple - dial 40404 and send this message "Follow uacwasatch".
Looking for a great stocking stuffer for Christmas? Discount lift tickets for Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, Solitude, Deer Valley, Snowbasin,and Beaver Mountain are now available, donated by the resorts to benefit the Utah Avalanche Center. Details and order information here. These make a great holiday gift and all proceeds go towards paying for avalanche forecasting and education!
Please abide by the uphill travel policies of the ski resorts. Info here.
Temperatures this morning are around 20F in the mountains and the winds are blowing 10-15 mph out of the NNW with higher gusts on the ridgetops.
The storm from Sunday/Monday delivered 8-14", with up to 6" at the trailheads. While this was a huge improvement, conditions overall still remain very thin.
The best turning conditions right now are on low angle slopes that are grassy or smooth underneath. Surface hoar is allowing the snow to ride fast and loud. If you try to turn on anything steep, you are likely to nail a rock. If you are on a sled, it'd be wise to stick to the roads and not chance banging up your machine.
The pit below is from yesterday on an 8800' NNE facing slope. Read the full observation here.
Three days ago, one experienced backcountry skier found a few fresh wind slabs he intentionally triggered 4-8" deep and 40' wide well below the Ogden skyline. One slab broke at his skis; another one was triggered from a distance.
Today will be another stunning day in the Ogden area mountains with sunny skies, temperatures in the 20's F, and breezy 10-15 mph winds from the north. I've looked everywhere for a forecast that provides some hope of the white stuff but to no avail. Here's the cold, hard truth:
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.
- Salt Lake and Park City – Alta Central (801-742-2033), Canyons Resort/PCMR Dispatch (435-615-1911)
- Ogden - Snowbasin Resort Dispatch (801-620-1017), Powder Mountain Dispatch (801-745-3772 x 123)
- Provo - Sundance Dispatch (801-223-4150)
EMAIL ADVISORY If you would like to get the daily advisory by email you 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.
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.
Support the UAC through your daily shopping. When you shop at Smith's, or online at REI, Backcountry.com, Patagonia, NRS, Amazon, eBay by clicking on these links, they donate a portion of your purchase to the FUAC. If you sell on eBay, you can have your See our Donate Page for more details on how you can support the UAC when you shop.
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.