Ogden Avalanche Advisory

Forecaster: Drew Hardesty


Danger by aspect and elevation on slopes approaching 35° or steeper.
(click HERE for tomorrow's danger rating)

Danger Rose Tutorial

The avalanche danger is Considerable with areas of High on any slope above 8,500 feet that faces northwest, north, northeast and east steeper than about 30 degrees. This means that dangerous to very dangerous conditions exist and you should avoid backcountry travel in these areas. There is also a Moderate danger of triggering fresh wind slabs deposited by strong winds.  As always, avoid any steep slope with recent wind deposits. Finally, watch for roof avalanches and wet sluffs at lower elevations.


We have mostly clear skies this morning. Temps are in the mid to upper twenties and the winds roll in from the west at 15-25mph. Gusts peak into the 40's and 50's along the high ridgelines. Many of the snow surfaces on the northerlies dampened into the mid-elevations over the past couple of days and are likely crusted over this morning. With careful routefinding, it'll be a good day for sightseeing. The war-zone that is the Wasatch Range is a checkerboard of crown lines and barely-hanging-on pieces of snow.


We suffered another fatality yesterday. Details are still filtering in, but a 15 year old boy died in a large avalanche he triggered while snowmobiling in the Moffat Basin area of the Western Uintas. Initial reports have the slab at 4-6' deep and 200' wide. We should have more details today. Back in the Wasatch, a skier triggered a 2' deep and 70' wide avalanche above a road-cut along the Park City ridgeline at 9000' on a north facing slope and was carried back down onto the road. Glide avalanches appear to have ripped out in Broads Fork after the storm cycle, and control work at the ski areas continues to bring out 4-7' deep monsters.

You may have heard that two avalanches outside of Fernie BC killed 8 snowmobilers and that the headwall above the gondola at the Teton Village ski area in Jackson took out part of the restaurant and ski patrol shack. A good friend of mine was one of the four (or six?) buried then recovered.


No trend identified.

There's this idea going around that we're out of the woods. That things are stabilizing. A few days ago, it was CERTAIN you would trigger an avalanche. Now, you might get away with it. It's Russian Roulette, folks. Nothing more, nothing less. With the checkerboard out there, the lingering slopes are hanging in the balance, waiting for the trigger. The slopes that slid during the cycle have reloaded and many are likely to repeat. Even the savviest have used up all the tricks in the bag and are reduced to skipping along slopes in the mid-20 degree slope angle range or walking ridgelines.

If you look at avalanche sensitivity on a bell-curve, I'd argue that it's most dangerous not at the apex but along the sides of the 'bell' where conditions are (1) starting to detereorate and then (2) “starting to improve”. Because it's not all about the snow. It's about us. Here's what I wrote as we were starting this mess: “These are the conditions that will catch and kill people. No, we are not having a widespread natural cycle. No, we are not seeing more snow and blow. BUT, it is where you and the snowpack intersects on a line of desire and instability that will produce the accident.” And now, word's on the street that we're out of the woods. You might get away with it. But, it's more likely that you won't. Gallery from yesterday.


      Over the next 24 hours.

The southwest ridge top winds created some wind slabs especially along the upper elevation ridges. As always, avoid any steep slope with recent wind deposits. These will look smooth and rounded and often sound hollow like a drum.

It's been difficult b/c we haven't had a break in the weather: snow and blow, rapid warming, strong wind loading. Danger is still high in many areas.


      Over the next 12 hours.

The very warm conditions ripened conditions for some wet sluffing and rollerballs on the steeper low and mid elevation sunny and shady slopes yesterday. Today's sun and warmth will reactivate this – avoid steeper gulleys narrowing into a terrain trap. Also watch for roof avalanches. Watch where your kids are playing and be careful slamming the doors below eves.


We'll have mostly clear skies today with temps in the mid to upper twenties. The westerly winds are slated to blow 15-20mph with higher speeds along the 11k level. Likely we'll see more snow later in the week, though none look to be blockbusters.


Wasatch Powderbird guides are starting operations – click here to go directly to their operations planning page.

If you want to get this avalanche advisory e-mailed to you daily click HERE.

UDOT highway avalanche control work info can be found by calling (801) 975-4838. Our statewide toll free line is 1-888-999-4019 (early morning, option 8).

The UAC depends on contributions from users like you to support our work.  To find out more about how you can support our efforts to continue providing the avalanche forecasting and education that you expect please visit our Friends page.

If you’re getting out and see anything we should know about please let us know.  You can leave a message at (801) 524-5304 or 1-800-662-4140, or email us at uac@utahavalanchecenter.org. (Fax 801-524-6301).

This advisory does not apply to ski areas or highways where avalanche control is normally done. The information in this advisory is from the U.S. Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content.  This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur.

I will update this advisory by 7:30am tomorrow.

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.

This advisory provided by the USDA Forest Service, in partnership with:

The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, Utah Division of State Parks and Recreation, Utah Division of Emergency Management, Salt Lake County, Salt Lake Unified Fire Authority and the friends of the La Sal Avalanche Center. See our Sponsors Page for a complete list.