Ogden Avalanche Advisory

Forecaster: Evelyn Lees


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

Danger Rose Tutorial

Bottom Line for the Ogden area mountains:

There is a localized MODERATE danger for the old hard wind drifts scattered along the ridges and downslope. There is also an isolated MODERATE danger for triggering a deep slab avalanche in north through east facing terrain at the mid and upper elevations.  It may become possible to trigger wet, loose sluffs on steep sunny slopes as the day heats up.  


Under mostly clear skies, temperatures are in the low to mid 20’s in the Ogden area mountains this morning. The northerly winds are light, with most locations in the 5 to 10 mph in terrain, and 10 to 20 mph along the Ogden ridge lines.  Unfortunately, the snow surface conditions don’t quite mirror the stellar weather…there’s wide mix of tricky, breakable wind and sun crusts, plus an easy to blast through rime crust in the Ogden, Park City and Salt Lake mountains.   Stashes of soft snow do exist, especially in the conifers and on sometimes on aspects least expected.


The shattered rime crust sliding down slope and a few heat induced roller balls are the sum total of yesterday’s reported backcountry avalanche activity.  Resort explosive work in unskied terrain in the Ogden mountains had no results, though explosives pried out a few shallow wind and new snow slabs in the Salt Lake and Park City mountains.


      Over the next 24 hours.

Our snowpack has some surface issues and some deep issues. True to form, the SURFACE ISSUES are easier to deal with.  The hard wind slabs or drifts from a week of strong, southwest to northwest winds are mostly stable, but a few could still crack out beneath you on steep slopes, at least sending you for a ride. (Recent wind slab, unknown release date.)  While most widespread along the higher ridges, some drifts are off ridge line, several turns into a slope or on mid slope breakovers.  As the day heats up, sunny slopes will once again become damp and soft, possible to trigger wet, loose sluffs on steep slopes.  And the final surface issue is the rime crust, in places covered with a fresh crop of surface hoar.  Currently, it’s more of an annoyance than an avalanche concern.   Perhaps if it can be ridden and shredded into smithereens, it won’t become an avalanche concern. 


      Over the next 24 hours.

After the December through early January avalanche cycle, it’s hard to forget the facets and crust near the ground.  While both the facets and the slab are strengthening, there is still an isolated chance of triggering a deep slide near the ground.  The trigger point would most likely be in a shallow snowpack area, perhaps rocky, on a steep, shady slope.  Continue to use caution for days to come on the shady mid and upper elevation slopes.  Use safe travel protocol, with only one on a steep slope at a time, have an escape route planned before you dive onto a steep slope, and watch your partners from a safe spot.


Strengthening high pressure will continue to give us more of the same… clear skies, mild temperatures and light winds…for today and many days to come.  The northerly winds will remain less than 15 mph today, with only the highest peaks gusting into the 30’s.  Daytime temperatures will reach the mid to upper 30’s at 8,000’ and the mid 20’s along the ridge lines.  The only interruption in this pattern will be a few clouds around Saturday, with the earliest chance for fresh powder about a week away.


The last of the Brighton Discount tickets have been reduced to $45, with all proceeds going to the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center. 

So check it out


The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center is hosting a Level 2 avalanche class in February which is now open for registration by going to the Black Diamond retail store.  More information is HERE.  

Tickets are now available for the annual Backcountry Awareness Dinner on February 13th, with registration through the Snowbird Renaissance Center.

Beacon training parks are up and running!  There is one at Snowbasin, one on the Park City side at the top of Canyon’s gondola, one in Little Cottonwood near the Snowbird parking structure on the bypass road, and in Big Cottonwood a training  park is at the west end of Solitude's lower parking lot.

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

For a text only version, the link is on the left side bar, near the top.

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.

Your snow and avalanche observations help everyone in the backcountry community.  Please let us know what you're seeing by leaving a message at (801) 524-5304 or 1-800-662-4140, or email us at uac@utahavalanchecenter.org. (Fax 801-524-6301).

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.  This advisory does not apply to ski areas or highways where avalanche control is normally conducted.

Bruce Tremper will update this advisory by 7:30 tomorrow morning.

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.