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

Most slopes are stable this morning, though the avalanche danger will rise to MODERATE for wet loose sluffs with daytime heating.  There also remains an isolated MODERATE danger for triggering a deep slab avalanche, mostly on north through east facing terrain at the mid and upper elevations.


High and dry prevails.  The ridge reaches to the north into Canada, beyond Canada, beyond Yellow Knife, as far as the eye can see.  Winds picked up from the south and southeast around midnight, blowing 30-40 gusting into the 50’s, but I expect them to diminish as the day wears on.  Temps continue to make the headlines, with daytime highs reaching to near 50 degrees in the upper reaches.   Cooler air pooling into the drainages has temps in the teens at the trailheads.  Riding conditions are a crap-shoot of supportable and breakable wind damage, supportable quasi-corn that readily softens with daytime highs, and soft settled powder, often capped by a thin layer of rime crust. 


As recently as Friday and Saturday, snowmobilers in the Uintas and the Manti Plateau triggered avalanches to the ground 4-6’ deep.  The one in the Uintas was a remotely triggered slide, and the one near Fairview canyon was triggered by the fourth rider on the slope that had already been ridden during the previous days.  No one was caught in these, though the rider in the Fairview incident (of the Manti/Skyline) had to gun it out of the way of the slide and those at the bottom had to ride off to escape the flowing debris.  And, Saturday on Timpanogos, a group collapsed an area that had previously avalanched once, if not twice, during our avalanche cycles in December. 


Minor reports of natural and human triggered wet sluffs filtered in from the backcountry.  It’s more of a timing thing than anything.  Shoot for the window where the crusts soften, but before they become too sloppy or unsupportable.  Also, a friendly word on etiquette and protocol in the backcountry:  I was wandering around near Kessler Peak, but another colleague down the road had skiers ski down on top of him in Mill B South.  It’s poor form at best, and attempted homicide at worst.  Be polite.


      Over the next 24 hours.

Grading the strength, structure, and energy of the snowpack in the Wasatch, I’d give the strength and energy a B+, and the structure a D-.  Though not as weak and sensitive as the outlying areas, the structure responsible from the Christmas avalanche cycles are not gone and not forgotten.  While looking at the old facet-crust structure and taking snowpack temperatures, I couldn’t get Bob Dylan’s song Joey (from Desire) out of my head, “He ain’t dead, he’s just asleep.”  Time will tell.


Most of the time, the weakest snow is on the surface.  We have a new facet-surface hoar on crust combination, ready to fail with the next snowfall.  It’s most pronounced on the shady mid to low elevations and we’ll see whether it’s preserved or destroyed prior to the next set of storms.


High and dry.  Temps will again soar to near 50 at 8000’ and into the mid-40’s at 10,000’.  The gustier southerly winds are expected to lose some steam later this morning.  Having just about worn out its welcome, the ridge will finally start to break down tomorrow, with some measureable precipitation late in the week and into the weekend.  A more progressive long wave trough settles in for early next week.


WPG skied yesterday in American Fork and Cascade. Today, one heli will return to American Fork and White Pine. The other ship will head north to Mill Creek, Lambs and the Sessions. Their operations planning page is here.


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



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.

I 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.