Ogden Avalanche Advisory

Forecaster: Bruce Tremper


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

Danger Rose Tutorial


There is a mostly MODERATE danger today with areas of CONSIDERABLE, especially at upper elevations on north through east facing slopes.  You will find localized soft slabs and sluffs within the new snow and rare, larger, more dangerous avalanches breaking to older layers of faceted snow.



3-6 inches of light snow fell overnight with light west to northwest winds.  This brings storm totals in the Cottonwood Canyons to near 3 feet with over 3 inches of water weight.  Sundance has an incredible 6.2 inches of water weight out of the storm with 32 inches of snow.  Temperatures continued to cool and are around 15 degrees and as low as 7 degrees on the highest peaks.



Avalanches within the new snow slowed down yesterday but explosive control at resorts and on the highway continued to produce shallow, soft slabs and sluffs.  A couple of these slides broke into the old, November snow, one in upper Little Cottonwood Canyon and one in Ogden.  Backcountry skiers triggered a couple avalanches yesterday in the Salt Lake area mountains, one shallow slab on a slope cut and another in the Brighton-Twin Lakes Pass area, which caught one skier who lost, then recovered their pole.  However, people seemed to stay in more conservative terrain yesterday and visibility was poor, so we don’t have a lot of feedback from the backcountry.  Finally, there was some natural avalanche activity mid canyon in Little Cottonwood overnight while the road was closed.


      Over the next 24 hours.


First, I should warn you that this is a fairly low-confidence forecast.  Both the pre-existing snow and the recent storms were extremely complex, so my puny brain is a little overwhelmed with it all.  But it’s never stopped me before…so here’s my best SWAG.

I was pleasantly pleased with the stability of the new snow yesterday.  I expected it to be worse.  I also suspect that it will be even better behaved today due to passing time, colder temperatures and light winds.  The sensitivity of the new snow is very elevation-dependant with more sensitive snow at higher elevations.  You should continue to be suspicious of steeper terrain especially at upper elevations.  If you dive on in, be sure to practice good slope cut techniques.   I suspect that these colder temperatures will lock up the wet, soggy snow at lower elevations.


      Over the next 24 hours.


It’s still possible to trigger deeper, larger, and more dangerous avalanches breaking out either on the old November facets or the faceted snow formed during the two weeks of clear weather before this most recent storm.  These layers seem worst in shallow snowpack areas, such as on slopes that slid during the Christmas storm.  See a You Tube video of my fieldwork yesterday.



With cold, unstable air lingering over northern Utah today, light snow showers should continue with accumulations 3-6 inches of low density snow.  Ridge top winds should remain light from the west and northwest.  Precipitation should become very light overnight and on Tuesday.  You should enjoy the powder while you can, because stronger northwest winds are forecast to blow on Tuesday night, which may ruin much of the upper elevation snow.  A high pressure ridge builds in by the weekend.


The last of the Beaver Mountain 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.

  Drew Hardesty 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.