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

Wind affected areas hold a full blown CONSIDERABLE danger today.  Natural avalanches in the recent storm snow will continue so long as the winds continue.  Human triggered avalanches are probable on any wind drifted slope approaching 35 degrees and steeper.  Drifts are more pronounced on northeast through south facing slopes, but terrain channelling will allow for many other aspects and terrain features to be pillowed.  Slides may also be triggered at a distance today.  Cornices will be more  dangerous - give them a wide berth.  You can find LOW danger fun on lots of sheltered lower angled slopes in the mid and low elevations.


Forecast:  "the headlines are the epic riding conditions– I expect a full feeding frenzy in the backcountry "

Verification: "Snow surface....um....priceless."..." It was the best day of the year so far." and so on and so forth.  Like a bunch of piranhas out there.  Shameless.  Not that I'm bitter or anything .

What a difference a day makes.  The winds have  now had their way with the snow, again.  The northwesterlies  picked up yesterday in the mid to late morning but have spiralled out of control, blowing 40-50mph gusting into the 70's.  The slightly more sheltered anemometers are spinning 25-35mph with gusts to 40.   Temps are in the teens.  Skies are again obscured with this quick-hitter storm and much of the terrain has another inch or two.  Likely we'll see off and on snow for much of the day.


Thanks to the cadre that sent in photos!  A gallery of the Sunday cycle is here.  A gallery of conditions from yesterday is here.  Yesterday was a perfect day to learn about avalanches and wind drifting in a mostly forgiving situation.  It was terrain that made the difference.....Loose snow and shallow soft slabs up to a foot deep initiated very easily with cornice drops and slope cuts and most of these issues were managed well as many areas such as Superior in LCC became bumped out by noon.  There were two incidents yesterday: the first in upper Neffs Canyon where a skier on his second ski cut had the slab release 10' above him carrying  him for 250' down the slope.  He lost some gear but apparently he's ok.  (see pic in above gallery).  This was in unforgiving terrain at 9750' on a north facing aspect.  To the north in the Woodland Hills area, a snowmobiler was initially caught in a 6-20" deep and 60' wide soft slab but was able to dig in and let the snow wash by.  This was on a steep east southeast facing slope at 9300'.

Winds tipped the balance for a few shallow  naturals overnight above Little Cottonwood, and I'm certain that this is not the full extent of the activity.


      Over the next 24 hours.

What was predictable and manageable yesterday is no more.  The drifts are deeper, wider, perhaps more stubborn, and may even be triggered at a distance.  We've been caught before with just a day of clear weather to quickly weaken the surface snow and/or deposit a thin layer of surface hoar.  It's a different ballgame.  Avalanches are likely in wind loaded  terrain and will be found in a smattering of places well off the ridgeline, in upslope fetch starting zones, cross-loaded breakovers, and other lee terrain. 

You must practice safe travel  procedures, dial it back, and assume that cornices will pull back farther than you think.


      Over the next 24 hours.

The funny business.  The Powderbirds spotted a 8-10' deep crown in upper Mineral Fork of Big Cottonwood that pulled out on Sunday.  4-6" of snow water equivalent is enough to make any snowpack pause.  There are other complexities.  Pre-storm persistent weakness are spotty, but exist all the same.  You'll need to pull out the shovel and saw and from a safe place look at the structure 2-3' down in the upper shady elevations where they sugar wasn't destroyed by wind or rain.  It's in isolated spots, but again, present all the same.  Graupel and another density breaks are  the mostly agreed upon failure planes from Sunday.  These and the other spotty weaknesses are mostly dormant, but may spring to life if triggered by another slide.


We'll see up to 6" of snow today, but the winds will hold court, blowing 35-45mph with gusts to 60 and above.  Temps will be in the upper teens.  The winds should start to calm early tomorrow as the disturbance moves by and we start to see some clearing weather.  A dry cold front drops down on Saturday with high pressure on tap for next week.


 Wasatch Powderbird Guides operations planning page is here.


The last of the Beaver Mountain Discount tickets have been reduced to $35, 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.

Ev 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.