Ogden Avalanche Advisory

Forecaster: Evelyn Lees


Our partners, the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, with the Snowbird Renaissance Center, are hosting the annual Utah Backcountry Awareness Benefit Dinner and Silent Auction Friday, February 13th, from 5:30-9:00 pm, at Snowbird. It’s a bit of a splurge, but it’s always a very enjoyable evening. Included is dinner, a silent auction, inspirational speaker Chris Waddell chronicling how he overcame a life-changing college skiing accident to become the most decorated male skier in Paralympics history, plus live entertainment by “Stormy Mountain Boys”. For details and tickets, go to the Snowbird Renaissance Center's web site.


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

Danger Rose Tutorial

In the Ogden area mountains, there are pockets of CONSIDERABLE avalanche danger on mid and upper elevation northwest through southeasterly facing slopes, where slab avalanche up to 2 feet deep by 100' wide can be released on steep slopes. These slides would be failing on the preserved, buried weak snow from last week. The avalanche danger is MODERATE on slopes steeper than about 35 degrees for easily triggered sluffs and a few lingering sensitive soft wind drifts along the higher ridges.


Under partly cloudy skies, temperatures are in the 10 to 15 degree range this morning, with a few single digit readings above 10,000’. Winds are light and variable, less than 5 mph, with only a few stations pushing 10 mph. Yesterday’s storm added 1 to 4” to our lofty snowpack, with the Ogden mountains piling up 6 to 10”. Turning and riding conditions involve unbelievable bottomless powder on most aspects and elevations, with people turning and riding until they run out of gas, either literally or figuratively.


More avalanche activity was reported from the Ogden area mountains, where the combination of heavier snowfall, stronger winds and a more widespread layer of buried surface hoar and near surface facets created sensitive conditions yesterday. Sluffing were easily triggered on steep slopes, as were soft slabs in wind affected terrain, which averaged 1 to 1 1/2 ft deep by 70-100' wide. There were two or three slides triggered on surface hoar or near surface facets in the Coldwater/Hells Canyon area. These were 2.5 ft deep by 80 to 100' wide, between 7500' to 8,200' in elevation, on shady, northerly facing slopes, and one was triggered remotely from above.

Avalanche activity in the Salt Lake and Park City mountains yesterday was mostly limited to manageable sluffs and a few shallow wind slabs. I did receive a second hand report that a person was caught in a sluff on Little Superior Buttress, and taken for a ride into rocks. I’ll try verifying this today. With a bit more wind, the Provo area mountains went through a very shallow natural cycle, including a few longer running slides with decent debris piles in the continuously steep terrain.


      Over the next 24 hours.

Today, the tremendous quantity of new snow should continue to keep you on your toes. Sluffs and very soft slabs will be easy to trigger on very steep slopes, and could catch and carry an unwary person in continuously steep terrain, pushing you into trees or building up a decent debris pile. Also, it will take only a touch of wind, a kiss of sun, or a burst of heavy precipitation to make the snow very sensitive. While only small amounts of new snow are forecast today, local effects could set up once again with periods of heavier snow possible in a few areas this afternoon or possibly a period of brisker winds. Also, with the sheer volume of unconsolidated snow, avoid falling into and getting buried by sluffs in small terrain features such as in tree wells and creek bottoms.


      Over the next 24 hours.

Preserved buried surface hoar and near surface facets exist below about 9,000’ throughout the Wasatch mountains. This weak layer seems to be very pockety in the Salt Lake, Park City and Provo area mountains, but much more widespread in the Ogden area mountains. Yesterday’s several human triggered slides in the Ogden mountains show that conditions are getting tricky there, and will become more dangerous over the next week when additional snowfall and winds add more weight and create more of a slab. These avalanche can be triggered remotely from a distance, or could break out above you.


A very weak disturbance will bring increasing clouds and light snowfall today, with the heaviest snowfall this afternoon. Snow totals of 1 to 3 inches are expected, with the possibility of locally heavier amounts of 4 to 6”. Ridgeline temperatures will be near 10 degrees, and the southwesterly ridgeline winds will remain very light, generally less than 10 mph. A few lingering snow showers will add another inch or two to the towering snowpack tonight, followed by a break tomorrow. The next system is due in Friday night into Saturday, followed by another stronger system with winds around Monday.


Wasatch Powderbird Guides did not fly yesterday and most likely won’t fly today due to weather. Operations planning page 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 toward the Tombstone lift, 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.

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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 visitour 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.

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.