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

The danger depends on how the new snow comes in and how much of it we get, which is always uncertain. Be sure to test the snow as you travel. My best guess is Considerable danger with areas of HIGH danger, but it could easily be one notch higher or lower than this, depending on storm conditions and location.


So far this morning, there is about a foot of 5 to 8 percent water weight snow in most parts of the Wasatch Range. The automated station on Ben Lomond Peak near Ogden reports 16 inches of snow with 2.4 inches of water weight. Snowbasin has 15 inches of snow. We will likely get 8-10 more inches by mid afternoon when it should slow down. Temperatures are finally starting to cool from yesterday. They are 10 degrees on the highest peaks, 15 degrees at 10,000’ and 22 degrees at 8,000’. Ridge top winds seem quite squirrely with some stations quite light and others are blowing hard.


The wind slabs created by the very strong, southerly winds on Sunday and Monday seized up fairly well and became very stubborn and stiff. We did not hear about many wind slabs from the backcountry—as opposed to the widespread reports from Sunday. But riding conditions were very lurch-and-jerk, over-the-handlebars kind of deal so there was not a lot of people out. Yesterday, I was able to crowbar one out on a very steep test slope between Brighton and Alta where I was showing wind slabs to a level II avalanche class. As you may guess, I have PHOTOS. Ski areas got some stubborn wind slabs with explosives.


      Over the next 12 hours.

Today, the main problem will be the new snow as it accumulates fast and furious. As usual, it’s almost impossible to guess how the new snow will behave as it piles up and it will vary significantly from place to place, so you need to test it carefully as you travel. Be sure to regularly jump on test slopes, use slope cuts and just dig down with your hand. We actually need a new danger rating for this kind of condition called “It Depends” or something like that. Sometimes storm snow like this remains quite well behaved but it doesn’t take much to instantly push it into a sensitive avalanche cycle. For instance, if the wind comes up, or the precipitation intensity jumps up or the snow becomes denser. My best guess is that we will certainly see sluffing on the steeper slopes and sensitive, soft slabs on any steeper slope with recent wind deposits.


      Over the next 24 hours.

Although the underlying snow is mostly stable, there may be a few lingering weak layers that could produce larger, more dangerous avalanches. These may occur on an old wind slab or perhaps a buried layer of surface hoar, which people have been finding especially in the Ogden area.


Snow should continue today, heavy at times, and we will likely add another 10 inches my mid afternoon when it should slow down. Winds will be quite variable depending on location and the behavior of the squalls as they pass. Generally, they will switch from the southwest to west later in the day. Light snow showers should continue overnight and into Wednesday. Ridge top temperatures will be in the mid teens and cool to 8 degrees overnight.

The extended forecast calls for clear weather by Thursday with a high pressure building in until next weekend.


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Wasatch Powderbird Guides. Operations planning page is here.

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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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).

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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. You control your risk by your choice of terrain and travel techniques.

We 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.