Ogden Avalanche Advisory

Forecaster: Drew Hardesty


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

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The danger will rise to CONSIDERABLE on all the sun-exposed aspects today with daytime heating. Human triggered and natural wet loose avalanches are likely and may run fast and far on a number of underlying slick crusts. A MODERATE danger exists for lingering wind drifts and cornice falls along the upper elevation ridgelines.


It’s the Wasatch in all her glory. We have clear skies, generally light westerly winds and all-you-can-eat powder. Temperatures aloft have gained 10 degrees in the past 24 hours while colder air pooling in the basins have the numbers back to the low teens. The thermal belt has temps at about 20 degrees. Rapidly diminishing cloud cover put the slow cook on some localized sunny aspects, though they’ll soften with today’s continued warming and sun.


Cornice fall and skier – induced loose snow and localized soft slab and 18” wind slab releases comprised much of the activity in the Central Wasatch yesterday. Incoming solar radiation tipped the balance for a couple long running sluffs off Timpanogos …..and I’d expect this type of activity today being more the rule rather than the exception.

Stronger and gustier winds played a more pivotal role in the Ogden mountains with multiple reports of very sensitive conditions in loaded terrain. One released 400' away from control work, perhaps suggesting that lingering instabilities from Friday/Saturday are still present.


      Over the next 12 hours.

Today’s issues will center around the sun: To the point – It won’t rise to HIGH, but if anyone takes a ride today, it’s likely that they’ve overstayed their welcome on a southerly or sunny aspect. Damp and wet sluff debris is likely to fill many of the tracks and runouts underneath many of the steepest rocky couloirs and exposed terrain. Those on the crack o’noon start will want to stick to the shadier aspects.


      Over the next 24 hours.

Most, but not all, of the wind drifted pockets have likely settled and gained strength overnight. On the other hand, rapid warming and direct sun will tend to tweak the mechanics of the lingering wind drifts, potentially making them easier to trigger. In part, it’s a viscosity thing – rapid warming tends to make the snow flow like honey – and this can overly stress the bonds, resulting, sometimes, in avalanching.

I’m not yet convinced that last week’s weaknesses are something to be talking about in the past tense. Patchy surface hoar and recrystallized snow from Friday/Saturday may still play a role in the mid and low elevation shady aspects.


We’ll have clear skies, light to moderate westerly winds and warming temps. 8000’ temps will rise to the low thirties with 10,000’ temps rising into the mid to upper 20’s. Sitting between storms to the north and the south, we’ll have slowly warming temps and light winds through the rest of the week.


Wasatch Powderbird Guides didn’t get out on yesterday and may have two ships in the Silver Days Cardiff Mineral AF and White Pine areas today. Their operations planning page is here.

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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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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.

Evelyn Lees 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.