Ogden Avalanche Advisory

Forecaster: Drew Hardesty


Come down to REI in Salt Lake tonight at 6:30pm for a dialogue on the future of avalanche control and expansion/development in upper Little Cottonwood Canyon. For more information, contact the SLC REI.


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

Danger Rose Tutorial

In the wind-sheltered areas, the danger is mostly LOW. Where the wind has picked up, look for a MODERATE danger for newly developed, sensitive wind slabs in steep easterly terrain. Human triggered avalanches will be possible. Use a belay or a cornice cord in dealing with the yawning cornices along the ridgelines.


Clouds have returned on a semi-moist northwest flow and I expect to see a couple of inches over the course of the day. Temperatures have rebounded into the mid to upper teens, and the west to northwest winds have picked up, blowing 15-20mph with the more exposed anemometers spinning at 40 gusting to 60. The stronger winds will impart damage to more of the snow in exposed terrain, but the wind-sheltered areas are, what they say, “blower”. The intermittent cumulus clouds played as a matador’s cape with the sun, allowing for the snow to dampen and then crust over on some southerly slopes and not others. Best to avoid the guessing game and stick to the northerly sheltered slopes.

It’s good to be back in the cycle: by my count, since the morning of the 23rd, storm totals have added up to about 40-45” in the Ogden and Park City mountains, 12-18” in the Provo mountains, 75” in upper Big Cottonwood, and about an even 100” in upper Little Cottonwood.


Sustained 2-3”/hr and stronger northwesterly winds early Monday morning led to an impressive new-snow-only natural avalanche cycle with many sluffs and soft slabs running near full track. Due to the lack of a surface or near-surface weakness, rapid stabilization followed, accentuated by some warming, slowing winds, and natural settlement. While snow stability improved with time, reactive cornices did not. Nearly everyone who wrote or called in from yesterday had a close call or watched someone who did.

With our current snow structure, instability will be in lockstep with the change in the weather – a far cry from our early season woes with persistent weaknesses adjacent to rain crusts. I was walking on eggshells until mid-January.


      Over the next 8 hours.

Stronger winds will promote soft slab development in exposed terrain on the lee of ridgelines and breakovers. They’ll be more prominent on northeast through southeast facing slopes and may be up to 18-24” deep. Even settled 8% can quickly be blown around. Look for smooth rounded pillows and use test slopes and cornice drops to test the slope below. Bonding to the crusted snow surfaces may be poor.


We’ll see some moisture today, but don’t expect much until the cold front arrives overnight. Favored areas may see 8-14” through tomorrow, if you add up pre and post frontal numbers. This morning’s stronger northwesterly winds should start to relax by mid-morning and blow 15-20mph at 10,000’. Temps will be in the upper teens. The next storm will power through Thursday night, with another on the horizon for late Monday.


Wasatch Powderbird Guides didn’t get out on Monday and won’t be out today. Check their operations planning page is here.

Our web site is now formatted for iPhone. You can also download a free iPhone application from Canyon Sports to display the Bottom Line. Search for Utah Avalanche on the Apple's iPhone Apps page or in iTunes.

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 can save someone’s life. 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.