Ogden Avalanche Advisory

Forecaster: Evelyn Lees


We are recording our early morning phone line,(1-888-999-4019, option 8), with avalanche information, by 5:30 am – it’s a good source for dawn patrollers. Also, many of the day’s observations are posted on line under Current Conditions by 10 pm each evening.


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

Danger Rose Tutorial

There are pockets of CONSIDERABLE avalanche danger on steep, wind drifted slopes facing north though east, above about 10,000’, where human triggered avalanches will be likely. It is possible to trigger avalanches remotely, and these wind drifts could become more sensitive and widespread during the day with increasing winds. Out of wind affected terrain, on lower angle slopes, avalanche danger is generally LOW. But be aware of what you are connected to – avoid travel directly below or adjacent to steeper slopes.


Temperatures are falling off the bottom of the charts this morning, with most mountain stations in the negative single digits. Wind directions vary from SW to NW, averaging 10-15 mph, gusting into the 20’s and 30’s. Exposed stations, especially in the Ogden area mountains, are gusting into the 40’s. The low density snow definitely improved the riding conditions, though in reality, did little to cover the abundant rocks.


There were two distinct avalanche activity patterns yesterday, both of which occurred in wind drifted areas. First, people were triggering soft, new snow wind drifts, failing on the near surface facets directly beneath them. Most of these slides were 1 to 1 ½ feet deep, and pockety, less than 50’ wide. Then were the scarier human triggered slides failing on a midpack faceted weak layer, reported from Rocky Point and the Pioneer Ridge area. These were about 1 ½ deep, most less than 50' wide, though one propagated out about 200’ wide. Most of the slides were on north to northeasterly facing slopes, above about 10,000’. Remotely triggered slides were reported on both these weak layers. There were also numerous reports of collapsing and shooting cracks, from the Ogden mountains south to the Provo mountains. No reports from "big" backcountry terrain, though 3 small naturals were reported from north facing upper Silver Fork. Numerous photos and snow pit profiles are posted in Current Conditions. In the Ogden area mountains, 100' shooting cracks on NE facing slopes at 9000' was good reason to stay off the steep slopes.


      Over the next 12 hours.

Well, the facets gave notice yesterday – they will take the slightest excuse of a slab to fail, and they found it yesterday in wind drifted areas combined with human triggers. There are two active layers of facets – one directly beneath the newest snow, and the other mid pack. Both these weak layers could give warning signs of cracking and collapsing, but if you’re traveling in wind sheltered or wind scoured terrain or on slopes that had little to no preexisting snow, these warnings will be absent. So again, the key to avalanche activity seems to be the extra load from wind drifting plus the weight of a person. If the winds increase into the afternoon as expected, the areas of sensitive drifts will become more widespread as the day goes on.


It’s going to be another day of ice cream headaches and frozen eye lashes…with your helmet and goggles on. It is doubtful that 8000’ temperatures will crawl out of the single digits, and the higher elevations will hover near zero. It is frostbite weather, with wind chill is in the negative 20’s and 30’s this morning. Skies will be partly to mostly cloudy, and occasional flurries could add up to another inch or two of fluff. The winds should eventually settle on a west to northwesterly direction, with speeds 5 to 15 mph, and gusts in the 20’s. However, speeds across the more exposed ridgelines will increase into the 20 to 30 mph range, gusting to 50. A westerly flow will develop this evening and draw moisture back into the area tomorrow and Friday. A series of disorganized weather disturbances are expected to affect the area over the weekend, with the best chance for snow Saturday night into Sunday.


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We appreciate avalanche and snow observations. If there’s something we should know about give us a call 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.

Brett Kobernik will update this forecast Thursday morning. And thanks for calling.

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.