Ogden Avalanche Advisory

Forecaster: Drew Hardesty


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

Danger Rose Tutorial

The avalanche danger remains MODERATE with pockets of CONSIDERABLE on steep westerly to northerly to easterly facing slopes along the mid and upper elevations.The danger is exclusively for slopes that have not avalanched since the December 13th storm. Experience, caution, and a healthy skepticism remain requirements for the backcountry.


Overcast skies blanket the Wasatch ahead of today’s weak disturbance. Temps are in the upper teens and low twenties, and the southwesterly winds blow 15-20mph along the more exposed ridgelines. Riding conditions remain the same as yesterday and the day before – wind affected in the highest terrain, crusted on the southerly and off aspects, and soft in the mid elevation sheltered terrain. Kobernik went down to the Provo mountains yesterday with the usual suspects so I was anxiously waiting for the second issue of Facets magazine. It didn’t arrive - must be still in development - guess I’ll have to keep thumbing through the original.


Thanks to Spencer Wheatley of the Wasatch Powderbird Guides, we have a photo from Saturday’s close call on the western flank of Box Elder. No other activity filtered in to the avalanche center, though I got two medium collapses in upper Mill Creek yesterday at 8600’ and 7600’.


      Over the next 24 hours.

Wrote yesterday that

“Those skiing and riding in the steeper terrain are putting in the time, homework, and continual route-finding to discern those slopes that have avalanched and those that haven’t. It’s not guesswork or intuition. In my book, intuition should be used as a red flag and not a green light. Otherwise, it’s just a roll of the dice.”

And heard from the venerable Rod Newcomb from the Tetons. (Rod’s been imparting snow and avalanche wisdom for over 40 years with the same calm dignity and humble demeanor unmatched in the avalanche or guiding industry.) He reminded me that once-our-own Ron Perla came up with a list of “Rules of Thumb” for one of the early National Avalanche Schools in either 1972 or 1974. Rule #4 – “A ski tour disaster is triggered by someone’s intuition that a slope is stable.” Perla, of course, being a graduate of the Alta school of experience (arriving in 1966) and completing his graduate work under, again, once-our-own Ed LaChappelle.

The few slopes that have not avalanched since the December 13th cycle still remain suspect. Saturday’s close call on Box Elder still illustrates this point. Same for the collapses I felt yesterday. The danger may be a little less pronounced in parts of the Provo mountains or sub-drainages feeding in to Little Cottonwood canyon, and perhaps more iffy in American Fork or along parts of the Park City ridgeline or upper Mill Creek, but the refrain remains the same – dangerous conditions exist in localized terrain.


We’ll see some light flurries today with a weak system moving through. Tomorrow’s disturbance looks more impressive, with 6-10” expected in favored terrain. Winds will be generally light from the south and west and temps will be in the mid-teens and low 20s at 10k and 8k. A warm front may provide another round of snow late Thursday into Friday.


Discount Lift tickets: Ski Utah, Backcountry.com, Alta, Deer Valley, Park City, The Canyons, Wolf Mountain, Snowbasin, Beaver Mountain, Brighton, Sundance, and Solitude have donated a limited number of tickets for sale at discounted prices.

For the Wasatch Powderbird Guides schedule go to their blog

Dawn Patrol Forecast Hotline, updated by 05:30: call 888-999-4019, option 8,

Daily observations are frequently posted by 10 pm each evening.

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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 forecast on Wednesday morning. 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.