Ogden Avalanche Advisory

Forecaster: Brett Kobernik


The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center have had to cancel this weekends apres ski fundraiser at Snowbird due to lack of public interest. We apologize in doing so.


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

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We have pockets of a CONSIDERABLE danger interspersed over a MODERATE danger. While avalanches are getting harder to trigger, consequences remain very serious. The most likely places to trigger an avalanche will be slopes of 35 degrees and steeper on northwest through east facing slopes. Areas with a thinner overall snowdepth in the 3 to 4 foot deep range are also more suspect.


A weak storm moved through early this morning producing a trace to a few inches of new snow. Temperatures are in the teens along the higher terrain and in the 20s along the lower elevations. Winds are from a westerly direction only gusting into the 20s along the highest terrain. There is some notable wind at the mid and lower elevations with moderate gusts. Riding conditions remain mostly excellent on many slopes. After skiing a low angled slope yesterday, one of my partners yesterday noted it's kind of like longboard surfing. In essence, it's not as exciting as dropping into a double overhead wave but it sure is still a lot of fun.


It's not over yet people. We received vague details of a skier going for a substantial ride in an avalanche just south of Cutler Ridge in the Ogden area mountains on Wednesday. It sounds as if he was uninjured but possibly buried for a short period of time. In Lambs Canyon, a skier triggered a small pocket 10 feet wide that ran 40 feet and broke into weak snow near the ground. We received a couple reports from people experiencing collapsing of the snowpack in areas that have recent fresh wind drifts.


      Over the next 24 hours.

The top notch UDOT avalanche forecasters, our close allies led by Liam Fitzgerald, do an excellent job at breaking down snowpack layering using strength, energy and structure to describe different weak layers. Let's apply this to our current situation looking at deep slab potential.

In stability tests, strength is related to how much force you need to apply to get something to fail. Many current observations include good results for strength in that you need to beat on columns pretty hard to get them to fail in many areas. There are still some areas where things come out pretty easy though. On a scale of weak, moderate, or strong, I'd rate the current strength as moderate.

We can relate energy to how quick or clean the shears are in stability tests. Currently, most are not real clean and are not coming out real fast anymore. However, there are a few areas that show lots of energy when performing a stability test. Looking at a scale of low, medium or high energy, I'd say overall we're in the medium energy range.

Last we'll look at the structure of the snowpack. We'll use poor, fair, good, and excellent as a scale. With a weak layer of faceted snow under a stronger layer of settled snow, there's no other choice but "poor" for the current structure.

So, roughly we have moderate strength, medium energy and poor structure. Not the worst, but certainly not the best. Add the consequences of one of these larger potential avalanches and things don't look that good.

In simple terms, things are not as hair trigger but the poor snowpack structure still exists. With huge consequences, how much can you trust this not so good evaluation? Drew broke it down best when I talked with him last night: its a MODERATE danger with pockets of HIGH.


      Over the next 24 hours.

A buried surface hoar layer has been noted by numerous folk around the North Ogden Divide and Cutler Ridge area. It appears that this layer has produced a number of avalanches recently. Surface hoar is a persistent weakness and very well could produce more avalanches before it stabilizes. Look for a weak layer about a foot down into the snowpack and perform shear tests on it.


I guess you could say this "storm" will move to our east today with breaking skies as the day goes on. Temperatures will be mild around 30 at 8000 feet and low to mid 20s along the ridges and winds will be from the west in the light to moderate catagory. Some moisture will move in Friday into Saturday with the chance for snow showers then a splitting storm will move mostly under us and effect Southern Utah more then the north into Sunday.


Please contact Alta Central (801-742-2033) if you trigger a large avalanche in the backcountry, especially if you are adjacent to a ski area, to alert them to the slide and whether anyone is missing or not. Rescue teams can be exposed to significant hazard when responding to avalanches, and do not want to do so when unneeded. Thanks.

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.

Wasatch Powderbird Guides flight plan.

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

Daily observations are frequently posted by 10 pm each evening.

Free UAC iPhone app from Canyon Sports.

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UDOT canyon closures UDOT at (801) 975-4838

We appreciate all your avalanche and snow observations. You can also call us at 801-524-5304 or 800-662-4140, or email to uac@utahavalanchecenter.org

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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.

Bruce will update this forecast tomorrow 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.