Ogden Avalanche Advisory

Forecaster: Evelyn Lees


There are a few spots left in the Friends 3-day Brighton Avalanche 1 class, February 13 through 15. It’s a killer deal for 16 to 24 year olds, only $150. Loaner beacons, shovels and probes for the class are available. Sign-ups at Black Diamond retail.


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

Danger Rose Tutorial

There is an overall CONSIDERABLE avalanche danger on steep northwest through easterly facing slopes, where both new snow avalanches and avalanches breaking near the ground can be triggered by people. Due to the surface hoar weak layer, slides can be triggered remotely from a distance, and on lower angle slopes. There is also a MODERATE danger for low elevation wet slide potential. Ice climbers and people heading to any of the low and mid elevation couloirs should be aware that even small, damp sluffs can pack a punch, and are dangerous.


Light snow started falling just after midnight on a light, southwesterly flow, and the Ogden mountains are the favored ones with about 6 to 10” of new dense powder, while the Salt Lake, Park City and Provo mountains are in the 1 to 3” range. Temperatures are warm – near 30 at the lower elevations, cooling to near 20 along the higher ridges.

Turning and riding conditions are quite excellent on the shady slopes in dense, creamy powder, which has worked hard to fill in many of the old tracks. In spite of what seem to be only dribbles and drabs of snow this week, snow totals from last Sunday through this morning add up to 1 to 2 feet in the Cottonwoods, Ogden and Provo mountains, with the Park City side coming in just under a foot. Due to warm temperatures, carrying skin wax and a scraper could potentially reduce frustration.


The only avalanches reported from the backcountry yesterday day were sensitive, new snow drifts and cornices along the higher ridge lines in the Provo and Ogden area mountains, stirred up by a midday burst of stronger southwesterly winds. In the Ogden area mountains, the culprit weak layer of the 18” wind slabs on SE facing slopes was buried surface hoar, which is becoming a persistent issue.


      Over the next 24 hours.

The most dangerous snow pack issue is the loose, weak snow is found near the base of the pack. Both the slab above and the weak layer are slowly strengthening, but there are still places where one can trigger a 2 to 4’ deep slide near the ground. The most suspect slopes face northwest through east, are approaching 35 degrees or steeper, and are at the mid and upper elevations. A slide would most likely be triggered in a shallow, rocky spot, such as a steep break over, and then propagate. People with excellent avalanche and terrain evaluation skills are skiing steeper terrain by sticking to the bed surfaces of slopes that have slid, but this requires careful and knowledgeable evaluation.


      Over the next 24 hours.

With the week’s worth of new snow tallying 12 to 24”, the usual gamut of new snow issues should be in the top of your mind.

· First, a few sensitive cornices and wind drifts will be found today, especially along the higher ridge lines and on easterly facing slopes.

· Second, sluffing of the snow is possible on steeper slopes.

· And finally, new snow soft slabs 1 to 2 feet deep, can be triggered on isolated steep slopes. This issue is most serious in the Ogden area mountains, where slides can release on a weak layer of buried surface that exists at all elevations, on the northwest through easterly facing slopes. Elsewhere in the range, patchily preserved near surface facets may be getting over loaded on a few steeper slopes.


      Over the next 10 hours.

With day time heating and the possibility of direct or filtered sun, a round of wet snow sluffs and slides will be possible at the lower elevations and on steep sunny slopes. Roller balls, easily triggered damp sluffs on test slopes, or any periods of rain on snow are bull’s eye clues to wet snow instability.


While heavy snowfall is once again predicted for southern Utah through the weekend, the northern mountains are looking at snow totals of 7 to 12” from last night through Monday morning. A few more inches of snow are possible this morning, followed by an afternoon break. Temperatures today will warm into the mid twenties to mid thirties at the 10,000’ and 8,000’ levels. The southwesterly winds will remain very light for the day, less than 15 mph at most locations, with high ridge lines only gusting into the 20’s. Occasional periods of light snowfall are forecast for after midnight through Monday morning,, followed by a high pressure ridge lasting through mid week.


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.

Subscribe to the daily avalanche advisory e-mail click HERE.

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.

Brett 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.