Ogden Avalanche Advisory

Forecaster: Brett Kobernik


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

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With additional snow this morning the avalanche danger is on the rise. It is at CONSIDERABLE and is most pronounced in the mid elevations below treeline with buried surface hoar as the weakness. The danger is more pockety in the upper elevations but new snow and fresh wind slabs may be triggered with the absense of surface hoar. These are tricky conditions and many experts are experiencing close calls. Avoiding slopes approaching 30 degrees and steeper is the best avalanche mitigation technique.


Wind speeds decreased overnight and are out of the west northwest and snow fell pretty much straight down without a whole lot of accumulation in the Ogden area mountains. The upper Cottonwoods and Park City Ridgeline picked up 4 to 8 inches of snow overnight bringing 24 hour totals up to 6 to 10 inches. The snow is medium density with rimed crystals noted in some observaitons. Mountain temperatures are in the low to mid 20s.


Sensitive fresh wind drifted soft slabs were reported from along ridgelines in the Ogden area mountains on Wednesday. Even with way fewer people out on Wednesday, we still heard of at least 7 human triggered avalanches in the backcountry. Locations include Mt Aire, Mt Raymond, Desolation, Lambs Canyon and White Pine. (See Current Conditions above for details) Most of these fit the bill with what we've been seeing for a while; 12 to 18 inches deep, 20 to a couple hundred feet wide running a few hundred to a thousand feet. They're mostly on northerly aspects with surface hoar as the weakness. There were a couple of slides reported as new snow instabilities in the form of fresh wind loads.


      Over the next 24 hours.

The biggest threat for today is the chance of triggering an avalanche breaking 1 to 2 feet deep failing on surface hoar. With every little bit of new snow the persistent surface hoar avalanches get that much deeper. They are getting to the point of not being manageable anymore. They will probably become a bit more difficult to trigger making them not as obvious. Continue to be diligent with many snowpits throughout the day to check for surface hoar presence. At and below treeline on northwest through east facing aspects are the most likely places to find it but don't let your guard down on other aspects as well. This problem has produced a staggering number of avalanches in Big Cottonwood, Mill Creek and Lambs Canyon but is scattered throughout the range.


      Over the next 24 hours.

Fresh wind slabs from Tuesday will have had some time to adjust and probably won't be as sensitive today. However, you should be well aware that there was snow transport happening on Tuesday that may still be active today especially in areas with buried surface hoar. The drifts will be hidden a bit by the straight down snowfall from overnight.


      Over the next 24 hours.

With a relatively thin snowpack still this season, we still have the deep slab issue in the back of our minds. It appears that it will remain dormant unless we see another significant snow storm add a bunch more weight in a short period of time. Areas with a thin snowpack of about 3 feet total or so are still suspect especially on northerly aspects which includes paths that have avalanched earlier this year.


We'll see snow showers tapering off later this morning with a few more inches possible most pronounced in the Cottonwoods that are favored by this unstable northwest flow. High temperatures will be in the mid 20s along the ridges and northwest winds should remain light to moderate in speed. High pressure builds in on Friday with warmer temperatures and only partly cloudy skies. A splitting storm with move through to our south this weekend with what looks like low snowfall accumulations for our area.


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.

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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.

We 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.