Ogden Avalanche Advisory

Forecaster: Drew Hardesty


The ski patrol director, Scott Kay, from Wolf Creek Resort in Colorado was killed in an avalanche on Monday. Our condolences go out to the ski patrol and his family. Next time you talk to a ski patroller or a UDOT forecaster, you should thank them for the dangerous job they do to keep us all safe at the resorts and on the highway.

The Canyons Mountain Resort will be conducting avalanche control work near and adjacent to 9990' and McDonald Draw - please avoid this terrain.

The Park City Ski Resort Snow Safety team will be conducting explosive testing within the ski area boundary which will be closed to backcountry travel.


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

Danger Rose Tutorial

The danger is CONSIDERABLE today on any mid and upper elevation wind drifted slope approaching 35 degrees and steeper. It's most severe on north through east facing slopes. Human triggered slides are probable....and with the intensity of the wind, natural avalanching will be possible. The danger will likely jump to HIGH late afternoon and into the overnight hours...


Another wind event. Winds are already blowing 35-45mph from the southwest. Even the mid-elevation anemometers are showing speeds into the 20's and 30's. They're just getting started. I imagine another day of hourly averages into the 50's and 60's with gusts into the 90's. They're all in response to a severe ARCTIC cold front that should arrive by about dinner time tonight. Mountain temperatures will plunge to near -10F by Wednesday morning.

Riding conditions are perhaps best (and safest) in the wind-sheltered lower angled terrain - even on the southerly aspects.


Heard of only one avalanche in the backcountry yesterday, but it was enough. This, and the avalanches Kobernik and I triggered two days ago are enough to keep me in moderate terrain. One of our observers dropped a number of large cornices off the Clayton Peak ridgeline above Lake Lackawaxen. It's in the Brighton periphery along the Wasatch county line. The last cornice pulled out the entire season's snowpack 5-7' deep and 700' wide, collapsing even the early season October melt-freeze crust.It's at roughly 10,300' and east to northeast facing. The upper reaches of Big Cottonwood have seen the most wind and snow in the past week and it has finally seen enough.


      Over the next 48 hours.

With more snow and wind, these avalanches are becoming larger and more dangerous. Many of the slides a couple days ago were 2' deep or so - now they're coming in at 4-6' deep. Consequences now are severe.

In many areas, the snowpack is like a model and you're waiting for the glue to dry. You try to run the model train or airplane before it has set up and it's bound to come crashing apart. And so it is with our snowpack. The multiple interfaces haven't had time to set-up and heal, having been constantly stressed by additional snow and wind. We have multiple potential failure planes - remnant graupel layers, rime crust interfaces, basal facets. Exercise extreme caution, if not respect or humility for the steeper wind loaded terrain.

Collapsing of the snowpack seems the rule and not the exception; expect any new wind slab avalanches to have the capacity to step down into some of these still slow-to-heal interfaces. The upper reaches of Big Cottonwood, Mill Creek, and the Park City ridgeline, having seen the brunt of most of the snow and wind, may be the most dangerous. I've found wildly erratic snow-structures across the range this early season, but this only adds to enhanced caution and decision making. It may all be academic for the next few days...


      Over the next 24 hours.

The wind drifts will become even more stiff, stubborn and unreactive with the sceaming winds. Give the yawning cornices a very wide berth along the ridgelines The drifts will be blown into unusual terrain - well down off the ridgelines, crossloaded into gullies and other lee encatchment areas. Dropping a cornice on a slope, seeing no results and diving in is asking for trouble.


The National Weather Service has issued a BLIZZARD WARNING. The Arctic front is expected later tonight and the winds will increase leading up to, and just after, it arrives. We're likely to see a few inches of snow today, but it will again be the winds making the headlines. They'll reach hourly gusts into the 80's and 90's with hourly averages at 50mph or more. The Again, this may be a conservative estimate. Temps will be in the mid teens at 9000', dropping to as low as -10F or so tomorrow. Snowfall predictions are difficult with this system. Perhaps 6-10" or more by later Wednesday.


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.

Soon! 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.

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.