Ogden Avalanche Advisory

Forecaster: Drew Hardesty


TeleVision comes to Park City - see the latest Powderwhores radical version of backcountry skiing on Wednesday, Dec 8, at the Jim Santy Auditorium in Park City. Raffle proceeds go to the FUAC. Details at http://utahavalanchecenter.org/event.

The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center will be teaching 1 evening/1 field day introductory and advanced avalanche classes this winter beginning Thursday, Dec 16th. Details on our Education Page.

We'll be hosting a snowmobile specific Basic Avalanche Awareness Class Wednesday night in Ogden. Check our calendar off the home page for more details.

Announcing an online auction for a pair of Black Diamond Drift skis with custom Avy Center graphics. Your choice of 176 or 186 cm. Go to eBay and search for item 320624812251. These were custom built for the FUAC & all proceeds go to forecasting & education in Utah!


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

Danger Rose Tutorial

Most terrain has a LEVEL 1 (Low) danger. Pockets of LEVEL 2 (Moderate) danger exist for lingering shallow wind drifts along the high elevation ridgelines and prominent along the west to north to southeast facing terrain. Cornices will also be sensitive as well. The wet sluff potential will rise to MODERATE on all steep sunlight slopes with daytime warming as well as for the saturated lower elevation shady slopes.


Another couple three inches fell through the night, and at 530am, it looks like we’re about done. Most of yesterday’s 3-5” fell as graupel and dramatically improved coverage and riding conditions on all the aspects, including south. Temps are in the low twenties up high and the upper 20s to low 30s down low. Winds, humming from the west northwest, are dropping to a reasonable 15-20mph along the ridgelines.


Activity from the backcountry centered on cornice failure as well as shallow easy-to-initiate soft slabs in the high wind drifted terrain. Initially wind loaded terrain favored the steep exposed north to northwest facing slopes, then the northeast to easterly facing slopes with the wind shifting to the west and northwest. Cracking was common in the ‘graupel slabs’ overlying the lower density snow from earlier in the weekend.


      Over the next 24 hours.

It’s a mostly Low avalanche hazard in the central Wasatch. Still, localized wind drifts up to 10” deep and 50’ wide may still be sensitive to human provocation. Cornice drops, test slopes, and slope cuts should be very indicative of the current conditions in your area. I expect the activity to be confined to the high ridgelines and not necessarily onto commonly drifted aspects.

There’s a term we often use in our Human Factor talks called Risk Homeostasis. It implies that people will often change their behavior based upon a perceived level of risk. Perception of the risk often changes dramatically with the addition of safety gear….but counter-intuitively, research suggests that with the safety gear, the number of incidents increases. Studies include the use of seatbelts, anti-lock brakes, helmets, and so on. In other words, if we feel like we have a safety net, we may be more likely to take greater risks. Keep this in mind. It’s critical to understand how and why we make our decisions in the backcountry. I thought through this often yesterday, travelling alone – but! wearing a borrowed avalanche airbag floatation device.


      Over the next 12 hours.

On the other hand, with gradual warming and increasing sun, the new snow will easily sluff naturally and with initiation on the steepest slopes. Best to be off the steep sunlight slopes by late morning. That’s not all. The lower evation northerly slopes remain punchy from the warmer temperatures – avoid the steep soggy slopes, particularly with gullies and creek bottoms below.


High pressure building into Utah will bring sunny skies, light westerly winds and warming temperatures. 8000’ temps will rise to the upper 30s while 10,000’ temps rise to near 30. A weak brush-by swings through early Thursday with perhaps a good refresher moving through early Saturday.


If you trigger an avalanche in the backcountry - especially if you are adjacent to a ski area – please call the following agencies 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.

Salt Lake – Alta Central (801-742-2033)

Ogden – Snowbasin Patrol Dispatch (801-620-1017)

Provo – Sundance Patrol Dispatch (801-223-4150)

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

Donate to your favorite non-profit – The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center. The UAC depends on contributions from users like you to support our work.

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.