Ogden Avalanche Advisory

Forecaster: Drew Hardesty


The risk of an avalanche is expected to increase significantly but the timing and location are still uncertain. Stay tuned for updates.

I'll be issuing an AVALANCHE WATCH for the mountains of northern and central Utah, to include the Bear River Range, the Western Uintas and the Wasatch Plateau. Expected wet heavy snowfall and wind over the weekend and into next week will create dangerous avalanche conditions in the backcountry. The danger will be on the rise and backcountry travelers will want to exercise caution with the changing conditions.


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 LOW (Level 1) avalanche danger today. With the weakening snow surface, we'll see continued and perhaps increased sluffing in the loose surface snow. Pockets of MODERATE danger exist, then, in the mid to high west to north to easterly facing slopes approaching 40 degrees and steeper. Soft sensitive wind drifts are likely to develop up high with increasing winds...These are manageable hazards - it's up to you to either mitigate or avoid them.


You'll have to get it while the gettin's still good. It'll be the last morning of clear skies, light wind, and good walking or riding weather for awhile. Temperatures are 'upside down' under the soon-to-depart ridge of high pressure. Ridge-tops have temps in the mid-teens while the basins and drainages still suffer below zero. Winds are from the west southwest blowing 10-15mph and should increase throughout the day. Riding conditions are stellar, though some of the steepest south-to-westerly aspects now boast a breakable melt freeze crust with a skiff of squares (faceted snow) above.

Increasing clouds are signalling a powerful series of storms on the way.


Plenty of continued natural and human provoked loose snow sluffing with a few odds and ends shallow soft slab pockets noted across the range. All of these were mostly harmless unless you found yourself in a steep and constrained chute or gully with nowhere to hide. There were some hard feelings, however, after a skier triggered a loose snow sluff on top of a party of 6 on a bootpack high along the American Fork ridgeline in mid-Little Cottonwood canyon. Perhaps not the best etiquette, in bounds or out. Don Sharaf, a visiting avalanche colleague from the Tetons commented, 'Remember that the old hands and ski patrollers live long lives by not cutting corners or taking shortcuts with their safe travel protocol. ' True enough.


      Over the next 12 hours.

Sluffing will continue with the weakening snow surface, primarily on the steepest west to north to easterly facing slopes at the mid and upper elevations. They'll start packing more of a punch, entraining more snow, and running upwards of 500' and can be extremely dangerous in steep confined terrain or no-fall-zones. Move diagonally across the slope from spine to spine allowing the loose snow to move behind you. Only one at a time. Don't push snow on folks down below.


No size identified.
No trend identified.

Mostly LOW danger. Things will change in a hurry over the weekend. Fairly consistent snowfall through November and early December has left us with a fairly deep, consistent and unstructured, stable snowpack. We'll see how 2-4' of snow through mid-week interacts with a fairly weak snow surface and a shallowly buried rime crust from last weekend.


Increasing clouds, temperatures, and west to southwest winds signal a change in the weather. A series of strong, warm, wet, and windy storms are poised to affect Utah starting tonight and lasting through mid-week. In the mean-time, the westerly winds will blow 10-15mph along the high peaks, likely increasing to 15-20mph by the afternoon. Temperatures will rise to roughly 20 degrees at 10,000' and the low to mid 20s at 8000'. Check the mid morning mountain weather forecast for more details.


If you trigger an avalanche in the backcountry - especially if you are adjacent to a ski area – please call the following teams 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. Click here to support the UAC and get the goods.

Wasatch Powderbird Guides flight plan. Today, WPG may be flying the Daisy Bell avalanche mitigation device in and around Alta. In addition WPG may do limited non commercial training and reconnaissance throughout our entire permit area. WPG opening day for the 2011 season is Wednesday December 15.

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

Daily observations are frequently posted by 10 pm each evening.

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

UDOT canyon closures UDOT at (801) 975-4838

You have the opportunity to participate in the creation of our own community avalanche advisory by submitting 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.