Ogden Avalanche Advisory

Forecaster: Drew Hardesty


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

Danger Rose Tutorial

Pockets of MODERATE (Level 2) dot an otherwise green landscape of LOW danger. Keep an eye out for and avoid rounded pillowy textured hard wind drifts if travelling into the high exposed terrain. Continue to follow safe travel protocol such as putting only one person on the slope at a time and get out of the way at the bottom of the run.


With clearing skies, temperatures plummeted to the single digits in the basins and drainages and are in the mid-teens along the high ridgelines. The westerly winds are on good behavior, blowing generally less than 15mph. Riding conditions are fair at best with widespread wind and sun damage in most of the open terrain.


At least three experienced skiers – and probably more – were caught and carried in three separate incidents across the range. All involved hard wind slabs from the stronger southerly winds on the 25th and 26th – and each found in open exposed alpine terrain. True to form with the hard slabs, each fracture broke above the skiers and there was with little opportunity to escape or roll off the slab.

· Primrose Cirque on Timpanogos - a skier was caught and carried in a 8-12” deep and 75’ wide slab and was able to grab a tree below. The skier below was also able to grab a tree as the debris washed by. This was in the guts of the cirque at roughly 8500’.

· Upper Wooley Hole beneath the Pika Cirque also on Timpanogos – a party ascending toward the steep roll into the Pika Cirque also had a hard slab pull out above them, carrying them down the slope. This was on a northeast facing slope at roughly 9400’. Other details are unknown at this time.

· A skier traversing the slope just beneath the north Dromedary ridgeline in upper Mill B South of Big Cottonwood had a hard slab 10” deep and 60’ wide pull him 100’ down the slope. This was on a steep northeast facing slope at 10,500’.

Control work at the mountain resorts found similar results – the odd pocket of hard wind slab in isolated terrain.


      Over the next 24 hours.

While most of the lingering wind drifts from the last few days are welded in, a few can still be triggered in the high exposed terrain. Hard slabs are notoriously unmanageable as they may pull out on the 3rd person across the slope, pull out above the person, or not at all. In other words, one may traverse or ride across many other welded in hard drifts before inadvertently stumbling upon a thinner or weaker part of the ‘lens’ of hard snow. All were seemingly pockets of snow with terrain being the bottom line for consequence. With a gentle runout, these were survivable. With radical terrain or a steep walled gulley below, the outcome would not be so certain. Remember these are rarely responsive to cornice drops and ineffective if not downright dangerous for a slopecut.


      Over the next 12 hours.

With an otherwise strengthening snowpack, we’ll be primarily concerned with what we call ‘direct-action’ avalanches and the avalanches will be in lockstep with the heavy snowfall and blowing wind. The danger will certainly be on the rise tomorrow through the end of the week.


Increasing clouds and southerly winds will signal the approaching strong Pacific storm due to arrive tomorrow morning. Today we’ll have 10-15mph winds that should increase to the moderate category by tonight. 10,000’ temps will be in the low 20s. The winds should begin to howl from the southwest tonight into tomorrow ahead of the afternoon’s frontal passage blowing 35-40mph. We could see 3-6” during the day and another 1-2’ by the time the storm rolls off to the east on Friday.


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.

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.

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UDOT canyon closures UDOT at (801) 975-4838

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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.