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

Back to the same refrain of trying to describe the low probability high consequence scenario. It’s mostly Low danger. Pockets of Considerable danger exist above 9000’ primarily - but not exclusively - on north through southeast facing slopes for triggering hard slabs up to 3’ deep. The danger is heightened along the periphery of the Tri-canyons of the Wasatch where the MLK crust is thin. Collapsing may offer some idea of localized instability. A MODERATE danger of both dry and wet point releases will become likely with daytime warming on the steep sunlight slopes by midday.


As of 5am, skies are overcast and we're seeing the last few flakes squeezed out of the departing storm. Cloud cover should start to burn off soon. Winds are light from the northeast and temps are in the teens up high, the mid-twenties down low. Riding conditions remain excellent in the sheltered shady elevations.


A touch of wind with the 4" of 11% snow produced a few shallow garden variety drifts along the ridgelines, but they were manageable and reactive with the usual means of mitigation.

We had no reports of any new avalanches breaking beneath the MLK rain crust onto the January 8th Surface Hoar below. Still, people reported collapsing in north facing Argenta, below the Pfeifferhorn, and up in the Ogden and Logan mountains.


      Over the next 24 hours.

No avalanches triggered beneath the MLK rain/rime crust yesterday. Can't say that no news is good news. To avoid getting stuck in the weeds, skip the two following paragraphs.

Many folks want to split hairs to find the safe terrain. True, the periphery of the Tri-canyons seems to have the thinnest crust(s) due to the rain shadow effect. Also true that the west to northwest facing terrain - receiving the brunt of the rain/rime on the northwest - flow storm track - also has some of the thicker crusts. Most continue to find easy to propagate shears in the underlying Jan 8 surface hoar layer, others are not.

A more esoteric consideration is the effect of the sun and warming temps on the more thinly buried crusts. Will the crust become more susceptible to deformation and collapsing as it becomes less wholly brittle and more plastic? Are these theories something you'll bet your life on? Because when you commit to the slope, you can't be wrong. What if you're right (lucky) for 3 slopes and wrong on the 4th?

Let's not kid ourselves. Slope angle is the great equalizer. Stick to the slopes less than 30 degrees in the sheltered shady terrain. A good friend called yesterday the best day of the year. He also skis on circa 1999 Voile Mtn Surfs and leather boots. Worked then, work now.


      Over the next 12 hours.

Sun and daytime warming will spark a round of wet and dry sluffs on the steep sunlight slopes. Plan your outing to avoid being on or underneath the steepest long running chutes and gullies by the afternoon.


The building ridge of high pressure will bring the bluebird to the mountains and stagnant smog to the valleys. Winds will be light from the north and temps will rise to near 30 at 8000' and the mid 20s at 10,000'. Temps will continue to warm through the weekend as we see 10,000' rise to the mid-30s by Friday. The weather models are inconsistent, but I'm leaning toward the solution bringing a storm in by late Sunday into Monday.


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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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.