Ogden Avalanche Advisory

Forecaster: Brett Kobernik


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

Danger Rose Tutorial

There are pockets of Level 2 (MODERATE) avalanche danger along the upper elevation steep northeast through south aspects for both fresh wind drifts and avalanches breaking into deeper persistent weakness. The danger will rise to Level 2 (MODERATE) on sunny slopes as the day progresses.


A slight temperature inversion noted this morning with temperatures in the teens below 9000 feet and mid 20s in the 9 to 10,000 foot range. Northerly winds are light in most locations with moderate gusts along the highest peaks. We have mostly clear skies. It should’ve been an excellent night for some near surface faceting to occur. See if you note it on today’s snow surface with the snow having a slightly more granular feel.


There was no avalanche activity reported from the Ogden area mountains. There was some in the Salt Lake and Provo regions, check those advisories for details.


      Over the next 24 hours.

The biggest threat to people in the backcountry right now is the chance of stumbling into an area where surface hoar or facets below the rain crust fail and cause a slab avalanche. These are dangerous avalanches but very scattered in distribution, hence our lower danger ratings as of late. It’s a catch 22 for us as forecasters. We don’t want to cry wolf with a higher danger ratings when, currently, most slopes are not going to avalanche. But this emboldens people to a certain extent. They are willing to accept more risk when the danger ratings are lower pushing them right into terrain with the most likely chance of avalanching. Single word danger ratings are flawed but it’s the best system we have right now. Here’s an example. Which do you think is more dangerous, widely distributed fresh wind slabs with a MODERATE danger rating or our current structure of very scattered places that produce scary slab avalanches. They’re both a MODERATE danger rating but I’d take the wind slabs any day. They are much more manageable with more obvious clues. It’s not anything goes out there right now and people have died during MODERATE danger ratings.

So what do you do right now? My technique is to be diligent in assessing the crust thickness and extent of the weak layer below it. Thinner crusts with a weak layer of facets or surface hoar below it is what you want to avoid. The facets are most pronounced just below the crust and the surface hoar is generally 6 to 10 inches below the crust. We know the problem, how you deal with it is up to you.


      Over the next 24 hours.

Continue to check for instabilities in the snow above the rain crust. These should continue to settle out but you should still do shear tests and use slope cuts especially in wind effected terrain. There are some large cornices that’ve formed recently that you should avoid. They may become more sensitive with today’s warming temperatures.


      Over the next 10 hours.

This leads me to another concern which is the newer snow becoming unstable on the sunny slopes today. You will want to avoid steep southerly aspects as they start to heat up. Avalanches that run on south slopes could run pretty far and entrain a good amount of snow. Do not hang around in avalanche runnout zones under steep sunny slopes either.


It looks like a nice day is in store with mostly clear skies, mild temperatures and light northerly winds. Temperatures will get into the mid 30s to around 40 at 8000 feet and around freezing along the ridges. High pressure continues into the weekend with some sort of spitting storm indicated in the weather models for Sunday night.


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.

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 by clicking HERE

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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.