Ogden Avalanche Advisory

Forecaster: Drew Hardesty


The FUAC is auctioning off a pair of 176 cm Black Diamond Drift skis with custom Utah Avalanche Center graphics as a fundraiser. Go to Ebay and search for item320647801970 for photos and to bid.

There are just a few lift tickets left - to Sundance, Wolf Mountain and Brianhead ski resorts – 100% of the sale of these donated tickets goes to support the Utah Avalanche Center.


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

Danger Rose Tutorial

Low probability. High consequence. To be managed much differently than high probability low consequence. Make the wrong call and it’s a snapped femur – at best.

The avalanche danger is Level 2 (Moderate) primarily, but not limited to the mid and upper elevation slopes facing north through southeast, where large avalanches can be triggered in isolated places. Be your own forecaster – if collapsing occurs on the south and southwest slopes, back off. The avalanche danger is also a Level 2 (Moderate) for wet sluffs on steep sunny slopes, east through south through west, and on low to mid elevation shady slopes if the snow becomes damp.


Skies are clear, temps are in the mid to upper 20s and wind are generally light to moderate from the west northwest. It’ll be the last day the bluebird sings as a Pacific storm system moves into the intermountain west. I liked Ev’s description from yesterday – “On sheltered, shady slopes the turning and riding is excellent, “loud”, (and getting louder) surface hoar and near surface facets.”


A touring party in the Powder Mtn backcountry found a skier triggered slide from a few days ago that collapsed the crust onto facets below. See Craig Orum's description under Current Conditions. This is the only activity we've heard about in the Ogden mountains since the 21st.

After two days in a row of remotely triggered slides south and east of the Cascade ridgeline above Provo, I had to go take a look for myself. Sure enough, my own touring party remotely triggered a 1-2’ deep and 100’ wide avalanche on a steep east to southeast facing slope at 9600’. This after we had dropped a cornice into the starting zone. Surface hoar glittered on the surface, like every other slide I’ve checked out in the past week. While the surface hoar is a constant, the thickness of the MLK rain/rime crust above is not. It has ranged from a half-inch thick to more than 3” thick. Crusts you could drive a tank across, to crusts that are slowly deteriorating to nothing at all.

We managed to collapse and crack out an adjacent slope that didn’t run due to a lower slope angle. This is worth mentioning again. It didn’t run due to a lower slope angle. Others heading up Mill Canyon Peak in upper American Fork canyon prudently backed when getting large resounding collapses on a south/southwest facing slope. Collapsing was also reported in lower Mineral Fork of Big Cottonwood canyon on an easterly facing slope.

The usual round of wet activity occurred on the steeper sunlight aspects with daytime warming….which will no doubt continue today.


      Over the next 24 hours.

This is where a MODERATE danger spooks me.

· We drop a cornice on the slope with no results, take a few steps and then remotely trigger the thing.

· While investigating the two slides off the Cascade subridge, we look above and beyond and see line after line of similar slopes completely tracked up.

· It wasn’t until the third person entered the slope in upper Snake Creek on the 24th that the avalanche ripped out.

Avalanche students can often get lost in the weeds of school – is it a rain crust? Rime crust? Facets or Surface Hoar and what size and shape? – Keep the big picture – avalanches continue to be triggered. (See Ev’s rose diagram). Collapsing continues to warn of the structure. Pit tests continue to show dramatic energy and full propagation. The crust/surface hoar pattern is exceedingly complex right now. It’s worth continued caution in the steeper terrain.

Today’s good riding conditions are tomorrow’s weak layer. Looks like there may not be much wind with this next system – which may bury the current crop of Surface Hoar and weak recrystallized snow intact. Stay tuned.


      Over the next 10 hours.

A much more widespread, but more predictable issue today will be wet avalanches. With such a warm start to the day, the snow on steep, sunny slopes facing east through south through west will heat rapidly as the sun moves across the sky. Wet sluffs will be easy to trigger, and natural avalanches are possible. Once the snow starts moving, any damp sluff could entrain snow down to crust, so slides could run faster and farther than expected, with big debris piles. In addition, the snow on the shady, northerly facing slopes at the low and mid elevations could also become damp, and human triggered sluffs will be possible.


The last day of clear weather until mid-week. Temps will rise to roughly 40 degrees again at 10,000’ and the mid 40s at 8000’. Winds will be generally light from the west. We’ll start to see increasing clouds ahead of a broad-brushed system slated for late Sunday into late Monday. Maybe 6-10” in favored terrain. Cold Arctic air follows for late Monday pushing temps to below zero.


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.