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

The danger is a pockety MODERATE (L2) for new wind drifts along the highest elevations and will be more commonly found on slopes steeper than 35 degrees on the east through south facing slopes. A MODERATE danger exists for triggering any slide into older snow 1-3’ deep. These will be more isolated to north through southeast facing slopes at the mid and upper elevations.


We have partly to mostly cloudy skies, light to moderate northerly winds, and temps in the single digits.


Only heard of some shallow soft slabs and sluffs triggered by the pros along the Ogden skyline...though likely a bit more interesting near Monte Cristo or Powder Mountain as they received 10" of snow Monday night.

A fair bit of avalanche activity yesterday morning in the Central Wasatch…control work above the road in Little Cottonwood canyon produced a number of sizeable avalanches, with some pulling out good pockets beneath cliff bands and in the lower angle transition zones in the lower tracks. Graupel from last Friday night or from the turbulence of the Monday afternoon frontal passage is likely the culprit here and in lower West Monitor along the Park City ridgeline. An observer noted a small natural pocket a foot deep and 15’ wide well below the usual starting zones. Of greatest interest, however, is a snowmobile triggered avalanche 2-3’ deep and 200’ wide in a steep east facing slope at 9500’ in the Ant Knolls. The Ant Knolls are in the upper Snake Creek drainage above Heber/Midway and along the Wasatch/American Fork crest. The riders had apparently put numerous tracks up and along the slope before one tripped the trigger and pulled out the avalanche - with no incident. We’ll try to get one of our staff up to investigate today.


      Over the next 24 hours.

Pesky north to east winds continued to drift the low density snow along the higher elevation ridgelines and today you’ll be wise to move cautiously across the steep southerly and easterly starting zones. Ski and slope cuts and cornice drops should give some indication of the stability of the new snow and wind drifts below, but these tools can be dangerous in the wrong hands. Sluff-management will again be a key skill if riding in the steepest most confined terrain. One technique is to move diagonally across the slope or ride onto or up and over another spine to allow the loose snow to move by.


      Over the next 24 hours.

As the snowmobile triggered slide on the backside of the Wasatch crest illustrates, the new snow and wind added enough load to additionally stress the facet/crust weaknesses, now buried a couple feet down. Tests indicate that the weaknesses are becoming more, rather than less pronounced adjacent to the MLK rain crust as well as the crusts above. Collapsing and shooting cracks are obvious clues to localized instability. Stability tests such as the Extended Column Test or Rutschblock (not to be confused with the Rorschach Blot test where everyone sees what they want to see) will give clear indication of the structure as well. Here’s a good tutorial by friends and colleagues Dylan Freed and Andrew McLean with a stable snowpack, here’s one detailing an unstable structure by UAC observers Greg Gagne and Quino Gonzales. It’s worth noting that again that the riders had put numerous tracks on the slope before finding the weak spot on the slope and pulling the wall down.


      Over the next 24 hours.

Give the growing cornices a wide berth. Use a knotted rope of parachute cord or a fancy cornice/block cord if looking to drop a larger cornice today. Make sure no one is beneath you on the slope.


A few waves of insignificant moisture will stream in from the northwest over the next 36 hours or so and we’ll have periods of partly to mostly cloudy skies. Winds will be 10-15 from the north and northwest. Temps will be in the upper single digits rising to roughly 15 degrees at 10,000’. A ridge of high pressure builds for later in the week into the weekend. The jury’s still out on the wholesale pattern change for next week.


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.