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 (L2) danger exist for triggering hard wind drifts along as well as well off the ridgelines. Pockets of MODERATE danger remain for triggering isolated persistent hard slabs up to 4’ deep on steep north to east facing terrain at the mid and upper elevations. Be mindful of the wet loose activity with daytime warming, even in the lower elevation shady terrain traps.


I’ve skied worse. Friends knowing I was going up into the mountains to be blown around like a prayer flag gave me that look Paul Petzoldt got when headed up to climb the Grand Teton in the 1920s. They all said then, “I ain’t lost nothing up there.” Nah, but you tend to find things…

It’s a dizzying array of wind and sun damaged snow. Old ‘work-hardened’ ski and sled tracks stand out above the surrounding eroded snow like a child’s arrangement of train tracks. Graupel on boiler-plate. Pencil hard wind slab. All look good when crossing areas scoured down to the rain crust from mid-January. Hold on tight.

Skies are clear to partly cloudy, temps are in the upper 20s, and the relentless winds blow 25-30 from the southwest. In out of the way terrain, you’ll find something akin to supportable corn skiing on the sunny aspects…and a turn or two of recycled powder here and there among the trees in the shade.


Two skiers managed to find soft and hard slabs from the punishing Saturday and Sunday night winds…one in upper west Bell Canyon on steep north-facing rollover at 9800’. The soft slab broke 18” deep and 20’ wide. The other in mid-White Pine of Little Cottonwood canyon, a skier triggered a pencil-hard wind slab 8-28” deep and 150’ wide on a steep test slope. It broke 15’ above him and he washed 10’ down to the transition. Both slabs occurred well off the ridgelines.

And from Sunday, we just heard of a snowmobiler in upper Snake Creek (above Heber/Midway along the Wasatch crest) that triggered a hard slab pocket 3’ deep and 50’ wide that reportedly left a sizeable amount of debris below. Reports had multiple, multiple ski and sled tracks previously on the slope.


      Over the next 36 hours.

Stiff and stubborn hard slabs as well as the isolated soft slab continue to be a concern for today. Most of these are welded in, but approach smooth rounded pillows of snow with extra caution. Cracking will give some idea of localized drifting, but the hard drifts may provide little clue prior to release. These can feel hollow and slippery smooth and are predominantly triggered from below or the along the periphery of the tapering hard lens of snow.

Continue to give cornices a wide berth - from Sunday - Second, there is a great helmet cam video of a snowmobiler in the Logan area mountains near Tony Grove that walked up to the edge of a cornice... and went over with the box-car. It happens to the best of us, believe me.


      Over the next 10 hours.

With sun and daytime highs, don’t overstay your welcome on the low to mid elevation wind sheltered sunny aspects as well as the lower elevation shady slopes. Rollerballs and push-alanches will again be likely by midday.


      Over the next 24 hours.

Persistent slabs are called persistent for a reason. Sunday’s snowmobile triggered hard slab and corroborating snow stability tests indicate that the weaknesses adjacent to the MLK rain crust remain 1-difficult to trigger, 2- isolated in distribution, 3- potentially deadly. They’re more likely to be triggered on steep north to east facing terrain along the periphery of the Tri-Canyons. Previous tracks, as always, offer little clue to stability for hard slabs.


We’ll have partly cloudy skies with temps soaring to the low 30s at 10,000’ and near 40 at 8000’. Winds will blow 30-35mph from the southwest. The winds will only increase over the next 36 hours, blowing 50-60mph by Wednesday night. A strong cold front arrives that night with about a foot of snow expected by Thursday afternoon. Models show a continued progressive stormy pattern through at least 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.