Ogden Avalanche Advisory

Forecaster: Drew Hardesty


On March 11th and 13th, the Utah Avalanche Center and SheJumps will team up to provide a Backcountry 101 class for women only. We will have a Friday night lecture and a Sunday field day to teach youthe basics of how to ski / ride avalanche smart in the Utah backcountry andgive you the confidence and skills to make good decisions for yourself and your group in the backcountry. Details here.

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


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

Danger Rose Tutorial

The danger will rise in lock-step with any periods of heavy snowfall and gusty winds and is currently MODERATE with the storm snow today.Human triggered avalanches are possible, particularly along the upper elevation easterly facing slopes. Isolated areas exist for triggering a deep slab avalanche with a large loads. This is why we have pockets of CONSIDERABLE. As the guidebook says, 'Death or Injury' is likely with these events. Pockets of MODERATE exist for lingering hard slabs from the recent wind events.

If the snow continues to pile up, the danger will rise to CONSIDERABLE particularly in steep wind drifted terrain.


Looks like an Ogden special. With a trace in the Central Wasatch, the firehose seems trained on the Ogden mountains - they've already received 6-10" this morning - and look to pick up more. Temps remain warm - the mid 20s along the ridgelines and the upper 20s to low 30s at the lower elevations. Winds remain from the west to southwest, blowing 15-20mph. We'll take the refresher - snow surface conditions are a hodgepodge of wind and sun damage.


An out-of-bounds rider reported a fresh natural avalanche off the Pioneer ridge in the Brighton backcountry that occurred sometime Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning....said it was about a foot deep and 30' wide, with tree limbs in the debris below. Elsewhere along the PinkPine ridge in White Pine of LCC, a slope cut produced a very shallow 3" deep and 30' wind slab, running 300'.

UDOT Provo Canyon pros Craig Patterson and Bill Nalli checked out the Feb 28 hard slab avalanche in the Bunnels drainage of the south fork of Provo canyon - and came away impressed. Check out their report, and the reporting party's report here - Looks like it averaged 4-5' deep and over 1000' wide - collapsing the MLK rain crust, running on the facets and surface hoar beneath.


      Over the next 24 hours.

My first year forecasting - the winter of 99/00 - I learned a good lesson. I dropped the danger to Low, but wrote emphatically that in the right - albeit isolated - spot, a heavy trigger may pull out a deep slab avalanche. We didn't then have the luxury - some might say the 'wiggle room' - of using 'Pockets of higher danger'. Tests and a 'quiet backcountry' pointed toward a green light, but the poor snowpack structure remained. It was somewhat similar to what we have now. Tragically, a snowmobiler north of the UT/ID border died that day - you can read the quick synopsis here.

With the current snowpack, many follow the prescribed 30 taps for the Compression and Extended Column tests and find no results. What's now being called the AK (Alaska) heel drop test - putting your shovel blade on the column and dropping your heel on the blade - can offer some insight into the propagation potential of the hard slab. In other words - why stop at 30 taps? My own analysis yesterday with AK3 (heel drops) provided full propagation on facets and surface hoar beneath the MLK rain crust. The take-home was A-difficult to trigger/needing a large load and B-when triggered, it has the capacity to propagate wildly. Fits well with the Bunnels slide in Provo from Monday.


      Over the next 24 hours.

A few lingering hard slabs remain from the last few day of strong south to west winds. They're more prominent on the mid to upper elevation north to east facing slopes 35 degrees and steeper. Ski and slope cuts and cornice drops may offer limited information at best.

New snow coming in today should bond reasonably well with the old snow surfaces - however, pay attention to periods of heavy snowfall rates and gusty winds - you'll see avalanche activity during these times.


      Over the next 24 hours.

Large booming cornices have released on approach over the last couple of days - continue to give them a conservative approach. Use a spotter, belay cord and cornice cord if looking to safely drop the yawning wave. Make sure no one is below.


It should snow off and on during the day with an additional 4-8" by tomorrow. Winds will be 20-25mph from the southwest, veering to the northwest by the afternoon, and then backing to the southwest by late tonight. Temps will be in the low 20s today, dropping to the teens tonight. We'll get a break Friday into Saturday with another storm slated for Sunday through Tuesday.


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

Donate to your favorite non-profit – The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center. The UAC depends on contributions from users like you to support our work.

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.