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

A marginal refreeze and expected light rain will push the wet avalanche danger to MODERATE (L2) danger, particularly on the low to mid elevation northerly slopes. Pockets of MODERATE danger exist for triggering remnant wind slabs from Thursday’s winds – they remain most prevalent along the upper elevation north through east facing slopes. And finally, the deep slab potential is low but with severe consequences.


We have overcast skies that hint of rain. Temperatures remain on the warm side – ridgetop temps are in the mid to upper 20s with lower elevations in the low to mid 30s. The low to mid elevations will again have a marginal, superficial refreeze, particularly in the Ogden and Provo area mountains. The westerly winds are generally less than 15mph. You can still find decent – albeit wind affected - cold snow on the steep northerly slopes above about 9700’; all other slopes maybe 30 degrees off true north are sun damaged.


The Ogden mountains went through a good wet cycle on Thursday, but we heard little from yesterday. They also had more wind-transport initiated naturals in the Ogden mountains (Ben Lomond) and a wide cycle Thursday in the Wellsvilles to the north...

In the central Wasatch - During the heat of the day yesterday, two skiers in Little Cottonwood canyon descending the south face of ‘Little Superior’ aka the ‘Black Knob’ – a sub-peak just east of Mt. Superior – triggered a wet point release that gained mass and momentum, running an estimated 1200’ down to the apron below. For the two people ascending up the Little Superior apron, this was not good news. The wet debris reportedly engulfed one of the two, carrying and then partially burying him well below his high point. It was sheer luck that only one of the two was caught and that the avalanche was nearly played out by the time it reached them. He apparently escaped with no injuries. Photos and other observations found here under Current Conditions.


      Over the next 10 hours.

Continued warm overnight temperatures and cloud cover will have allowed only a shallow refreeze of the snow pack at the low and mid elevations. This is more pronounced in the Ogden and Provo area mountains. Any refreeze is likely a wolf in sheep’s clothing – with wet semi-cohesionless grains just beneath any crust. A simple poke with the ski pole or pawing down with your hand should provide the detail. Avoid too, the lower elevation steeper slopes that received no refreeze at all and is seeing some light rain – especially the mid to low north facing slopes.


      Over the next 24 hours.

Isolated areas of wind slab from Thursday’s moderate to strong southwesterly winds may still be triggered on steep north to east facing terrain along the higher ridgelines. While today will not see the sun and heat of the last couple of days, Cornices remain a huge issue – they are breaking off naturally and from approach. Continue to give them and otherwise poorly defined ridgelines a wide berth. Too many people looking to gauge the size of a cornice or gain a visual of a slope below have gone over with the boxcar, having the cornice break behind them.


      Over the next 24 hours.

Low probability, high consequence. These deep slabs have re-awakened with every significant loading event. For the Logan area mountains – wind and rapid warming as recently as Thursday. For a person to trigger a deep slab, it’ll take a large trigger – a cornice drop, another avalanche ‘stepping down’, or explosives – in steep, rocky terrain, a shallow rocky area, or a slope without compressive strength.


The broad brush weather for the week points toward numerous weak disturbances passing through on a westerly flow. We’ll likely see some light precipitation today, tonight, Monday and again late Wednesday. So today we’ll have overcast skies with periods of snow. Rain should fall below 7000’. Temps will be in the upper 20s at 10,000’, the mid 30s at 8000’. Winds will be light from the west, increasing to 20-25mph tonight. We’ll have a brief break on Sunday.


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.