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 CONSIDERABLE (L3) danger exist in the upper elevation wind drifted north through southeast facing slopes. Wind drifts are expected to remain sensitive to human triggering. Remotely triggered slides are possible. Cornices remain a significant concern for those travelling the ridgelines. Deep slab releases are unlikely, but potentially fatal upon release. Avoid the steep mid to low elevation slopes if they become damp and unstable with the potential for light rain and warm temps...


Overcast skies and light snow, rime, and graupel falling hint at the weak storm passing by to the north. Temperatures are 20 degrees along the Ogden skyline. You’d never guess that the winds are again the main feature to write home about. The northwesterly winds are punishing the ridgetop anemometers at speeds of 30mph with gusts to 40. They’ll remain strong throughout the day. It’ll be a far cry from yesterday – one of the better days of the year – as nearly everyone and their dog wrote or called to let me know. Wind damage now joins yesterday’s sun damage and the savvy will head for the sheltered mid-elevations.


Backcountry riders and skiers were out in droves yesterday with some triggering or happening upon recent avalanches. People triggered new wind drifts on the south face of Superior, the west face of Millicent Peak in the Brighton backcountry, and on Willard Peak’s eastern slopes in the Ogden high country. These were all steep wind or cross-loaded slopes between 9200’ and 10,300’ and 10-16” deep and up to 250’ wide.

(Thanks to the person who reported the Millicent slide to the ski patrol. This saves the rescue teams from having to do a search in the debris – an effort which can subject the teams to unnecessary hazards as well as pulling them away from other tasks at hand.)

Natural cornice-fall and cornice-fall triggered avalanches continue to hammer the range. Two old dogs spotted new activity – one in mid-Days Fork of Big Cottonwood where a cornice pulled out a 2’ deep and 25’ wide wind pocket that ran over 1000’. This in steep east facing rocky terrain at 10,100’. To the north and west, a cornice likely pulled out a deep hard slab avalanche in upper Alexander Basin. This avalanche released on a very steep northeast facing path at 10,100’. Dimensions were not noted but the debris pile speaks to a larger release into old snow.

The UDOT Provo Canyon boys walked up into the Giant Staircase on the north side of Timpanogos to glean some info on the very large (enough to take out small village) avalanche that released some time Saturday night into Sunday. They and the Wasatch Powder Bird guides also eyeballed a similar sized cornice-triggered natural high off the Cascade ridgeline that ran during the windy period on Monday. These slides are MASSIVE. Check out these and other avalanche photos under Current Conditions.


      Over the next 24 hours.

Just as one batch of wind slabs from Monday settle out, another fresh batch come in to play. Stronger west to northwest winds will form new drifts on a weakened snow surface from yesterday’s cold mostly clear skies. It all boils down to heightened sensitivity in today’s new wind drifts. They’ll be prominent in upper elevation north to southeast facing slopes. Collapsing and cracking in the new drifts are tell-tale signs of localized instability.


      Over the next 24 hours.

With the Giant Cornices, it’s like big-game hunting – only you are the one being hunted (see Hemingway’s Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber). These monsters are way too large to trifle with – they’re easily breaking 10’ or more back from the edge. They easily calve off on approach and are enough of a trigger to release both new and deep slab avalanches below – our burgeoning avalanche list is filled with them. Going over the edge with the boxcar may result in serious traumatic injury even without triggering a slide.


      Over the next 24 hours.

Isolated Deep Slab Avalanches have ripped out with every loading event. Potential triggers today include cornice fall, another new snow avalanche stepping down, or multiple snowmachines on the slope at a time. Consequences remain severe.


I’m not much for these windy warm air advection weather patterns. Kind of a wet blanket on top of yesterday’s 5 star conditions. We’ll have overcast skies, temps rising to near 30 at 10,000’ and the upper 30s at 8000’. Winds will remain out of the north, blowing 35-45mph. Gusts to and over 70mph are expected. Riming and a couple inches of dense snow can be expected through tomorrow, with the Logan area mountains picking up perhaps 3-6”. Ridging and an associated heat wave kicks in for Friday into Saturday with 10,000’ temps spiking toward the mid 40s. A good healthy winter storm arrives Saturday night.


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.