Ogden Avalanche Advisory

Forecaster: Bruce Tremper


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

Danger Rose Tutorial

No-Go Terrain:

I would continue to avoid north through east facing slopes approaching 35 degrees or steeper because a buried layer of faceted snow. Also, avoid any steep slope with recent wind deposits.

Safer terrain:

As usual, the easiest way to mitigate danger is to lower the slope steepness. In the dangerous, upper elevation, northerly facing terrain, you can choose gentler slopes, less steep than about 30 degrees that are not connected to steeper slopes directly above or to the sides. You can also head to off-aspect terrain such as southwest through southeast facing slopes without recent wind drifts because they lack the buried layer of faceted snow.


The backcountry snowpack is old and needs to be freshened up and thickened up. First, the snowpack is only a couple feet deep above 9,500' northerly facing slopes and there is very little snow on the south facing slopes. Second, those same northerly facing slopes above about 9,000' are the only ones left with dry, ridable snow, which isn't too bad on the sun and wind sheltered slopes but there is lots of wind damage near the ridges and anything not north facing has various kinds of sun crusts.

Temperatures have cooled down about 10 degrees from yesterday morning and are 22 degrees this mornining at 9,500'. Ridgetop winds have diminished from yesterday as well and they have calmed down to a more reasonable 20 mph from about 30-40 from yesterday.

There's a rumor of a few snowflakes today, so it may improve things a bit.


We did not hear about any activity from the backcountry yesterday, but there did not seem to be too many people out either.


      Over the next 24 hours.

It's the same old story. A buried layer of faceted snow is still buried 1-2 feet deep in the snowpack and in my snowpit tests yesterday was still producing clean, propagating cracks without too much effort. In other words, you could still trigger a dangerous avalanche on this layer. This same setup has produced over a dozen human triggered avalanches over the past couple weeks including one fatality, one broken femur and several injuries. And....it's still there...not as sensitive or widespread as before but it's still possible to rip out a nasty one today.

You will find this buried layer mostly on the northerly facing slopes above about 9,500'. In addition, the strong winds from the past couple days have drifted some stiff wind slabs on top of this layer along the upper elevation ridges. I am avoiding the steep, upper elevation, north through east facing slopes.

People often assume that with such a thin snowpack, avalanches just couldn't be that dangerous. But don't make that mistake. They are actually much more dangerous because you will bounce through rocks on the way down, which almost assures bad injuries or worse.


      Over the next 24 hours.

Moderate to strong winds from the southwest these past couple days have created stiff, hard, wind slabs on much of the upper elevation, wind exposed terrain within about 1000 vertical feet of the ridges. You will find them on many different aspects. As always, avoid any steep slopes with recent wind depoists. They will look smooth and rounded and often sound hollow like a drum.


Expect a few snowflakes today as a weak, dry, cold front drags across northern Utah. It's a poor excuse for a snowstorm but it's the only show in town. It will only give us a measly trace to perhps 4 inches if we are lucky, but I wouldn't be surprised to get skunked altogether. Ridge top temperatures should cool down into the teens tonight, but pressure should build back in quickly tomorrow and temperatures should rebound back up to near freezing.

As for the extended forecast, I'm afraid that we don't see any significant precipitation in the forseeable future, which is about 10 days.


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)

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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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.

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