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

We still have pockets of MODERATE (Level 2/Yellow - Caution). Human triggered avalanches remain possible in steep northwest through southeast facing terrain. Avoid any obvious smooth rounded pillows of snow and be alert to even the slightest audible collapsing in the snowpack. REMOTELY TRIGGERED SLIDES REMAIN POSSIBLE IN ISOLATED TERRAIN.


Overcast skies and moderate to strong westerly winds are grim reminders that we'll be left standing at at the altar of storms this week. (I'd advise against going to the NWS page and looking at the bright pink Winter Storm Warning in Idaho.) Mountain temps are in the mid to low 20s. The west to northwesterly winds redoubled their steam overnight and are now blowing 20-30mph.


In the Salt Lake area, two observers intentionally triggered longer running sluffs (500-600' vertical) in the weak sugar snow yesterday in No Name and along Murdock Peak. These are along the Park City ridge line and at the head of Mill Creek/Lambs canyon. I'd imagine the same thing is possible in the steep Monte Cristo or Ogden Skyline terrain.

You can find photos and more from yesterday on our Current Conditions page (The good stuff) there in the upper left hand corner beneath our logo.


      Over the next 24 hours.

The stronger west to northwesterly winds will erode from the windward and drift the lee. Look for a new round of spotty hard and soft wind drifts along the lee of ridgelines, and half-way down the slope. As the wind gets into the drainages, look also for new and old cross-loaded terrain - the lee of sub ridges and beyond convexities. Look for cracking and collapsing of the lenses to occur on the tapered edge of the wind drift.

Pick terrain that sets you up for success rather than failure. If you've made a mistake with your snow assessment or simply rolled the dice and came up short - what will happen if you take a ride? Consider a ride that takes you only a short way down a smooth, open, gradually easing slope vs. a steep rocky treed slope with an abrupt ending (i.e. over a cliff band or into a steep side walled gulley).


      Over the next 24 hours.

The insanely weak rotten snow simply pours out of the pit wall upon excavation. Loose facet-sluff avalanches can still be triggered in steep northerly terrain and may be a able to gouge down and entrain a fair amount of the existing snow on the ground on its way to the flats. Sluffs are typically "manageable" hazards but there is still the likelihood of getting tripped up by the rocks and stumps poking through the threadbare coverage.


With storms racing by to the north, we can expect a warm, windy environment with a trace or two. Expect overcast skies, temps just shy of freezing along the ridgelines, and winds in the 20-25mph range from the west and northwest. A more potent wave arrives later Friday, though it should only increase the wind speeds for us. It pains me to say it, but the longer range models look a bit dry through the first 10 days of January.


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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UDOT canyon closures UDOTat (801) 975-4838

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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.