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 have Pockets ofCONSIDERABLE. Most accidents and fatalities occur during a Considerable hazard. Particularly in conditions like these - soft and hard wind slabs over the weakest snow in years. Human triggered slides up to 12-18"' deep - even remotely triggered - are likely in steep wind drifted north through easterly terrain. You may get lucky in this terrain, but I doubt it.

You can find plenty of safe and enjoyable breakable crust and unsupportable sugar snow on slopes less steep than 30 degrees. Remember you may be able to trigger an avalanche on top of yourself from the flatter terrain - be aware of what's above...


Under a blanket of partly to mostly cloudy skies, overnight lows at the trailheads basked in the upper 30; ridgelines hovered in the mid 30s. The westerlies along the Ogden skyline are blowing 35-40 with gusts to 50mph.

Riding conditions are fair to poor. Skinning and snowshoeing conditions are, well...are not for the faint of heart. They range from mostly supportable to trapdoor on the sun and rain crusts to cat-on-a-linoleum-floor bulletproof boiler-plate to wallowing through unsupportable facets and depth-hoar. Forgot your skin-wax? Then enjoy these up-track conditions with an extra two pounds of snow stuck to the bottom of your skins. (This would never happen to me...) To skin all day like this only to avoid the steep terrain on the down. I honestly wouldn't trade it for the world.


Quite active yesterday with an unreliable snowpack. The details below (pics and more found under Current Conditions) - See Doug Wewer's excellent report from North Ogden Divide to Ben Lomond and down the Cutler Ridge. In the Central Wasatch (with more people/triggers out)..

·No Name (off the Park City ridgeline) two slides remotely triggered from the ridge each 12” deep and 30’ wide, running to the flats. 9200’ NE

·Pfeifferhorn in Little Cottonwood along the American Fork ridgeline – a climber booting up the north couloir at 10,700’ triggered a 4-12” deep and 40’ wide hard slab.He and his partner below were able to avoid being caught.

·Reynolds Peak (mid-BCC) east face (9200') cracked and collapsed out the starting zone in 40’ pieces.

·10,420’ shoulder above Guardsman Pass (BCC) either naturalled or was remotely triggered there on a northeast facing slope at 9700’.Dimensions unknown but look to be 10-12” deep and 40’ wide.

·Scott Peak east bowl natural as seen from the Park City mountain resort.Details unknown, but reportedly “an impressive” debris pile.

·Explosive control work in Little Cottonwood continues to pull out 1-3’ deep hard slabs in closed uncompacted terrain in the high elevations…

Collapsing and cracking reported from Provo to Ogden....


      Over the next 24 hours.

Beyond all the activity above, collapsing and cracking ruled the day - and even reported in south facing Sunny - or USA - Bowl in upper Big Cottonwood. Our land is a world of facets, depth hoar and in certain terrain - not one but two layers of buried surface hoar. All we needed for weeks was a load - or slab - on top. Instead we got a rain crust on the 28th (generally 2mm thick in the Cottonwoods, 2cm of friable crust along the Mill/PC ridgelines - give or take), a couple inches of graupel and a wind event last Friday/Friday night. So we have a slab in wind loaded terrain. And it appears that we had something of a natural cycle from that evening - with many crowns blown in or reloaded.

The bottom line for me - For now, I will not be jumping into any steep northerly through easterly wind loaded terrain period. I don't trust it.


      Over the next 12 hours.

Another day, another heat-wave. Small wet push-a-lanches will still be possible with daytime sun and warming.


Another nice day on the horizon. Look for temps to soar into the mid 30s at 10,000', the mid-40s at 8000'. Winds will be westerly at 15-20mph. We'll see a meaningless brush-by Thursday night with a weak storm to follow on Saturday. The ridge rebuilds for next week.


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 frequentlypostedby 10 pm each evening.

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UDOT canyon closuresUDOTat (801) 975-4838

Wasatch Powderbird Guides are suspending the opening of helicopter skiing operations. Once we have enough snow cover, daily updates to this bloghttp://powderbird.blogspot.com/will begin for the 2011-2012 season.

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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.

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