Ogden Avalanche Advisory

Forecaster: Evelyn Lees


There are a number of slots open for our Advanced Avalanche Workshop later this month. Brett Kobernik will lead this class which will focus on our remarkable weak layer formation this year and persistent weakness in general. and in the Women's Backcountry 101.


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

Danger Rose Tutorial

The Avalanche Danger is CONSIDERABLE on steep mid and upper elevation slopes facing northwest through east for triggering a slide breaking on the buried facets, and MODERATE on any steep slope with recent drifts of wind blown snow.

We are often bolder with sunny skies and good visibility, and may be distracted by the seemingly benign few inches of fluffy new snow and soft wind drifts. But the focus should remain on the more dangerous facets beneath.


Once again, we just couldn’t break the double digit barrier – while the storm did manage to drop up to 8” of snow at the higher elevations in the Cottonwoods and 5 to 6” in the Ogden mountains, in roughly 90% of the terrain, it was only about 3” or less...so in most locations it’s dust on crust, logs, dirt and rocks. This morning, skies are clear, temperatures have dropped into the single digits, and the northwesterly winds have increased. Speeds across the higher peaks are in the 20 to 25 mph range, with gusts occasionally into the 30s.


A few small sluffs and a couple small soft slabs up to 75 feet wide were reported yesterday, most from the upper elevations in the Cottonwoods, where the most snow fell. Low elevation wet facets were active yesterday on the Park City side, but should have cooled over night.


      Over the next 10 hours.

Today’ steady northwesterly winds will be drifting snow, mostly along the upper elevation ridgelines in the Cottonwoods and Ogden mountains, where there is the most snow available for transport. The winds drift will be most widespread on slopes facing northeast through southeast, but can also be crossloaded around sub ridges and breakovers. As always, avoid wind drifts on steep slopes – while the surface drifts may be small, remember what is beneath.


      Over the next 24 hours.

No change here – weak facets still form the base of our snowpack, lurking beneath the new snow and wind drifts, or the old hard wind slabs and thin rain crust.

· Avalanches breaking in weak facets can be triggered on the shady, steep northwest, north, northeast and easterly facing slopes.

· These slides can be triggered remotely from a distance, so do not cross below steep terrain and avoid terrain adjacent to steep slopes.

· The weakest snow and trigger points may be off the ridge lines, allowing avalanches release mid slope and break out above you.

· Snow may also roll off of and pool beneath cliffs and at the base of gullies, and slides could break out on lower angle slopes in these heavily loaded areas.

· Snow pack is still shallow, and any ride in an avalanche could result in both trauma and burial.

· Cracking or collapsing (a whoomphing noise) is red flag that you are on a slope where the snow pack is unstable.


High pressure is rapidly building back in over Utah, bringing clear skies and temperatures warming into the upper 20’s at 8,000’ and into the teens at 10,000’. There will be steady northwesterly winds today, with the higher ridges averaging 20 to 25 mph, with occasional gusts in the 30s. Monday, temperatures will skyrocket, reaching near freezing at 11,000’. No significant storms are in sight; Tuesday night’s disturbance is forecast to split as usual, producing a few light snow flurries and cool temperatures briefly.


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.

You have the opportunity to participate in the creation of our own community avalanche advisory by submittingavalanche and snow observations. You can also call us at 801-524-5304 or 800-662-4140, or email by clickingHERE

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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.