Ogden Avalanche Advisory

Forecaster: Brett Kobernik


Dangerous avalanche conditions are occuring or are imminent. Backcountry travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended.

The avalanche warning continues for all the mountains of northern Utah. Deadly human triggered avalanches continue to be very likely on steeper slopes. Avalanches can be triggered from a distance so stay out from underneath steep slopes as well. People without expert level backcountry avalanche skills are urged to stay out of the backcountry.


A skier was killed yesterday at Vail Ski Resort in Colorado when he reportedly skied into closed terrain within the resort boundary and triggered an avalanche. The reason I mention this here in Utah is that people have been ducking ropes at our ski resorts and triggering avalanches while skiing closed terrain. This adds to the already heavy burden of the snow safety teams. ‘Nuff said.


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 HIGH. Human triggered avalanches on mid and upper elevation slopes that face west through north through east are very likely still. Avalanches can be triggered from a distance so stay out from underneath these slopes as well. Low angle terrain is the only sane choice right now.


Under cloudy skies, temperatures are in the low teens with a few stations in the low 20s with light southwest winds. Southerly slopes heated enough on Sunday to have crusts this morning.


Holy cow! What a natural avalanche cycle!! Deep fracture lines litter the landscape out there on a variety of aspects but most predominantly on west through north through east facing slopes. A handful of human triggered avalanches were also reported including a very close call in the Brighton sidecountry where four people were caught in the same slide, all taking the ride and two ending up partly buried. Amazingly, they walked away unscathed except for their messed shorts. (Pic of crown below) Check CURRENT CONDITIONS where there is an amazing amount of avalanche activity detailed since Thursday.


      Over the next 24 hours.

This season’s weak layer formation and resulting avalanche cycle is absolutely “text book” but on an exaggerated scale. The weak layer formation is well documented and the first few chapters of the avalanche cycle’s book have been written. I expect this to become quite the novel for some time to come.

Things were easy over the weekend with the “in your face” avalanche conditions. They will get more difficult from here on out. Let me expand on that. My partner, Bill Nalli and I had just collapsed and “spiderwebbed” the crown which was hangfire of an avalanche we were looking at yesterday. All around us, there was lots of VERY alluring terrain which hadn’t avalanched that contained beautiful Utah powder. We both acknowledged how badly we wanted to be able to get onto those slopes. When the fruit is slapping you in the face, it’s hard to curb your desire for the fresh snow especially after we’ve been cheated out of lots of fresh powder this season. The snowpack will become less sensitive and we’ll start to see some tracks on steeper slopes which can lead to a false sense of security. Make no mistake that this weak layer is likely to bite someone down the road. I often state that patience is the key to a long career in the backcountry. Are you going to recklessly take a chance for a few turns in a well known unstable snowpack or are you going to leave it alone for a while and enjoy powder for years to come?


A splitting storm should still give us a little shot of snow. We should see some snow showers today with a few inches of accumulation. Temperatures will be in the mid to upper 20s at 8000 feet and southwest winds will be in the moderate speed category. A cold front moves through this evening with a better chance of accumulation. Moderate speed winds veer northwest. 4 to 8 inches is possible out of this little system.


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.

Subscribe to the daily avalanche advisory e-mail click HERE.

UDOT canyon closures UDOTat (801) 975-4838

Wasatch Powderbird Guides are suspending the opening of helicopter skiing operations. Once we have enough snow cover, daily updates to this blog http://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 submitting avalanche and snow observations. You can also call us at 801-524-5304 or 800-662-4140, or email by clicking HERE

Donate to your favorite non-profit –The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center. The UAC depends on contributions from users like you to support our work.

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.