Ogden Avalanche Advisory

Forecaster: Brett Kobernik


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

Danger Rose Tutorial

The avalanche danger remains CONSIDERABLE for triggering a dangerous avalanche on the upper elevation west through north through southeast facing steeper slopes. A secondary concern could be fresh wind drifted snow if the winds kick up today. I could not totally enjoy being on those steeper slopes that haven’t avalanched today because the thought of them collapsing and avalanching would be in the back of my mind. Facets suck.


Under cloudy skies with scattered snow showers, temperatures are in the upper teens to low 20s and winds are generally light from the north with a few stations hinting at northeast already. A few inches of snow accumulated overnight.


      Over the next 24 hours.

I hate dealing with the type of stability period we’re in right now. It’s easy to think things have stabilized while traveling around in the backcountry. You’ll see tracks on some steeper slopes where people haven’t triggered any avalanches. Collapsing is becoming less frequent. Stability tests are stubborn and often the results point to good stability.

Here are some things to keep in mind. Some of the tracks you see are in areas where it was just dumb luck that the slope didn’t avalanche but some are put there by calculated people who know the history of the slope. In other words, they know it avalanched and has not been reloaded again to the point of being dangerous. As for collapsing, keep in mind that people have prowled around much of the terrain and have already collapsed a lot of it. Get into terrain that no one has been in and you’re much more likely to hear the snowpack talking to you. As for stability tests, they don’t perform that well with a deeper slab depth like we have. ANY propagation in your tests, even if you’re beating on the columns with a sledge hammer, should be a HUGE red flag. I would disregard the fact that you have to beat hard on the columns hard to get them to fail.

The best indicator we have right now, you have to dig down to see it, and if you’re doing any stability tests you should easily pick it out. It’s our poor snowpack structure: a layer of fairly strong stiff snow 2 to 4 feet thick that sits on top of weaker sugary snow that’s easy to insert your glove into. If you are not seeing this poor structure, it’s time to get off the steep slopes and go back to avalanche school.


      Over the next 24 hours.

A secondary concern today will be areas with fresh drifts of wind blown snow. There’s enough loose snow on the surface to be redistributed by the winds today if they decide to increase in speed. Watch for fresh drifts during your travels today. Always look for crossloaded pockets on all aspects. Also consider that enough snow may get transported onto a west facing slope that's harboring our deeper weak layer to make it collapse and produce a large avalanche.


The flow is way too northerly for us to pick up much snow at all in the mountains today. This flow is poor for any orographic lift which is one of the biggest contributors to snowfall in our mountains. I’m going for a trace to a few inches more possible this morning. The flow will start to shift more northeast as the day progresses. Wind speeds could get a little stiff and should gradually increase through the day. East winds have tricked me before so I wouldn’t be surprised to hear about them getting pretty gusty today. Temperatures will be in the mid 20s at 8000 feet and a bit cooler along the ridges.


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.

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Daily observations are frequently posted by 10 pm each evening.

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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.