Ogden Avalanche Advisory

Forecaster: Drew Hardesty


I've issued a Special Avalanche Bulletin for the Wasatch Range as well as the mountains of southwestern Utah. Locally heavy rain, snow, and strong winds have led to unusual and dangerous avalanche conditions, even at the mid and low elevations.

Check out the Online store above for ski passes - there are still weeks of great spring skiing left, and perhaps a few powder storms still coming. All proceeds go to our partner the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center.


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

Danger Rose Tutorial

A current MODERATE danger will rise to CONSIDERABLE for new snow and wet snow avalanches. Unique avalanche problems exist at all elevations and aspects. Human triggered avalanches will become likely as the storm wears on. Any triggered avalanche has the potential to gouge down into the more saturated snow layers resulting in a more significant - tree snapping avalanche debris pile.



Let's keep this simple - As I write this just before 6am, it's snowing 2-3"/hour and blowing 30mph from the south/southeast with gusts into the mid 40s. Temps are in the mid teens. Storm totals are roughly 13-16" in the Cottonwoods, 8-10" in the Park City mountains, and a trace to 2" in Ogden and Provo. A rough rain/snow line is 7-8000'. It's gonna keep snowing.


No activity reported from yesterday.


      Over the next 12 hours.

Anticipated additional snow and wind in the Ogden area mountains should lead to at least a MODERATE hazard for fresh wind drifts in the wind zone. Northwest through east facing slopes should be most prone as the winds veer southwesterly and westerly. I expect the hazard to be on the rise today.


      Over the next 24 hours.

One would imagine that warm snow coming in on warm snow surfaces would allow for a good bond, but with at times heavy snowfall rates, the avalanche will find it's own weakness within its own storm to slide.

From 1922 to 1984, Elbert Despain delivered mail up Little Cottonwood Canyon and gained the distinction of being the oldest mail carrier in the United States. It must’ve been the exercise and clean air. Perhaps it was because he was in love with the mountains. But that’s not all. Gone-but- hardly-forgotten avalanche scientist Ed LaChapelle once asked Despain how he managed to miss getting caught in an avalanche all that time. He replied without hesitation, “After a heavy fall of new snow, wait two days.” I’m not sure the details on how Despain passed on into the next life. LaChapelle died of a heart attack skiing powder in Colorado.at the age of 81. Both lived long lives due to good judgement and discipline.


      Over the next 24 hours.

This is a significant concern for today. Half an inch of rain or more has fallen locally in the last 18 hours or so at the mid to low elevations. Above that elevation, new snowfall has insulated a damp to wet snowpack, preventing a good refreeze and "locking up" of the wet saturated snow. Any triggered avalanche has the potential to gouge down into the more saturated or persistent snow layers resulting in a more significant - tree snapping avalanche debris pile.


We'll see continued heavy snowfall through the morning, tapering off somewhat by early afternoon. Perhaps another 6-10" today, and another 6-10" overnight. The next wave is due early evening with snowfall expected through the night. Winds are expected to veer southwesterly then westerly, with the highest wind speeds this morning - 25-35mph. Temps will continue dropping into the high teens. The storm will linger through Tuesday...


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 and Park City – 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 frequentlypostedby 10 pm each evening.

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Remember your information can save lives.If you see anything we should know about, please 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.