Ogden Avalanche Advisory

Forecaster: Drew Hardesty


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

Danger Rose Tutorial

Localized areas of MODERATE danger exist for lingering wind drifts and persistent/deep slab issues. Both are more pronounced in the steep upper elevation shady terrain, but a smattering of wind drifts are scattered across the compass. The danger for wet avalanche activity will rise to MODERATE with daytime heating.


Skies are clear to partly cloudy in the wake of a nice little 2-3" refresher. Winds have veered to the southwest and west and are now blowing 15-20mph with gusts to 30. Temps are in the upper teens to low 20s. Much of the precipitation came in as heavily rimed snow or graupel (pellet snow that often falls with significant convection/turbulence in the atmosphere...and can be accompanied by lightning).

Riding conditions yesterday? Picture this - 2-3" above coral with occasional bullet-proof wet rollerballs and debris. Now turn the lights out with at-times white-out conditions. This was the hospitality I offered to the visiting head of the avalanche center in New Zealand yesterday. Clearly need to work on my international relations skills....


Little in the way of activity yesterday but for some localized shallow wind slab in the high lee terrain.


      Over the next 10 hours.

Cracking and shallow wind slab were found in pockets of the high lee northerly terrain as well as cross loaded on southerly and off aspects. The new snow bonded fairly well to the old locked up frozen corrugated snow surface; however, isolated drifts today may still be sensitive to human weight, particularly with today's sun and heat.


      Over the next 24 hours.

The last persistent and deep slab releases in the backcountry occurred just a week ago during and just after the Equinox storm. They've been reactive this month with significant weather events - rapid warming (March 4) and heavy snow and wind (Equinox). Human triggering remains unlikely, though possible in the upper elevation shady terrain with a thin rocky snowpack (to include terrain that has avalanched previously this season).

How do you know if it's avalanched previously? I often pull out my probe to check snowpack depths and structure. Yellow flag depths would be 120cm (4') or less. Red flag structure - you can insert the probe and feel varying degrees of resistance until you hit the ground. This year you can push through the few winter storm 'slabs' - these offer quite a bit of resistance - then almost fall on top of your probe as it cuts through the basal depth hoar like butter. Not good. Or take a quick look at Ted Scroggin's fine example from the Uintas a couple days ago.


      Over the next 10 hours.

With regards to sun and heating today, graupel and high density snow with a decent bond to the old snow surface isn't the same as cold smoke on an ice crust. Still, I'd expect some roller balls and loose wet sluffs in the steep sun-lit terrain. Wet-push-alanches are also likely with provocation - intentional or otherwise.

Slide for life conditions still exist in the steep scoured still-frozen terrain.


We'll have clear to partly cloudy skies, and light to moderate winds from the west and southwest. Temps will rise into the upper 30s to low 40s at 8000', the mid 30s at 10,000'. Increasing clouds signal a brushby system for tomorrow eve. The next chance for precip looks to be Saturday night.


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.

Twitter Updates for your mobile phone http://utahavalanchecenter.org/twitter)

Daily observations are frequently posted by 10 pm each evening.

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

UDOT canyon closures UDOT at (801) 975-4838

Wasatch Powderbird Guides does daily updates about where they'll be operating on this blog http://powderbird.blogspot.com/.

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 submitting avalanche and snow observations. You can also call us at 801-524-5304 or 800-662-4140, or email by clicking HERE

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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.