Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Ogden Area Mountains Issued by Bruce Tremper for Friday - April 11, 2014 - 7:00am
bottom line

Avalanche danger starts out Low in the morning but will rise to Considerable in the heat of the afternoon. Get off of, and out from underneath, all steep slopes after the snow gets wet from sun and warm temperatures by noon or especially in the afternoon. Also, avoid cornices and areas where glide avalanches occur regularly such as Stairs Gulch and Broads Fork.

special announcement

The Utah Avalanche Center is winding down for the season - we'll do early morning forecasts through this weekend (Sunday April 13th) and then issue intermittent advisories through the end of April.

current conditions

Temperatures this morning are about the same as yesterday morning--right around freezing--and combined with a clear sky, the snow surface had another supportable refreeze overnight on most slopes but the lower elevation slopes likely had a thin refreeze. That's the good news. The bad news is that today's temperatures should be the warmest of the week--forecast to peak in the mid 50's at 8,500' and around 40 on the highest peaks. So as usual in spring, the early bird gets the corn. Yesterday the supportable surfaces were mush by around 10 am.

This is a 2-day graph with the present time on the right. This morning's low temperature is the same as yesterday. But today the high is forecast to be much warmer than yesterday.

recent activity

There was less wet activity reported from yesterday as the day before because of slightly cooler temperatures because of more wind. Still, there were several wet, loose avalanches reported--several off the northeast side of Farmington Peak, a south facing slope in Provo Canyon and from backcountry terrain near Snowbasin. But most people had sense enough to avoid being out in the heat of the afternoon so there were likely others we did not hear about. Here are a couple photos I took from yesterday just to show the conditions.

Roller balls on the northwest flank of Millicent Peak near Brighton--most occurred in the past couple days.

A few more wet sluffs on the south face of Superior

Avalanche Problem 1
type aspect/elevation characteristics
over the next 12 hours

If you remember nothing else about avalanches: snow does not like rapid change. Most of the rapid change--and thus the most wet activity--in this current avalanche cycle occurred 2 or 3 days ago when the cold, dry snow got soggy for the first time. But wet snow has an additional, curious characteristic: it often takes some time for the melt water to percolate down through the snowpack and affect more deeply buried weak layers. Thus, we sometimes see deeper avalanches occur after several days of warming and we are at that stage right now. Luckily, the deeper snowpack is fairly stable in the thicker snowpack areas like the central Wasatch but thinner snowpack areas may see some wet slab avalanche activity today. Also, cornices have been getting very soft and they tend to calve off randomly in the heat of the afternoon.

As usual in spring, get out early and get off of, and out from underneath, steep slopes by mid day and especially in the heat of the afternoon. Also, be cautious of cornices and avoid areas where glide avalanches occur regularly in spring such as Stairs Gulch and Broad's fork.


Breathable, light-colored clothing, sunscreen, a big, brimmed sun hat. It's going to be a cooker today with 8,000' temperatures in the mid 50's and temperatures around 40 on the highest peaks, which will be about 5 degrees warmer than yesterday. Ridge top winds should be less than yesterday blowing at moderate levels from the west and southwest--20-30 mph on the highest peaks and 10-15 on most ridges. Skies will be clear but we will have some thin, high clouds creeping up from the southwest late in the day.

Today should be the last of the wet avalanche cycle because Saturday should be mostly cloudy and windier in advance of a cold front expected on Saturday night in to Sunday. We should get perhaps an inch or two of snow on Sunday with temperatures dropping to the mid teens on the ridge tops.

general announcements

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 snow and avalanche conditions. You can also call us at 801-524-5304 or 800-662-4140, email by clicking HERE, or include #utavy in your tweet or Instagram.

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), Canyons Resort Dispatch (435-615-3322)

Snowbasin Resort Dispatch (801-620-1017), Powder Mountain Dispatch (801-745-3772 x 123).

Sundance Dispatch (801-223-4150)

EMAIL ADVISORY We have switched to a new SLC email advisory system. If you would like to get the daily advisory by email, or if you have been getting the advisory by email since the beginning of the season and wish to continue, you will need to subscribe here.​  

DAWN PATROL Hotline updated daily by 5-530am - 888-999-4019 option 8.

Twitter Updates for your mobile phone - DETAILS

UDOT canyon closures:  LINK TO UDOT

Utah Avalanche Center mobile app - Get your advisory on your iPhone along with great navigation and rescue tools.uned.

Wasatch Powderbird Guides Blog/Itinerary for the Day.  

Lost or Found something in the backcountry? - http://nolofo.com/

Ski Utah mobile snow updates

Discount lift tickets are now available at Backcountry.com - Thanks to Ski Utah and the Utah Resorts.  All proceeds go towards paying for Utah Avalanche Center avalanche and mountain weather advisories.

To those skinning uphill at resorts:  it is your responsibility to know the resort policy on uphill travel.  Some allow uphill travel and have guidelines, some don't. Contact the Ski Patrol at each resort for details. IMPORTANT: Before skinning at a resort under new snow conditions, check in with Ski Patrol.  Resorts can restrict or cut off access if incompatible with control and grooming operations.

Benefit the Utah Avalanche Center when you shop from Backcountry.com or REI:  Click this link for Backcountry.com or this link to REI, shop, and they will donate a percent of your purchase price to the UAC.  Both offer free shipping (with some conditions) so this costs you nothing!

Benefit the Utah Avalanche Center when you buy or sell on ebay - set the Utah Avalanche Center as a favorite non-profit in your ebay account here and click on ebay gives when you buy or sell.  You can choose to have your seller fees donated to the UAC, which doesn't cost you a penny.

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 exist.