Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Ogden Area Mountains Issued by Evelyn Lees for Sunday - November 16, 2014 - 7:11am
bottom line

The avalanche danger is LOW, but small wind drifts could be triggered in mid and upper elevation terrain. These dense, cracky drifts of wind-blown snow should be avoided on all steep slopes. And remember, none of the mountain resorts are open for the season and you must treat the snow as a backcountry snowpack. Also, it is still a very shallow snowpack, and you could be injured by hitting rocks and stumps.

special announcement

Alta, Snowbird, Brighton and Solitude resorts are closed to uphill traffic this weekend and until their planned opening date next Friday. To those skinning uphill at other resorts: it is your responsibility to know the resort policy on uphill travel. Some allow uphill travel - some don't. Contact the Ski Patrol at each resort for details.

Powder Magazine is publishing an online video series on avalanche accidents, called The Human Factor. It features a number of avalanche experts, including Utah Avalanche Center Director, Bruce Tremper. They will publish a new chapter each Tuesday for the next few weeks. Here is the link: http://www.powder.com/human-factor/

current conditions

It’s verrrry cold this morning, with most mountain temperatures just above or below zero. The strong northwesterly wind finally dropped off yesterday evening, and speeds are currently in the 10 to 20 mph range, with gusts 25 mph. This wind will make it feel more like negative 15 or 20.

Storm totals ended up with 7 to 14” in the Ogden area mountains- this is sitting on bare ground, so is the total snow depth - not quite enough to recreate on.

Other storm totals - 10 to 16 inches in Little Cottonwood, up to about a foot in Big Cottonwood, and about 6” in Provo. Strong winds during the storm certainty created larger drifts and uneven loading.

recent activity

No observations from the Ogden area mountains yesterday, with lots of avalanches reported from the upper elevations of the Cottonwoods. About 5 slides 20-60' wide range were triggered, but the standouts were 3 slides 200' to 800' wide, 2 in upper Silver Fork, 1 in Pioneer Bowl. All these slides were failing near the ground on the shallow layer of sugary, faceted snow, and were on northerly facing slopes above about 10,000. Most were triggered remotely, but one person went for a short ride in Gun Sight notch. Check out all the details on our Observation Page.

Left photo - Bo Torrey, Silver Fork Right photo - Cody Huges Silver Fork

Catherine's area - Toddeo

Avalanche Problem 2
type aspect/elevation characteristics
over the next 24 hours

Unlike the Salt Lake area mountains, the Ogden area mountains started with a clean slate – no significant old snow on the ground. This is a good thing – it may be setting the stage for a more solid snowpack if we can keep getting snow. In the Ogden are mountains, wind drifts that formed yesterday on mid and upper elevation slopes could crack out beneath the weight of a person and just large enough to catch and carry a person. Avoid any steep, wind drifted slope, no matter the aspect. Again, even a short ride in an avalanche could result in bumping along the ground, hitting rocks.


There will be clear skies and very cold temperatures today. Highs will only be in the single digits and teens. The northerly winds may pick up a bit across the high ridges, with averages to 30 mph, and gusts to 40. Speeds in the mid elevation terrain should average below 15 mph. Temperatures will drop back down into the single digits tonight, and warm into the low 20s on Monday. A slow warming trend Monday through Wednesday will hopefully be followed by a few weak disturbances near the end of the week.

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, 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  If you would like to get the daily advisory by email 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.

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 will soon be 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.