Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Ogden Area Mountains Issued by Evelyn Lees for Thursday - December 18, 2014 - 6:43am
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The avalanche danger is mostly LOW, with pockets of MODERATE danger on steep northerly through northeast facing slopes at the upper elevations. There, it is possible to trigger an isolated slab avalanche – a buried old hard wind drift. The thin snow cover means any ride in an avalanche would a dangerous proposition, hitting unforgiving rocks and logs. Shallow, loose snow sluffs can also be started on steep, shady slopes.

special announcement

Know an Alta skier deserving of a unique holiday gift? How about ski locker in the GMD basement at Alta? A locker has been donated to the UAC and we are going to lease that for this ski season to the highest bidder. Details here.

2014/2015 Utah Adventure Journal Speaker Series at Snowbird: Tonight Thursday December 18th at 6:00pm, local Salt Lake skier Caroline Gleich will share her story of her transition from powder skiing to ski mountaineering. Raffle benefits the Utah Avalanche Center. Must be 21+ to attend.

Discount lift tickets are in and for sale - ski a day at the resorts and benefit the Utah Avalanche Center. Tickets for Alta, Brighton, Deer Valley, Solitude, and Snowbasin, Snowbird, and Sundance are in and more tickets are expected shortly.

Snowbird Mtn Resort requests that skiers and boarders accessing their terrain from the White Pine ridge or before or after normal operations please abide by their private land policies or check in with the ski patrol. Thanks.

current conditions

Winter remains stalled out for at least another 2 days. Temperatures are in the teens and twenties this morning in the Ogden area mountains. The southwesterly winds are extraordinarily light, averaging less then 5 mph at most stations. A few of the very highest peaks have occasional gusts to 20 mph.

The snowpack is unseasonably shallow, and becoming less supportable in the shallowest areas. However, there continue to be descent turning and riding conditions in the shallow, recrystallized snow on the shady slopes at the mid and upper elevations, if you can avoid hitting rock and logs.

recent activity

No new avalanches were reported from the backcountry yesterday, though sluffing was occurring on some of the steeper, northerly facing slopes at upper elevations.

Avalanche Problem 1
type aspect/elevation characteristics
over the next 24 hours

A few of the scattered buried wind drifts could still be triggered by a person. The most likely place to find one is on an upper elevation, northerly or northeasterly facing slope. These drifts were formed by a couple of different wind events, though are all in the upper ½ of the snowpack. Sluffs can also be triggered on steep, shady slopes.

Of a more general note – the long dry spells are weakening our snowpack – bad news for the next storm. The “loud powder” surface snow of facets and a little surface hoar is the more obvious; but layers deeper in the pack and near the ground are also slowly turning into weak facets. It makes a poor, weak base for the upcoming storms.

A loose snow sluff on the Park City ridge line. (pc Mark White)


Stuck in the doldrums – another day with partly to mostly cloudy skies, very light winds and a few snow flurries possible. Temperatures will remain in the teens along the high ridgelines and warm into the upper 20s at 8000’. The southwesterly winds will continue to average less the 10 mph, with only the occasional gusts to 20 along the highest ridgelines. Friday will be partly cloudy again with light winds. Changes look to be on the horizon, though, with an “upside down” warming storm Saturday through Monday, followed by a cold storm starting around Wednesday, Christmas Eve.

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 are now available at Backcountry.com with more resorts to come soon.  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.  You can see the uphill travel policy for each resort here. IMPORTANT: Before skinning or hiking 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.