Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Ogden Area Mountains Issued by Brett Kobernik for Tuesday - January 13, 2015 - 7:23am
bottom line

Treat the avalanche danger as CONSIDERABLE until you can prove that it's MODERATE. Human triggered avalanches are possible. Watch for any cracking within the new snow which indicates instability. The danger could increase rapidly if the northeast winds start to drift snow mid day. I suspect things will be manageable again today if you use your head.

current conditions

Monday's snow storm was a very nice surprise! There was much more prefrontal snow accumulations than anticipated. Despite fairly warm temperatures, the snow was of a lower density variety. Totals in the Ogden area mountains are around a foot with an inch of water. The snow fell straight out of the sky with very little wind.

Currently, most stations have temperatures around 20 degrees and winds are light from the north with just a hint at a northeast direction.

recent activity

During the high snowfall rates Monday morning, natural loose snow avalanches occurred. This was also when things were the most sensitive to skiers with numerous predictable and 'manageable' soft slabs triggered with slope cuts. There was some new snow instability at the interface between Saturday's few inches of snow and yesterday's storm snow.

The sensitivity decreased in the afternoon when snowfall rates slowed a bit. It is not uncommon to see new snow instabilities spike then taper back off fairly rapidly. No significant avalanche activity was reported aside from the natural sluffing and localized skier triggered soft slabs. A number of steeper slopes were skied successfully. Slope cuts and proper sluff management techniques were essential.

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

Now we must determine how sensitive the new snow will be today. You must treat it as guilty until proven innocent. I would start out with more benign, low consequence terrain to get a feel of what's going. Don't just go punch the big line to start the day. Here are some things to consider.

The good:

  • Settlement of the new snow is occurring.
  • Most new snow instabilities settle out rapidly.

The bad:

  • Favored areas have received 2 feet of snow with 2 inches of water. This is significant no matter how you look at it.
  • The newest snow may be slightly inverted which lends to slab formation.
  • Northeast wind speeds are supposed to increase slightly mid day today. I've never seen anything good from an east wind direction except when it's offshore at the beach.

The storm will continue to taper off today. We should see mostly cloudy skies this morning with perhaps some breaks later. Ridgetop temperatures will be in the mid 20s. Winds will continue to veer to the north then northeast and will bump up in speed mid day. It's looking like moderate ridgetop speeds but be aware that this may be enough to start drifting snow which will increase the avalanche danger. High pressure starts to build in again Wednesday with another warming trend and mild temperatures by Thursday.

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)

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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, or on Twitter, follow @UDOTavy, @CanyonAlerts or @AltaCentral

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.  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.

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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.