Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Ogden Area Mountains Issued by Evelyn Lees for Friday - January 30, 2015 - 6:32am
bottom line

The avalanche danger is LOW, though small avalanches could be triggered in isolated terrain. The upper elevation northwesterly through northeasterly facing terrain has pockets of MODERATE danger as these slopes are the most likely place to trigger a new wind drift or small sluff. Even a small slide can have serious consequences in radical terrain, if it takes you for a long ride or through rocks, trees and cliffs.

special announcement

Learning about snow and avalanches never ends. The more you learn, the more you realize there is to learn. We still have space in our Advanced Avalanche Skills Workshop with Bruce Tremper on February 5th (evening) and 7th (on snow around the Brighton perimeter) and the Snowbasin Freeride Avalanche Summit, organized by Craig Gordon, the afternoon of February 7, followed by 2 days on snow – February 8th and 9th. Find them listed on our education page.

Scientists from the Snow and Avalanche Lab at Montana State University are seeking more participants for their project examining decision making and travel in avalanche terrain. Their project aims to collect GPS location information (from your smartphone) and survey responses from backcountry skiers and riders to better understand what types of terrain are used and how decisions are made. Their focus is on backcountry skiers and riders of all abilities and experience.

For more information: www.montana.edu/snowscience/tracks For snowmobilers: www.montana.edu/snowscience/sleds

current conditions

Skies are partly cloudy in the mountains this morning, and occasional flurries have produced a trace of new snow. Temperatures continue to be mild, currently in the 20s to low 30s. The southeasterly winds are very light, with almost all stations averaging less than 10 mph.

The snow surface could certainly use a real refresh – the wind and few inches of snow from Wednesday are helping, but it’s not enough to cover the old tracks and widespread supportable and breakable sun and wind crusts. The crusts won’t soften much today, so there is some “slide for life” potential, especially in the lower elevations of the Ogden area mountains, where the rain/snow line started out around 7,000’ on Wednesday.

recent activity

No avalanche activity was reported from the backcountry yesterday, and the blowing and drifting snow that was noted was unreactive. However, the outlier was one Cottonwood resort that found sensitive drifts up to 18” deep.

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

Wind Drifts: Mid-day yesterday, the southeasterly winds picked up, with 15 to 30 mph averages in some of the higher terrain for several hours. As mentioned above, one favored windy location did report wind drifts to 18” deep. But this seemed to be the exception - elsewhere, while snow drifted onto the northerly and northwesterly facing slopes, no wind slabs were noted. Still, if you are traveling along the high ridge lines, be on the lookout for these drifts and avoid them on steep slopes.

New Storm snow: High elevation, northerly facing slopes still have weak, loose snow near the surface. As we slowly add a few inches of snow here and there, triggering small sluffs or very shallow soft slabs is possible on steep shady terrain in the upper elevations.


We are on the northern fringe of a storm system passing to our south and east. Light snow is expected at times today and tonight, with the best chance tonight. Total accumulations in the 2 to 6” range are possible by tomorrow morning. Being a warm southerly storm, the rain/snow line will be near 7,000’. 10,000’ highs today will be in the mid to upper twenties. The winds will be from the southeast today, shifting to the east tonight, and are forecast to remain very light – averaging in the 5 to 15 mph range at all elevations.

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, 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.

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.