Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Ogden Area Mountains Issued by Evelyn Lees for Friday - February 13, 2015 - 6:19am
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The avalanche danger is LOW this morning, and avalanches are unlikely. As the day and snow heats up, the danger of wet loose sluffs, large enough to catch and carry a person, will increase, especially on steep, sunny slopes. And if you are traveling in upper elevation terrain, small wind drifts, dry loose sluffs and cornices can also be triggered.

special announcement

If you haven’t caught it yet, check out the recent Utah Adventure Journal article on Drew Hardesty HERE, including his safety oriented Backcountry Project ideas.

Snowshoeing in the backcountry is safer and more fun when you have at least a basic understanding of avalanches. Nobody wants to travel with a partner that can't make informed decisions, or be counted on in a rescue. Spend an evening in the classroom and a day on the snow with pros. Learn how to get out in the backcountry, have fun and come home ready to do it again. Join us Thursday February 19th from 5:30-8:30pm and Saturday February 21st from 8:30am-4:00pm for a Backcountry 101 for snowshoers. Space is limited. Sign up HERE.

Join us February 19th and 21st for a Women's Intro to Avalanches at Snowbasin. Learn how to travel safely in avalanche terrain. This workshop begins with a three hour evening class in Ogden, followed by a 6 hour on-the-snow field day. Taught by Paige Pagnucco, Evelyn Lees and several others from the Utah Avalanche Center and members of Snowbasin Ski Patrol. Space is limited. Sign up HERE.

current conditions

Heading out this morning, you’ll find clear skies, mild temperatures in the 30s, and very light northwesterly winds, with average speeds less than 10 mph. The snow surface had a good refreeze last night, and low elevations and all sunny slopes are crusted and icy this morning, but will soften with day time heating. The reports continue to trickle in of good, dense powder on upper elevation northerly facing slopes.

recent activity

No new avalanches were reported from the backcountry, though a couple of interesting collapses occurred on higher elevation, northerly facing slopes in the Ogden area mountains. One at 9,100 with the weak layer probably near surface facets about 15 to 18' deep, the other at 8,400' - perhaps a pocket of buried surface hoar are the suspects.

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

While large avalanches are unlikely today, there are several types of small avalanches could be triggered. Even a small avalanche can be dangerous in more radical terrain, if it pushes you off a cliff, into trees or takes you for a very long ride. Travel defensively.

  • Wet sluffs maybe a bit more active today with the slightly warmer temperatures, less wind, more sun. Get off any steep slope the steep slope as soon as the snow heats and becomes sloppy.
  • Dry, loose sluffs can be triggered on steep, upper elevation northerly facing slopes.
  • Cornices will continue to sag with the heating, and frequently break back further than expected.
  • Isolated wind drifts could be triggered in upper elevation terrain and along ridgelines. These would mostly likely be found on northwest through easterly facing slopes.

There are two more very spring like days ahead, complete with clear, sunny skies and very warm temperatures. Highs today along the ridge lines will be near 40 and iit will be n the 50s at 8,000’. Temperatures similar on Saturday. The winds will remain from the northwest, and light, with most stations averaging less than 10 mph. Temperatures will start to cool late Saturday as a series of dry, but cooler disturbances start to cross the area. A much more dramatic cooling is in the forecast by Monday, with a slight chance for snow.

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.