Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Ogden Area Mountains Issued by Drew Hardesty for Sunday - February 15, 2015 - 7:09am
bottom line

The danger is mostly LOW. Generally safe avalanche conditions. Minor wet activity and cornice fall are the concerns for today. Remember that Risk is always inherent in any mountain travel.

special announcement

Our events and avalanche classes are going at full-tilt in February -

Fireside Chat at Black Diamond - Come down to Black Diamond this Wednesday at 730pm for our monthly Fireside Chat. UAC Director Bruce Tremper will be hosting this informal event.

Companion Rescue Workshops - Be confident in your backcountry avalanche companion rescue skills. We have two four hour clinics coming up - Sat Feb 21 9am and Friday Feb 27 5:30pm. For more info, go to our Events page here.

Backcountry 101 for Snowshoers. Snowshoeing in the backcountry is safer and more fun when you have at least a basic understanding of avalanches. You'll learn about recognizing avalanche terrain and become proficient in companion rescue. Join us Thursday February 19th from 5:30-8:30pm and Saturday February 21st from 8:30am-4:00pm. Space is limited. Sign up HERE.

Women's Intro to Avalanches at Snowbasin. Join us February 19th and 21st for a Women's Intro to Avalanches at Snowbasin. 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

Skies are partly cloudy, winds are northwesterly at 10-15mph (but for the highest ridgelines ~ blowing 25 gusting to 30), and temps are roughly 10-15 degrees off of what they were yesterday, with today's morning temps in the mid to upper 20s. A couple weather stations in the "thermal belt" of the mid-elevations outside of the Cottonwood canyons are struggling to dip below the mid to upper 30s. You can find some patches of soft settled powder in the higher protected northerlies, but our friends at Wasatch Powderbirds mentioned yesterday that "February corn skiing on high south from 11:00 to 14:00 is the best show in town."

Taking a look at the snow numbers from the Alta Guard station since 1944/1945 - Average yearly snowfall (November-April) is 500".

1976-1977 winter season - 314.5" (driest winter on record)

2011-2012 winter season - 329.5"

2012-2013 winter season - 382.5"

2013-2014 winter season - 357.5"

2014-2015 winter season to date - 171.5" (this means we're due for 328.5" over the next ten weeks to meet our average - right?)

These winters are enough to make philosophers of us all -

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

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.

  • Wet sluffs are possible in the steep sunlit slopes with sun and daytime heating. Be extra wary around areas with an wet isothermal unsupportable snowpack. Collapsing may also indicate locals areas of instability.
  • Dry sluffs may be triggered on steep, upper elevation northerly facing slopes.
  • Cornices will continue to sag with the heating, and frequently break back further than expected.

A couple weak cold fronts embedded in a stronger storm passing to the north will bring a cooling trend as temps drop into the mid-teens by tomorrow. For today, we'll have partly cloudy skies, north to northwest winds in the 15mph range and temps in the mid 20s at 10k; the mid to upper 30s at 8000'. The ridge of high pressure rebuilds for mid-week; though the models suggest something moving through by next Friday into the weekend. The GFS and European models differ greatly on solutions at this time, but we'll keep an eye on how things play out.

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.