Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Ogden Area Mountains Issued by Evelyn Lees for Wednesday - February 25, 2015 - 6:50am
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The avalanche danger is MODERATE today for triggering a new wind drift at the upper elevations, especially on slopes with an easterly component. There are pockets of MODERATE danger for these same wind drifts at the mid elevations. Stay off any steep slope with a new drift of wind blown snow - getting caught would feel like have a rug yanked out from under you. The consequences are increased if you could be carried over a cliff or into trees.

special announcement

The 2015 Wasatch Splitfest kicks off this Thursday night, February 26th at 7 PM, with a Presentation/Raffle night at Brewvies Cinema Pub. Come join us for a social evening of food, drinks, presentations of splitboarding adventures from around the world, and a chance to win gear from Chimera, Voile, Arc'teryx, Patagonia, and many others. All proceeds from the raffle go directly to support the Utah Avalanche Center.

The splitfest will continue through the weekend with tour meetups, clinics, demo gear, and more. This is a grassroots event to gather the backcountry snowboarding tribe, with an emphasis on safety, education, and fun. All are welcome. Check out http://www.facebook.com/WasatchSplitfest for all the details.

current conditions

There is a light blanket of clouds over the mountains this morning, accompanied by moderate southwesterly winds in the Ogden area mountains. Temperatures cool with elevation, from near 30 at the low elevations, to the 20s at the mid elevations, and into the teens along the high ridge lines. The west southwesterly winds are kicking up their heels – averaging 30 to 35 mph along the highest ridge lines, with gusts to 40. Mid elevation station speeds are generally averaging near 15 mph, with gusts 25 to 30 mph.. Speeds are much stronger in other parts of the range, and I would expect speeds to increase at times during the day in the Ogden area mountains and shift to a more northwesterly direction.

Icy slopes won’t soften much today and many more shady slopes will be scoured of their snow. Soft snow will be hard to find – search on mid elevation, wind sheltered northerly facing slopes.

recent activity

The only avalanche activity reported yesterday was from a Cottonwood resort, where explosive control work released some size 2 wind slabs (large enough to bury a person) on upper elevation, northerly facing slopes.

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

The winds will be stripping the snow off the northerly and westerly facing slopes, and depositing it into drifts on both mid and upper elevation slopes. With the stronger winds speeds, expect drifts both along the ridgelines and mid slope, in open bowls and cross-loaded around smaller features, such as slope break overs and rocky sub ridges. While the drifts will be most widespread on slopes facing the east ½ of the compass, be alert for wind slabs on all aspects.

Look for cracking, hard smooth rounded pillows, or the sudden step into denser snow as indications you have found a wind drift.

Cracking in a hard wind drift. (photo - D Kikkert)


The blustery winds will be tenacious, remaining moderate to strong across the high ridges all day, and in the 15 to 25 mph range with gusts in the 30s at the mid elevations. 8,000’ temperatures will remain stalled near 30, with ridge line temperatures in the upper teens. The long-range weather forecast is looking better, as a series of disturbances track through the Great Basin on a northwesterly flow. A trace to an inch of snow tonight, 2 to 5” possible on Thursday, and while the weekend storm looks to once again favor southern Utah, northern Utah shouldn’t be entirely left 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.