Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Ogden Area Mountains Issued by Brett Kobernik for Sunday - March 15, 2015 - 6:24am
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THE AVALANCHE DANGER IS INCREASING WITH THE CONTINUED WARMING TREND. It is unclear how dangerous conditions will get today so you must travel as you would with any heightened avalanche danger. Do not linger under steep slopes, stay out of gullies, and plan your route so you don't end up on or below steep slopes that have become too wet later in the day. The danger is MODERATE and may reach CONSIDERABLE with daytime heating. Natural avalanches are possible.

current conditions

What a unique winter(?) we've had with continued unusually warm weather. The UDOT guys at the Alta Guard have only recorded about 213 inches of snow so far this season. I ramble about our seasonal snow cover a bit more HERE.

Temperatures remained warm overnight with readings in the mid 30s at 11,000 feet and most stations in the 9000 to 10,000 foot range are in the low to mid 40s. Southerly wind continues in the light to moderate speed category. There was probably enough overnight cloud cover to hamper the snow surface from cooling and with the very mild temperatures, I wouldn't bank on much of a surface refreeze this morning.

recent activity

There was one small wet avalanche reported from the Snowbasin backcountry in Hells Canyon. It was most likely a natural avalanche. After running quite a distance it piled up a sizable debris pile in the gully bottom. This is a great example of why you don't want to spend much time in the bottoms of gullies again today.

Avalanche Problem 1
type aspect/elevation characteristics
over the next 48 hours

With a significant heating trend through the weekend, we will need to pay attention to how this makes the snowpack react. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Temperatures are warmer than yesterday and any refreeze of the snow surface will be more short lived.
  • Make sure your route doesn't put you in terrain traps later in the day such as gullies with steep walls or larger avalanche paths that funnel into them.
  • Glide avalanches are possible in Stairs, Broads, Mill B South
  • Temperatures may get warm enough to re-activate our buried persistent weak layer which could cause wet slab avalanches. It is difficult to pinpoint timing on these but I'm guessing they will need another 24 hours of warm temperatures before slab activity becomes active.

It is hard to predict just how dangerous the heating will make things get so my forecasting confidence is low. We may see no significant avalanche activity but I wouldn't be surprised to see some dangerous avalanches either.


We'll have partly cloudy skies today with perhaps a little more sun this afternoon. Ridgetop highs will hit 50 easily and some stations will probably get close to 60. Southwest wind looks like it will bump in speed a bit as the day progresses. Anticipate warm overnight temperatures again tonight. Monday remains warm but perhaps a few degrees cooler than today. We'll have a disturbance moving through mid week that may produce some snow showers. Temperatures remain relatively warm through this event so snow levels will be high. It looks like we're back to high pressure again next weekend.

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.

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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.