Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Ogden Area Mountains Issued by Brett Kobernik for Wednesday - January 6, 2016 - 7:09am
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The overall avalanche danger is MODERATE. Human triggered avalanches are possible from recent wind loads and or deep weak layers failing in shallow snowpack areas. Accurate snowpack analysis and terrain selection are crucial. The avalanche danger is less pronounced in the mid and lower elevations.

current conditions

A couple of inches of snow fell in the Ogden area mountains over the last 24 hours. Folks reported up to 5" in the Cutler Ridge area. Southerly wind has been pretty well behaved. Temperatures are pretty mild with ridgetop readings in the low to mid 20s.

recent activity

No recent activity but check out this BLOG POST by the always thought provoking Drew Hardesty.

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

The snowpack has been stabilizing and the anticipated new snow during the day today won't change the avalanche danger unless the wind increases more than expected. Below are some things to consider.

  • Keep an eye on the snow and wind during the day because if it snows or blows harder than anticipate, the avalanche danger may increase.
  • In many areas, especially in areas where the snowpack is deeper, the basal facets are strengthening. You can still find quite weak snow in the shallower locations. It is stubborn in propagation tests but it's still there. It may be dormant until we see a significant wind or snow event. However, you still might find a spot to pop something out. I hate to sound like a broken record but that's the nature of the persistent faceted weak layer. It will pass eventually.
  • Folks are getting onto steeper terrain that has avalanched during the Christmas cycle. Many of these avalanches that we've visited seem to have taken out the old facets to the point where they maybe won't pose an immediate threat. Don't bank on this though. Do your homework. Some areas still hold weak faceted snow. Some of these starting zones have been reloaded by recent wind and snow and may just need a trigger.
  • The recent east winds sure did stir things up. It also produced some minor avalanche activity. Some of these wind slabs alone may still be sensitive to a person or rider.

It's still tricky and it really takes very diligent snowpack and terrain assessment to stay safe right now. It's not an 'anything goes' situation.


We're going to see a little snow today with better chances this afternoon and this evening. We might see 6 inches of medium density snow. This should improve riding conditions dramatically. It will be in a southerly flow and the southwest wind doesn't look like it will blow too hard. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Ben Lomond area do pretty good with snow numbers. Wind speeds should stay in the light to moderate range. Temperatures will remain fairly mild in the mid 20s along the ridges. We should see another round of snow on Thursday night into Friday. This won't produce huge amounts of snow but these impulses might make riding conditions quite good without increasing the avalanche danger much.

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.

To get help in an emergency (to launch a rescue) in the Wasatch, call 911.  Be prepared to give your GPS coordinates or the run name. Dispatchers have a copy of the Wasatch Backcountry Ski map.

Backcountry Emergencies. It outlines your step-by-step method in the event of a winter backcountry incident.

If you trigger an avalanche in the backcountry, but no one is hurt and you do not need assistance, please notify the nearest ski area dispatch to avoid a needless response by rescue teams. Thanks.

Salt Lake and Park City – Alta Central (801-742-2033), Canyons Resort/PCMR Dispatch (435)615-1911

Snowbasin Resort Dispatch (801-620-1017), Powder Mountain Dispatch (801-745-3772 x 123).

Sundance Dispatch (801-223-4150)

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DAWN PATROL Hotline updated daily by 5-530am - 888-999-4019 option 8.

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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.

Powderbird Helicopter Skiing - Blog/itinerary for the day

Lost or Found something in the backcountry? - http://nolofo.com/

Ski Utah mobile snow updates

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.