Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Ogden Area Mountains Issued by Evelyn Lees for Sunday - April 10, 2016 - 6:40am
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For Sunday through Wednesday, the avalanche danger is LOW in the mornings, but will increase to MODERATE each day with daytime heating. Wet loose sluffs and wet slabs can be triggered, and the chances of both will slowly increase each day during this prolonged warm spell. There is also an isolated chance of a glide avalanche releases and cornice falls through Wednesday.

This is our last early morning forecast for the season – we will update this forecast as conditions change, with next forecast around Thursday. However, we will continue to post your observations on a daily basis. Your observations will become increasingly important to the backcountry community.

special announcement

On Friday, April 15 at 5 pm, a memorial for Doug Green, who died in an avalanche on Gobblers Knob on January 21, will be held at Our Lady of the Snows at Alta.

End of the season: Sunday, April 10th, is our last regular early morning up date for the 2015-2016 winter season. We will continue to do weather-dependent intermittent updates through the month of April, and continue to post your observations on a daily basis. Your observations will become increasingly important to the backcountry community.

current conditions

Under partly cloudy to overcast skies, light rain is falling in parts of the Ogden area mountains this morning. A slow retreat of temperatures continues, with the high ridge lines right around the freezing mark this morning. However, many low to mid elevation stations remain above freezing for the 4th night in a row, and that trend will continue through Wednesday. The southwesterly winds are averaging 15 to 25 mph, gusting in the 30s along the high ridge lines. Isolated rain and snow showers occurred overnight.

The upper elevations should have a very shallow refreeze, but the snow at mid to low elevations will once again be soft and sticky with only thin crusts, if any. Finding corn may be tricky for the next 4 days due to warm temperatures.

recent activity

Yesterday, there was one shallow wet slab avalanche triggered in Deer Creek, in American Fork Canyon, on a southeast facing slope at 8700', about 5” deep and 100’ wide. There were also reports of the snow becoming punchy, and quick to soften on most aspects and elevations.

American Fork wet slab avalanche, Wimmer/Adams photo. Observation HERE.

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

For today through Wednesday, heat related wet snow avalanches are the main concern, and the danger will slowly increase and become more widespread as temperatures slowly warm through Wednesday.

Wet Loose sluffs – it will be possible to trigger wet loose sluffs each day as the surface snow heats, on almost all aspects and elevations. Mid and lower elevations will be most active Sunday, by Tuesday and Wednesday the upper elevations will become more active, with warming temperatures and more sun.

Wet slab avalanches – are when a frozen crust or slab of dense snow fails on wet snow beneath. Any collapsing or bending of the crust where you are means poor layering, and time to get off steep slopes. Again, these could become more common over the next few days with the continuing warm temperatures. Runnels are generally good sign that that water in the snowpack is draining, not pooling.

Glide avalanches – can occur any time of day or night, and may become more frequent during this prolonged warm period through Wednesday. Continue to avoid travel beneath glide cracks, which are most common where smooth rock slabs underlie the snowpack. Broads Fork and Stairs Gulch are examples.

Cornices – are soft and drooping, and becoming sensitive with the warming. They can break off spontaneously or back further than expected. Give them a wide berth, and avoid travel beneath them.

Photo of drainage runnels from Friday, Willard Peak. John Mletschnig photo


A series of weak storm systems moving across the desert southwest will bring mild and warm spring weather through Wednesday, with a decreasing chance of convective rain and snow showers possible each day through Tuesday. Ridge line temperatures will be in the low 30s Sunday, slowly warming into the upper 30s by Wednesday. The low to mid elevations will generally stay above freezing through Wednesday. Winds will remain from the south to southwest, and moderate to light. A dramatic change on Thursday and Friday as a cold front arrives from the northwest, bringing snow and a significant drop in temperatures.

I find the NWS Snow and Avalanche page a great place to browse mountain weather stations, especially checking temperatures the next few days.

general announcements

Remember your information can save lives. If you see anything we should know about, please help us out 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 request 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.

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.

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 critical to know the resort policy on uphill travel.  You can see the uphill travel policy for each resort here

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.