Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Ogden Area Mountains Issued by Greg Gagne for Saturday - November 26, 2016 - 6:14am
bottom line

Most terrain still has a LOW danger in the Ogden area mountains. Avalanche danger is MODERATE on steep slopes with fresh drifts of wind blown snow. These wind slabs will be most widespread along upper elevation ridgelines, though look for smaller drifts on mid elevation slopes, in open bowls and along gully walls.

The consequences of getting caught in any avalanche on our thin, early-season snowpack means taking a ride over rocks and deadfall.




special announcement

From our friends at Avalanche Canada:

Check out the complete story here.

current conditions

Mountain temperatures range from the low to mid 30's this morning, with a slight temperature inversions in some valley locations where cooler air has pooled in valley bottoms. The southwest winds are averaging 25 - 30 mph, with some gusts in the 40's - even exceeding 50 mph - along the highest ridgelines.

The early season snow pack is still very shallow, and there really isn't enough snow to recreate yet in the Ogden area mountains with only 6-16" at the mid to upper elevations. The sunny, southerly facing slopes are crusted.

Approximate upper elevation snow depths in other regions of the Wasatch include:

  • Provo area mountains – 4 to 8” at the low to mid elevations
  • Upper Cottonwoods – 18 to 24 inches
  • Park City side - about 12 – 18 inches
recent activity

Although there has been no recent avalanche activity, pro observer Doug Wewer has a recent observation highlighting the thin snowpack and weak snow on some shady aspects in the Ogden area mountains.

Avalanche Problem 1
type aspect/elevation characteristics
LIKELIHOOD
LIKELY
UNLIKELY
SIZE
LARGE
SMALL
TREND
INCREASING DANGER
SAME
DECREASING DANGER
over the next 48 hours
description

The main avalanche concern is more widespread and deeper wind drifts. Today’s stronger southwesterly winds will drift snow further off the ridge lines, in addition to loading along the high ridges. Watch for cracky drifts mid slope, at mid elevations, in open bowls, along gully walls and sub ridges. New cornices may be sensitive. Shooting cracks indicate a sensitive wind slab, to be avoided on steep slopes.

Avalanche Problem 2
type aspect/elevation characteristics
LIKELIHOOD
LIKELY
UNLIKELY
SIZE
LARGE
SMALL
TREND
INCREASING DANGER
SAME
DECREASING DANGER
over the next 24 hours
description

The Ogden area mountains have a couple inches of weak faceted snow near the base of the snow pack, but this is limited to the highest, shady locations. It's possible that any new snow slide may step down into this older layering. The photo below is from Doug Wewer highlighting this faceted snow down at the ground:


weather

Expect warm and windy conditions in the mountains today with 8000' temperatures rising into the mid 40's and to just above freezing along the ridgelines. Winds will be from the southwest and blowing 20-30 mph at mid elevations with gusts well into the 40's at upper elevations. Fortunately a series of storms are on the doorstep with snowfall beginning later tonight with 2-4" expected by early Sunday morning. This initial system arrives on a southwest flow. A second, stronger pulse moves through Sunday afternoon with additional snowfall and colder temperatures on a northwest flow. The third - and strongest - piece moves through Monday and Tuesday.

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.

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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.