Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Ogden Area Mountains Issued by Paige Pagnucco for Saturday - December 3, 2016 - 6:14am
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Heightened avalanche conditions exist at upper elevations in the backcountry this weekend, and you should evaluate the snow and terrain carefully.With a lingering deep, persistent slab avalanche problem in specific locations, the avalanche danger is MODERATE on upper elevation northerly facing slopes. There is also on MODERATE danger at the upper elevations on any steep slope where new drifts of wind blown snow have formed. Avalanche conditions are generally safe at lower and mid elevations where the danger is LOW.

Westerly winds are a factor today in the Ogden area mountains. Keep on eye out for wind drifting as there is lots of snow available for transport and wind slabs will develop quickly.

You do not want to take a ride even in a small avalanche, as you could easily be injured with the shallow snow hardly covering up the rocks and dead-fall in avalanche runout zones.




special announcement

Read the Week in Review Blog. It’s a summary of the weather and avalanche events over the past 6 days, with separate sections for the Logan, Uinta, Wasatch and Manti/Skyline area mountains. An awesome way to get caught up on the important events before you head out and recreate in the snow.

View from Ogden area mountains. Photo credit: Doug Wewer

current conditions

It's currently 7 degrees at the 9500' Ogden Peak weather station with winds blowing from the south southwest at 25 mph gusting up to 28mph. No new snow has fallen save a few very light density inches from Thursday. Snow from early this week has settled nicely and become more supportable making traveling easier. Riding conditions remain good mostly above 8000' due to limited sun, limited wind, and cold temperatures. Some south facing slopes developed thin sun crusts yesterday despite the cold temperatures.

You'll find pretty good riding conditions on lower angle terrain that is void of rocks and stumps. The steeper you get the easier it is to punch through to whatever is underneath. There is about 30" of snow on the ground above 8000-8500'. The snow pack is still shallow at lower elevations.

recent activity

No avalanches have been reported in the Ogden area mountains. One notable avalanche occurred in Big Cottonwood Canyon Wednesday in East Bowl of Silver Fork. A skier triggered an avalanche 2 feet deep and 35 feet wide. It ran about 100 feet and carried the skier only about 20 feet. What’s notable about this slide is that the snow released on facets.

Avalanche Problem 1
type aspect/elevation characteristics
LIKELIHOOD
LIKELY
UNLIKELY
SIZE
LARGE
SMALL
TREND
INCREASING DANGER
SAME
DECREASING DANGER
over the next 24 hours
description

The problem with deep slab avalanches is that they tend to persist and remain unstable for long periods. Right now the danger for these is not widespread and only exists in specific places: mostly high elevation slopes with a northerly aspect that either had snow from earlier in the season or have a smooth ground surface, like smooth rock or grassy slopes, where a thin layer of facets lies uninterrupted.

One observer found unstable results in stability tests on Tuesday on Ben Lomond Peak at 8000 feet on a NE aspect. The best solution is to enjoy the powder on other aspects and avoid this problem.

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

Though the winds did not materialize yesterday, they are blowing this morning. The 9500' Odgen Peak weather station is showing south southwest winds at 23 mph with gusts up to 27mph, The winds are expected remain somewhat westerly throughout the day, potentially tapering in the afternoon.

There is lots of fresh, light and easily transportable snow at the higher elevations. With an increase in wind speed there is the potential for wind drifting and the development of wind slabs. These could become a hazard if you are traveling on steep, wind-loaded terrain.

Avalanche Problem 3
type aspect/elevation characteristics
LIKELIHOOD
LIKELY
UNLIKELY
SIZE
LARGE
SMALL
TREND
INCREASING DANGER
SAME
DECREASING DANGER
over the next 24 hours
description

Now is a great time (if you haven't already) to practice your companion rescue skills. Get out your transciever, probe and shovel and practice in the shallow snowpack. It's a good way to reignite that part of your skillset as well as work out any technical or mechanical issues with your equipment. Invite your partners to join in - riding with someone that has rescue equipment and knows how to use it well should be high on your pre-trip checklist.

weather

A cool northwesterly flow will prevail today through early Sunday.Temperatures in the mountains will be winter-like again today with highs at 8500' reaching the mid-teens. Wind chill values will be below zero F. There is a 20% chance of snow with little accumulation expected. Skies will be mostly cloudy as another disturbance works it's way into the area on Sunday into Monday with a good chance for a few inches of snow.

Saturday - A 20 percent chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 18. Wind chill values as low as -6. Light west wind becoming west southwest 5 to 10 mph in the morning.

Saturday Night - A 20 percent chance of snow showers before 11pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 13. West wind 6 to 9 mph.

Sunday - Mostly cloudy, with a high near 26. Southwest wind 8 to 10 mph.

Sunday Night - Snow likely. Cloudy, with a low around 11. West southwest wind 10 to 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

Monday - Snow likely, mainly before 11am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 14. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

general announcements

On Wednesday December 7th the UAC is hosting the 13th annual Pray for Snow Party and Fundraiser in Logan. Details here.

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.‚Äč

TWITTER Updates for your mobile phone - DETAILS

Utah Avalanche Center mobile app - Get your advisory on your iPhone along with great navigation and rescue tools.

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!

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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.