Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Ogden Area Mountains Issued by Evelyn Lees for Wednesday - December 21, 2016 - 7:03am
bottom line

The avalanche danger Is CONSIDERABLE today for triggering a hard wind slab on an upper elevation slopes facing northwest through southeast. These hard wind slabs can be triggered along the ridgelines or in open bowls, and the danger is MODERATE at the mid elevations where the wind has also drifted the snow. There is also a CONSIDERABLE danger of triggering a deep slide of all the storm snow on an upper elevation slope.




special announcement

Once again this winter, our partners at the Wasatch Mountain Club are matching WMC member donations to the Utah Avalanche Center. If you are a WMC member and value avalanche forecasting and education, please send a check made out to the Utah Avalanche Center to the WMC at 1390 South 1100 East #103, Salt Lake City, UT 84105

current conditions

It’s the first day of winter, and fittingly, the weak cold front dropped an inch of new snow when it passed the Ogden area mountains a few hours ago. Temperatures are cooling, currently in the upper teens along the high ridge lines, mid 20s at the mid elevations, with a few 30s at the lower elevations. The west northwesterly winds are amazingly light, averaging less then 15 mph at all the Ogden stations.

There may be a bit of powder on shady wind sheltered slopes at the mid an upper elevations, but wind damage is very widespread, and the lower elevations are dust on rough icy crusts.

recent activity

In the windy Ogden area mountains, hard slabs were released with explosives, failing on facets or rain crusts, on mid and upper elevation slopes facing NW-SE. A natural was observed as it occurred on Cutler ridge on a slope being wind drifted (how lucky is that!). And debris from a deep slide on Bountiful peak was found, timing unknown.

Left - natural, Brian Smith Right - Bountiful Peak debris, Kory and Alex

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 mid and upper elevation landscape is scattered with hard wind slabs, both along ridge lines and also mid slope. These are mostly hard slabs – a slab avalanche that will break above you, not at your feet. Slope cuts are NOT effective on these. Cracking of hard snow beneath your or a hollow, drum like feel are both signs of a hard wind slab.

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

There are buried layers of facets in the Ogden area snowpack that have been triggered with explosives this week, and natural avalanches last Friday and Saturday. These have been on mid and upper elevation slopes facing northwest through southeasterly, with wind-loaded slopes the most suspect.

Preliminary information on Birthday Chute slide triggered Monday evening in Little Cottonwood is posted. It failed on depth hoar on the ground, and I am stunned by the size and especially the width and the way it connected across 2 chutes.

weather

The cold front has moved past the Ogden area mountains, so any remaining snow flurries should only produce a trace of snow. Skies will remain cloudy today, with ridge line temperatures in the upper teens to near 20, and 8000’ temperatures near 30. The northwesterly winds may increase for a few hours this morning, averaging 10 to 15 mph, before decreasing this afternoon. High peaks could average to 25 mph. The next chance for snow is a small storm forecast for around Christmas Day.

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.‚Äč

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.