Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Ogden Area Mountains Issued by Paige Pagnucco for Saturday - December 31, 2016 - 5:04am
bottom line

The avalanche danger is MODERATE on upper elevation slopes for wind slabs. Heightened avalanche conditions exist so evaluate the snow and terrain carefully.

The avalanche danger is LOW at mid and low elevations. LOW danger means that you still need to practice safe travel protocols and watch for unstable snow in isolated areas. Risk is inherent in mountain travel and low danger in no way means no danger.




special announcement

Ogden Avalanche Education
The Utah Avalanche Center is hosting a number of avalanche education opportunities in the Ogden area
from January 7th through January 14th. If you are new to the mountains or a seasoned backcountry traveler, there’s a class for you!

Saturday January 7th – 3pm FREE Know Before You Go Avalanche Awareness Presentation
Location: Powder Keg Bar at Powder Mountain

Thursday January 12th – 6pmIntroduction to Avalanches Class (registration is required)
Location: Amer Sports and Snowbasin (Field Day - Saturday January 14th)

Friday January 13th – 12:30pmFREE Beacon Clinic – POW! day at Powder Mountain
Location: Main parking lot at Powder Mountain

Friday January 13th – 5-8pmCompanion Rescue Fundamentals Class (registration is required)
Location: Snowbasin Ski Resort

Friday January 13th – 6pm FREE Know Before You Go Avalanche Awareness Presentation
Location: AD Triple S Motorsports, West Haven, UT

current conditions

Happy New Year's Eve! Temperatures are a bit cooler on this last morning of 2016 with 17 F at the 8960' Monte Cristo weather station, 20 F at Ben Lomond (8000') and 14 F at James Peak (9425'). Winds shifted to the northwest overnight and are blowing 10-15 mph with ridge top gusts around 20+ mph. .

Not much has changed since yesterday. The snow surface is continuing to weaken which, for now, makes for fun riding conditions, especially on lower angle terrain, but, in the long term, creates our next potential weak layer. You might still find soft conditions in sheltered mid and low elevation terrain where either surface hoar and/or recrystallized snow has developed.

recent activity

On Tuesday, skiers on Ben Lomond Peak triggered multiple fresh wind slabs 1-2 feet deep including a few that were remotely triggered or released sympathetically when they triggered another slide. Natural winds slabs were observed as well. Photo below shows UAC staff investigating a wind slab avalanche near Cutler Ridge.

Another slide was intentionally triggered by a skier in the southern end of Cache Valley near Paradise at 7900 feet. It broke 1 foot deep and 300 feet wide on facets near an ice crust on a non-wind loaded northeast facing slope.

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

Wind slabs are getting harder and harder to trigger. Forecast calmer winds today should keep new formation in check. There are still soft and hard wind slabs in isolated areas so keep your avalanche eyes turned on. Avoid wind drifted, steep slopes, especially those with high consequences like cliffs, gullies and trees.

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 is still a sliver of a chance of triggering a persistent slab. Weak snow still exists within the snowpack, the most suspect of which is faceted snow just above the stout rain crust (or pencil density snow in some areas). This layer is obvious when you dig a pit and perform a shovel shear test but shows little enthusiasm for propagation. It's worth taking the time to dig in a variety of aspects and elevations to check how well this snow is bonding. Because this weak snow still gives me pause, I'd be leery of "going for it" today on the big, steep lines.

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

Finish off 2016 by testing out your avalanche rescue skills and equipment. Or better yet, your partner's. Take time to do a beacon drill - bury a pack a couple of feet deep with a beacon inside (remember to turn it on) and take turns going through the search process, including probing and shoveling. It doesn't take long and you'll feel better knowing you have the skills that could save someone's life. If you need a refresher, check out BCA's Companion Rescue Series.

weather

Today will be a mix of sun and clouds with temperatures at 8500' nearing the mid to low 20's F. Westerly winds are forecasted to be light though probably a bit stronger on the high ridges.

Change is on the way for the new year with a nice looking storm set to arrive Sunday. With it will come not only snow but very cold air. Time to restock the toe warmers.

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

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!

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.