Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Ogden Area Mountains Issued by Drew Hardesty for Sunday - January 8, 2017 - 6:50am
bottom line

The danger will rise to CONSIDERABLE with wind and storm slabs up high and wet loose avalanches down low. ‚ÄčIt may reach HIGH by the afternoon/evening. It will be a day of rapidly changing conditions where caution needs to be the name of the game. Natural and human triggered wet sluffs are expected with rain on snow by the early afternoon. Roof slides, avalanches above the ice climbing gullies, and good debris piles of wet debris in creek beds and other terrain traps are expected.

Many areas have LOW avalanche danger: Safe and 5 star riding may be found on sun and wind-sheltered mid-elevation terrain on slopes less than 30°.




avalanche warning

THE FOREST SERVICE UTAH AVALANCHE CENTER IN SALT LAKE CITY HAS ISSUED A BACKCOUNTRY AVALANCHE WARNING.

* TIMING…IN EFFECT TO 6 PM MST WEDNESDAY

* AFFECTED AREA…FOR THE MOUNTAINS OF NORTHERN UTAH INCLUDING THE WASATCH RANGE...BEAR RIVER RANGE...SOUTHEAST IDAHO...UINTA MOUNTAINS...MANTI-SKYLINE PLATEAU.

* AVALANCHE DANGER…THE AVALANCHE DANGER FOR THE WARNING AREA WILL RISE TOWARD HIGH BY MONDAY.

* IMPACTS…EXPECTED HEAVY SNOWFALL AND STRONG WINDS, COMBINED WITH RAIN ON SNOW AT THE LOWER ELEVATIONS WILL CREATE WIDESPREAD DANGEROUS AVALANCHE CONDITIONS ON MANY ASPECTS AND ELEVATIONS. NATURAL AND HUMAN TRIGGERED AVALANCHES ARE CERTAIN. THOSE WITHOUT EXCELLENT AVALANCHE SKILLS SHOULD AVOID BEING ON OR UNDERNEATH STEEP SLOPES. EVEN AVALANCHES RELEASING OFF STEEP ROOFS MAY BE DANGEROUS IN THE URBAN AND MOUNTAIN VALLEYS.

special announcement

Avalanche Education in the Ogden mountains

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 ClinicPOW! 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


What happens if something goes wrong? Backcountry Emergencies - It outlines your step-by-step method in the event of a winter backcountry incident.

CNN launched 24 hour news back in the 80s, but you can get 24 hour avalanche info - and contribute to it - on our various Twitter andInstagram #utavy, #waobs, and up in Ogden #ogdenavalanche feeds. Check it out -

current conditions

The warm front is upon us. As of 5am, snow numbers are 2-4" (0.35") in the Cottonwoods and Park City ridgeline with 3-4" (0.5") in Ogden and 6-8" (0.97") in Provo. Mountain temperatures continue their upward march into the upper 20s (in many cases, 30°F warmer than they were 48 hours ago). The west to southwesterlies hum at 15-20mph, gusting to 30.


Week in Review by Greg Gagne

The New Years holiday weekend featured clear skies and Low avalanche hazard. Beginning late Sunday night, a storm system came in that lasted through Tuesday morning. Storm totals in the Cottonwoods and Park City mountains were upwards of 2' with close to 2" of water (SWE). This low density snow fell on a preserved layer of near surface facets and surface hoar. Although there was one skier-triggered slide reported on Monday that failed on this layer, most avalanche activity through Tuesday was only sluffing within the storm snow as the low density snow was not acting as a cohesive slab.

On Wednesday and Thursday the UAC issued an avalanche warning with the arrival of a storm system that brought dense snow and strong winds. The Ogden mountains northward received the brunt of the snowfall with over 2' of snow and widespread avalanche activity. The Cottonwoods and Park City mountains received 12-18". The Provo mountains received 29" with 4.5" of water, and went through a significant natural avalanche cycle on all aspects and elevations Wednesday and overnight into Thursday.

There are several excellent observations from this past week that provide useful information as you prepare for your weekend plans.

recent activity

No reports of activity in the backcountry in the central and northern Wasatch. A natural avalanche ran in the east chute of Elk Point in the Provo mountains yesterday that had an impressive powder cloud but not much debris. The starting zone is roughly 10,200' with the powder cloud running 3000'. (Johanna photo/Turley-Keeler video below)

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 will be growing and becoming more dense as the day wears on. They'll be most pronounced just off the mid and upper elevation ridgelines and more likely on north to east to south facing terrain.
  • Storm slabs will become more prevalent in the upside down snow on all aspects at the mid and upper elevations. These may be more sensitive as they are falling on low density snow and/or recrystallized snow from Friday.
  • Cornices are growing and yawning over many steep slopes and deserve a conservative approach.
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

With the warming trend, I expect to see snow changing to rain over the course of the day with the rain/snow line rising to 8500'. Rain on cold dry snow is never a good thing and wet loose slides should run like clockwork around the compass up to these elevations. There is uncertainty of how much rain, but suffice it to say, natural and human triggered wet loose slides will be likely by the afternoon. Our Logan forecaster Toby Weed has a public safety briefing below. Link here.

Roof slides, wet sluffs above many of the ice-climbing gullies, even sluffs coming down and piling up deeply in creek-beds and other terrain traps are all likely and cause for concern for user groups other than backcountry skiers and riders - give a hint to friends/family.

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

The mid to low elevations have the poorest snow structure, owing to the mid-December storm. On many aspects up to 7500', a currently dormant structure of 12-18" of snow sit above a thin layer of facets above the December 16th rain crust. With enough stress through wind and precipitation, this layer may become active (as it has in the Provo area mountains). Similarly, there is are weaknesses about a foot down as well as at the snow surface that may be reactive to additional loading.

weather

A tough one. Snow should change to rain today with a rain/snow line rising to 8500' with 4-8" of dense, upside-down (trending heavier) new snow expected at the higher elevations. West-southwest winds should ramp up toward 40mph by the afternoon. Temps will rise to near 30 at 10,000' and near 40 at 8000'. Moderate snow will continue overnight into tomorrow, with heavier snowfall rates associated with frontal passage in the afternoon. Continued ripples of warm and cold air advection with a moisture tap should keep precip going through Thursday. Bottom line, we could see 2-3' of snow and moderate to strong winds over the next several 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!

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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.