Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Ogden Area Mountains Issued by Paige Pagnucco for Saturday - February 18, 2017 - 6:31am
bottom line

There is a MODERATE danger of wind slab avalanches in north facing, upper elevation terrain. Fresh deposits of wind drifted snow may be shallow and isolated, but could be sensitive to human provocation. Otherwise there is generally a LOW avalanche danger in the Ogden area mountains.

Remember that your choice of terrain will either amplify or minimize the overall risk of incident.




special announcement

LAST CALL FOR TAKING AN AVALANCHE CLASS IN THE OGDEN ZONE! Our education calendar is starting to wind down so if you are interested in learning how to travel safely in avalanche terrain, join us next week for this workshop which begins with a three hour evening class on Thursday followed by a on-the-snow field day on Saturday. For more info or to register click here.

Read Drew's companion piece to #NothingBadHappened called Hindsight 20/40.

current conditions

Winds are the story this morning - southerly winds have been cranking through the night 40+ mph with gusts up to 70 mph on Ogden Peak. Ben Lomond (8000') picked up about 4" snow with .6" of snow water equivalent (SWE) and is currently reading 36 degrees F. Other stations report between .2" and .4" of SWE and temps are near freezing (again). Winds are already starting to calm a bit.

A second cup of coffee might be in order this morning as I am not hopeful that this storm has improved riding conditions too much but, if you keep your expectations super low, you just might be surprised. Surface conditions under the thin blanket of new snow range from wet corn to crusts of varying thicknesses to tiny pockets of faceted dry soft snow. Everything is still sitting on a hard, slick, and noisy rain crust.

We appreciate your observations. Please consider sharing what you see in your backcountry travels as the information you provide could help save lives.

recent activity

We were able to initiate "pushalanches" Thursday on a steep, mid-elevation N facing slope in the warmth of the day. What was most interesting about the snow was the ease with which the top 6" slid on the hard rain crust from last week due to the dry, faceted snow between the hard rain crust and the top 2-3" of the pack, which were moist. The small slides had no trouble picking up speed under their own weight. With a few new insulating inches on top now, this weak, faceted snow could still be reactive today.

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

Fresh deposits of wind drifted snow from last night's strong southerly winds might be tricky today, especially if they are sitting on faceted weak snow. This setup should be isolated to the north side of the compass where you could still find dry snow from the last storm. The strong winds combined with medium density new snow may have formed hard, shallow wind slabs that if provoked could take you for a short but nasty ride. Avoid steep slopes with fresh deposits of wind drifted snow today especially in high elevation, north facing sheltered terrain.

Last night's strong southerly winds likely added to already existing cornices which in some places still loom large over many ridgelines - continue to give them a very wide berth. Here's a cool cornice observation from the nearby Logan zone.‚Äč

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

Continue to use normal caution as you travel in the backcountry - risk is always inherent in mountain travel. Temps are still not getting impressively low overnight and, with daytime temps above freezing, wet loose avalanches are still possible and are most likely at the mid and low elevations.

weather

Today's weather should be fairly benign in the Ogden zone. The forecast is calling for temperatures in the 30's around 8000', cloudy skies, and continued moderate south winds. Snow showers will linger but little accumulation is expected. A more promising impulse arrives tonight.

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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DAWN PATROL Hotline updated daily by 5-530am - 888-999-4019 option 8.

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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.

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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.