Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Ogden Area Mountains Issued by Paige Pagnucco for Sunday - April 16, 2017 - 6:27am
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The avalanche danger is LOW this morning but will rise to MODERATE as daytime heating occurs. Triggered loose wet and wet slab avalanches will be possible as the snow becomes saturated and unstable. Stay off of and out from under large ridge-top cornices.

special announcement

Great news… so far there haven’t been any avalanche fatalities in Utah this winter! It has been 26 years since we’ve had a fatality-free winter. Let’s keep it that way and stay safe this spring. Our goal is for everyone to enjoy the Greatest Snow on Earth and come home safe every day.

The final regular advisory will be this Sunday, April 16. For the rest of the month we'll issue updates any time there is measurable snowfall; however, we will discontinue issuing avalanche danger ratings after Sunday.

Want to know about more about spring conditions? Want to be your own forecaster? Check out this short video ...


current conditions

Temperatures this morning are 34 F at Ben Lomond, 29 F at Mt. Ogden, and 31 F at Monte Cristo. Winds are blowing 10-15 mph out of the south southwest with ridgetop gusts near 20 mph. The snow will start out firm this morning but will soften quickly with direct sun and daytime heating. You'll find smooth corn snow conditions on most slopes except north facing which, at upper elevations, still harbors some dry snow.

Ok, for real this time ...This is my last forecast of the season and I want to say a HUGE thank you to a few folks:

  • GR and the Snowbasin Patrol - Your support has been invaluable.
  • Brian, Mike, Butch, and the Powder Mt. crew - Ditto. We couldn't do it without you.
  • All the Ogden area observers: Brian Smith, Bill Brandt, Derek DeBruin, Bill Hunt, Mike H, Ben, Doug Wewer, Daniel Turner, and many more. Your efforts have been key to developing accurate advisories. Thank you for taking the time to share what you see.
  • Stephanie and the AD Triple S team for your support of avalanche education for motorized riders.
  • And last but not least, UAC intern and Ogden avalanche guru extraordinaire, Kory Davis. Your enthusiasm and energy for all things avalanche is contagious. Your contributions are immeasurable and there's no doubt you are making a difference. Thank you.
recent activity

The only reported avalanche yesterday was in the Park City zone on an east facing 38 degree slope at 8800'. A skier unintentionally triggered a wet slab avalanche that carried him about 125'. The skier deployed his airbag and was not injured. Scary reminder that the sun and warm temps increase instability very quickly this time of year. Read the observation here.

A few small, wet loose avalanches were reported Thursday. On Wednesday, a human triggered wet loose avalanche in Mt.Ogden Chute was large enough to burry a person.


Avalanche Problem 1
type aspect/elevation characteristics
over the next 12 hours

It barely got below freezing last night and, with warmer temperatures forecast today, triggered loose wet and wet slab avalanches will become possible as the day heats up. Without a deep refreeze, the snow will become saturated and unstable much sooner than yesterday. Here are a few things to keep in mind today as you travel in the mountains:

  • Timing is everything in the spring. When you notice the snow getting damp and sloppy, you should move to a cooler aspect or lower angle terrain as stability can decrease in mere minutes. Avoid steep slopes where the snow is saturated or showing signs of instability like rollerballs, pinwheels, or natural sluffs under trees or rock outcroppings.
  • Avoid being on or below large ridge-top cornices. Overhanging cornices can break further back than expected and trigger avalanches on slopes below. Cornice falls are possible anytime, but are most likely during the heat of the day.
  • Firm snow surfaces will make for "slide for life" conditions on steep slopes this morning until the sun has a chance to soften the snow. You might consider using crampons and an ice axe or whippet for self-arrest if you plan to be in steep terrain.
  • Continue to use safe travel protocols and carry a beacon, shovel and probe.

Another nice day on tap for the mountains - partly sunny skies, temps in the 40's F, and light southerly winds blowing 5-10 mph. Unsettled weather is forecast for the coming week.

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 occur