Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Ogden Area Mountains Issued by Evelyn Lees for Saturday - December 16, 2017 - 7:06am
bottom line

The avalanche danger is LOW – but small avalanches can be triggered in isolated areas or extreme terrain. The most likely avalanche to trigger this afternoon (if it snows) would be a new snow sluff on an upper elevation slope facing northwest through northeast or a small, shallow wind drift at the highest elevations.

The snow pack is very shallow - riding is really only possible at the upper elevations in the Ogden area mountains, and even there, staying on lower angle, grassy slopes or sticking to snow packed roads will reduce the number of rocks and stumps you hit.

special announcement

With no change in conditions expected or any storms on the horizon, we will be issuing intermittent advisories. The next update will be Sunday the 17th of December.

Today, Saturday, December 16, Pat Moore and Volcom are presenting METHODOLOGY at Brighton Resort, a banked slalom event, fun for all ages and abilities. It’s a fundraiser for a new Beacon Park at Brighton Resort. To also support the cause, buy a raffle ticket for a new Traeger Grill which can be shipped anywhere in the US!

Get important updates from the UAC via text message directly to your phone. Its very simple - text 40404 and send this message "Follow uacwasatch".

Looking for a great stocking stuffer for Christmas? Discount lift tickets for Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, Solitude, Deer Valley, Snowbasin,and Beaver Mountain are now available, donated by the resorts to benefit the Utah Avalanche Center. Details and order information here. These make a great holiday gift and all proceeds go towards paying for avalanche forecasting and education!

Support the UAC when you shop Whole Foods Market at Trolley Square, Sugarhouse, and Cottonwood Heights. Between now and Jan 11th, Whole Foods will donate a dime per bag to Utah Avalanche Center when you shop there and donate your bag credit during check out.

Please abide by the uphill travel policies of the ski resorts. Info here.

current conditions

A splitting trough is approaching northern Utah. Currently, skies are overcast, and light snow is falling in the Ogden area mountains. The winds have shifted to a west to northwesterly direction, and decreased over the past hours - averaging 5 to 10 mph, with the highest peaks averaging around 15 mph. Temperatures are dropping as I type - now in the 20s.

Total snow on the ground on shady, upper elevation slopes is around 1 to 2 feet, and becoming less supportable in the shallower snowpack areas. Sunny slopes are a mix of crusty snow and bare ground, and there’s only patchy snow at the mid and lower elevations.

View the latest Ogden observations here.

recent activity

No new avalanche activity has been reported for over a week.

Avalanche Problem 1
type aspect/elevation characteristics
over the next 24 hours

Though the avalanche danger is LOW, small avalanches can still be triggered in isolated places.

If we get the forecast 3 to 6” of new snow today, triggering sluffs on steep, upper elevation slopes will become possible. The new snow is landing on weak surface snow or slick crusts. While these shallow sluffs won’t pack much of a punch, if they do knock you off your feet, even a short ride almost guarantees you will hit a rock.

If you’re heading to the tops of the highest peaks today, also watch for and avoid any shallow, new wind drifts, which could be cross-loaded onto a variety of aspects.

The snowpack on the shady slopes consists of weak crusts and sugary faceted snow. This is a concern for the future when we finally get snow. For now, it’s amazing just to dig your hand into the snow and see how loose and weak it is.


A splitting and weakening trough is moving across Utah today, and light snowfall has already started in the Ogden area mountains. The heaviest snowfall should be this afternoon into this evening, with 3 to 6” of low-density snow expected. Winds will continue to shift to the northwest and remain light, averaging 5 to 15 mph. Temperatures will continue cool throughout the day, dropping into the teens at the upper elevations by this afternoon, and then into the single digits tonight. A few lingering snow flurries are possible on Sunday, followed by high pressure for Monday and Tuesday. A colder, maybe stronger storm is forecast for Wednesday.

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 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

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.

Support the UAC through your daily shopping. When you shop at Smith's, or online at REI, Backcountry.com, Patagonia, NRS, Amazon, eBay by clicking on these links, they donate a portion of your purchase to the FUAC. If you sell on eBay, you can have your See our Donate Page for more details on how you can support the UAC when you shop.

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 occur.