Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Ogden Area Mountains Issued by Evelyn Lees for Tuesday - January 16, 2018 - 6:40am
bottom line

The Avalanche Danger is MODERATE on steep, mid and upper elevation slopes facing northerly through easterly. Human triggered avalanches are possible, and large, deadly avalanches can be triggered in isolated places. Use a slope inclinometer and compass to identify and avoid the steep, north through easterly facing slopes, where it’s most likely to trigger an avalanche.

If you're headed into the backcountry - or exiting though the gates at the ski area - you must have the proper gear, training, and skilled partners.

special announcement

To get help in an emergency (to request a rescue) in the Wasatch, call 911. Be prepared to give your GPS coordinates.

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.

current conditions

It’s another mild day in the mountains, with a few high thin clouds drifting by and a very slight temperature inversion in the Ogden area mountains. temperatures are in the twenties from the valley bottom to the tops of most peaks. Winds are from the southeast and light, averaging 10 mph, with gusts 15 to 20 mph. If you are searching for soft snow, head to shady, wind sheltered, low angle slopes above about 8,000', where there is “loud powder” in the growing surface hoar. All the sunny slopes are crusted, but will soften with daytime heating. There was a report of decent "corn like" turning conditions yesterday on southerly facing slopes...between the weeds. Backcountry access remains tough in the Ogden area mountains, with only about a foot of snow at the lower elevations, and just over 2 feet up high.

recent activity

There were no reports of avalanches from the backcountry yesterday or at the Ogden resorts. Improved visibility allowed observers to note the signicant avalanche cycle along the Ben Lomond to Willard Peak headwall from earlier in the week. Hardesty/Brandt observations here and here. And of slides in Birch Creek. Kory Davis photo

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

“Poor structure” and a “persistent weak layer” are the buzzwords of the Wasatch snowpack. Translated – “strong snow sitting on weak snow” and “facets”. Cody Hugh’s video from one of Saturday’s avalanches in the Salt Lake are mountains illustrates these both. The poor snowpack structure exists above about 8300' in the Ogden area mountains and is most pronounced on the northerly through easterly aspects.

The chance of triggering a slide is slowly decreasing, but the consequences remain the same. A triggered slide would likely be 2 feet deep, 50 to 100 feet wide, and could take you for a deadly ride. Every observation from experienced backcountry travelers echo notes that avoidance of the steep, shady slopes the only way to guarantee not triggering an avalanche.


A weak system moving through the high pressure will bring periods of high thin clouds today, with thickening clouds tonight. The sighting of a few snowflakes is possible overnight, though unlikely. Temperatures will warm into the upper 30s to low 40s today, cooling into the low twenties overnight. The southeasteerly mountain winds will eventually shift to the southwest, and increase slightly, into the 5 to 15 mph range, with the highest peaks reaching averages of 20 to 25 mph. Confidence is growing for stronger cold front arriving Friday, with snow lingering into Saturday.

general announcements


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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.