Salt Lake Avalanche Advisory

Forecaster: Drew Hardesty


There are a few spots left in the Friends 3-day Brighton Avalanche 1 class, February 13 through 15. It’s a killer deal for 16 to 24 year olds, only $150. Loaner beacons, shovels and probes for the class are available. Sign-ups at Black Diamond retail.


Danger by aspect and elevation on slopes approaching 35° or steeper.
(click HERE for tomorrow's danger rating)

Danger Rose Tutorial

An overall MODERATE danger exists in the Wasatch. Pockets of CONSIDERABLE danger dot the landscape on the steeper northwest through north through northeast facing slopes at the mid and upper elevations. Clearly, it’s still possible to trigger dangerous and persistent deep hard slabs 2-4’ deep. Death or serious injury is likely.

Ogden area mountains:

A TRICKY MODERATE danger exists as well at the mid and low elevations with the lingering surface hoar from late January. Collapsing and high energy stability tests offer enough clues to the instability.


Skies are clear, winds are light, and temps are in the single digits to low teens. Riding conditions are excellent in the sheltered terrain and sun crusted on the east to south to westerly facing slopes.


No activity reported from the backcountry yesterday. More and more folks are punching up and down bigger lines across the landscape. Check Bruce and Brett’s accident reports from Gobbler’s and Wilson Peak on our rapidly expanding Accident Page.

We have a thin, fragile Colorado snowpack. We are used to prodigious amounts of snow with instabilities lasting for weeks, not months. It’s a completely different animal. There’s a reason why Colorado leads the nation in fatalities year after year. Those that fail to recognize this and adapt are likely to end up on the wrong side of the gun. Who was it that said,

It’s not what we don’t know that’s gonna kill us, it’s what we know that ain’t so.”


      Over the next 24 hours.

Low danger with pockets of High? Let’s look at risk.

· High potential with low(er) consequences? Your classic Wasatch new snow instability. Manageable. Predictable. Widespread natural soft slabs – High danger by definition.

· Low(er) potential with high consequences? Less classic. Unmanageable, unpredictable. You know where it lives, but don’t know if you’ll trigger it or not. Localized deep slab instability. 2-5’ deep hard slabs sympatheticing out other hard slabs. Danger? Yup. This is our house of cards.

You’re more likely to trigger these deeper hard slabs on steep, thin, rocky terrain.


      Over the next 12 hours.

Watch for dampening of the snow surface and shallow wet slides with daytime heating.


We’ll have partly to mostly cloudy skies, light southwesterly winds, and temps in the mid teens at 10,000’ and upper-twenties at 8000’. Another storm dives south of us by mid-week. Weak ridging dominates the weather models for later in the week and into the weekend.


Please contact Alta Central (801-742-2033) if you trigger a large avalanche in the backcountry, especially if you are adjacent to a ski area, to alert them to the slide and whether anyone is missing or not. Rescue teams can be exposed to significant hazard when responding to avalanches, and do not want to do so when unneeded. Thanks.

Discount Lift tickets: Ski Utah,, Alta, Deer Valley, Park City, The Canyons, Wolf Mountain, Snowbasin, Beaver Mountain, Brighton, Sundance, and Solitude have donated a limited number of tickets for sale at discounted prices.

Wasatch Powderbird Guides flight plan.

Dawn Patrol Forecast Hotline, updated by 05:30:888-999-4019 option 8.

Daily observations are frequently posted by 10 pm each evening.

Free UAC iPhone app from Canyon Sports.

Subscribe to the daily avalanche advisory e-mail click HERE.

UDOT canyon closures UDOT at (801) 975-4838

We appreciate all your avalanche and snow observations. You can also call us at 801-524-5304 or 800-662-4140, or email to

Donate to your favorite non-profit – The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center. The UAC depends on contributions from users like you to support our work.

The information in this advisory is from the U.S. Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content. This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur.

I will update this forecast tomorrow morning. Thanks for calling.

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.

This advisory provided by the USDA Forest Service, in partnership with:

The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, Utah Division of State Parks and Recreation, Utah Division of Emergency Management, Salt Lake County, Salt Lake Unified Fire Authority and the friends of the La Sal Avalanche Center. See our Sponsors Page for a complete list.