The Throes of Late Fall
From November ninth through the eleventh, we started avalanche season 2020-2021. Our first two storms were pretty good producers with anywhere from 18-23” of snow in the Northern Wasatch and Southern Bear River mountain ranges. On Thursday, November 12th, the skies cleared and the masses came out to see the sun after days of gray and clouds. Snow sliders found mixed riding conditions and stable avalanche conditions as these first two storms of the season had fallen on warm, dry ground and came in light and fluffy.
As storm number three started to rear its head, things got real. The storm came fiercely with wind, lighting, rain, heavy snowfall, and more wind (nothing unusual for us up north!) The Ben Lomond snowsite picked up an astonishing +2” of SWE (snow-water equivalent) with only 5-6” of snow. You can do the math if you wish, but know that means this was some creamy stuff that was great for consolidating the existing snow from storms one and two. The rest of the zone did well snow-wise with anywhere from 12 to 20” in this storm. Once again, the sun came out and the masses skied on a variety of breakable crusts and cream. Storm four came and went without much fanfare. Unfortunately, rain was reported at all elevations in the Ogden mountains overnight November 18/19. It appears this pattern of scattered rain and insignificant snowfall will likely continue through the Thanksgiving holiday.
The avalanche problem is currently low in the northern Wasatch, this could change with heavy winds or more snow but at this point, the largest danger is low tide, my favorite sign from Snowbasin “early season conditions exist!”
Stay tuned in to the weather and snow. We will keep you updated as we monitor the likely growth of our early season friend: DEPTH HOAR! Until then, please continue with the previously scheduled late fall biking, surfing, Mexico, desert, farm chores, etc.. that you should be doing. Settle in for a long winter on the backcountry side. Be courteous to other users in the community. We, as Ogden skiers, have a special thing. Unlike many other ski scenes across the west, we are a tight-knit community and we need to continue to look out for each other.