Center shares video of explosive-triggered avalanche at Alta

Little Water Peak. Photo: Utah Avalanche Center website

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Jan. 2, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — The Utah Avalanche Center on Facebook shared a video of an explosive-triggered avalanche Sunday at Alta Ski Area.

According to UAC, “There were others in the backcountry that did not require explosives. Even though the danger has dropped from High to Considerable and triggering these slides is a little harder to do, what hasn’t changed is the size and destructive, bone crushing potential.”

In the post, UAC points out that, in much of Utah, there are many thin spots in the snow and many variations in the snowpack that mean a human can easily trigger one of these slides. UAC advises staying on low-angle slopes or on south-facing slopes.

Also on Sunday, UAC reported avalanches on Little Water Peak in Mill Creek Canyon and Grandview Peak in the Session Mountains, both in the Salt Lake Region.

On their website, the UAC staff said:

“Thanks to everyone who submitted an avalanche occurrence for the avalanche off of the northeast face of Little Water Peak on Jan 2, 2022. The UAC greatly values the observations we receive from the community and we couldn’t imagine being able to do as effective a job if it were not for the valuable observations we receive. This is a summary from all the different observations we received and we are listing it as ‘UAC Staff’ but it is a compendium of all the reports we received.

“This avalanche was likely remotely-triggered and occurred mid-day on January 2, 2022. The slope is quite steep at the top (approaching 40°) and was likely wind-loaded from recent strong wind events from the west/southwest. The avalanche failed on weak, faceted snow down near the ground. Estimates of the crown size are 3-12′ deep and 800-1000′ wide. It ran 600′ vertical down to the flats below.”

The UAC has issued an avalanche warning in effect until 6 a.m. Monday for the mountains of the Manti-Skyline, the Fish Lake Region, Pahvants, Tushars, and the Cedar City area mountains.

For information regarding avalanches, forecasts, and safety classes scheduled in various locations in the area, click here.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here