Utah Avalanche Center warns of high danger in parts of state

Search and Rescue volunteers with the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office rescued two skiers who got caught in an avalanche at Gobbler's Knob in Mill Creek on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021. Photo: SLCSOSAR/Facebook

NORTHERN UTAH, Dec. 29, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The avalanche danger in parts of northern Utah is high Wednesday, according to the Utah Avalanche Center.

The danger is high in the Skyline and Uinta mountains, the website said.

“Dangerous avalanche conditions exist in the western Uintas where the avalanche danger is high near and above treeline,” said the warning for the Uintas. “Both natural and human-triggered avalanches are likely, especially on slopes facing the north half of the compass. The snowpack teeters on the edge as a massive amount of snow, water weight, and strong winds have overloaded our fragile snowpack.

“While not as widespread, you’ll find considerable avalanche danger at treeline and human triggered avalanches are likely on steep, wind drifted slopes. Human triggered avalanches are possible and a moderate avalanche danger exists in steep terrain near the trailheads and wind drifted slopes should be approached with caution.”

The warning added: “Here’s your exit strategy — there’s plenty of safe, low angle terrain, but the key to avoiding avalanches is to avoid being on, under, or anywhere near slopes steeper than 30 degrees, especially those facing the north half of the compass. Carve deep trenches in a big open meadow or choose terrain that held no old October snow.”

The warning for the Skyline area mountains added: “Avalanche conditions are getting trickier now with fewer signs of instability like cracking and collapsing. It is getting harder to trigger an avalanche but if you do, it’s going to go big. Continue practicing patience and avoiding avalanche terrain until the snowpack stabilizes.”

Avalanche danger is considerable for the mountains of Logan, Ogden, Salt Lake, Provo, Moab and the Abajos.

Gephardt Daily will have more on this developing story as information is made available.


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