Snowmobilers Enjoy Holiday, Despite Avalanche Risk

Feb 18, 2019, 6:52 PM | Updated: 9:37 pm

FAIRVIEW, Utah – With a holiday, sunshine and plenty of snow, many avid snowmobilers headed to the mountains, despite the increased risk of avalanche in many of Utah’s canyons and hillsides.

Mike Barton and family members of all ages rode the Skyline Drive Scenic Byway along the spine of the Wasatch Plataeu in the Manti-La Sal National Forest.

The snow conditions haven’t been as good in years, and Barton said they decided to take advantage of the powder atop the mountain.

“We are just enjoying a day off of working on the Skyline Drive with our family,” said Mike Barton. “Lots of powder and lots of open areas to snowmobile and pull the kids around on the sleds.”

The lack of snow early in the season, followed by an abundance of storms in recent weeks, has created a scenario that officials have said snowmobilers need to watch out for.

Of the four avalanche deaths in Utah this year, three of them involved snowmobilers.

Avalanche forecasters said beneath the picture-perfect conditions, the chances of triggering a slide is “considerable” on north and northeast facing slopes, when the temperatures climb above 30 degrees.

“This year has been one of those years when the snowpack started off ugly and it hasn’t healed yet,” said Kerry Nielson, a longtime member of the Sanpete County Search and Rescue. “We’ve got a good heavy snowpack on top of it, so the avalanches we are having now are still going all the way to the dirt. There are plenty of places to bring your family and stay off out of those slopes, and have a great time and do it carefully and safely.”

Even though the avalanche danger is listed as considerable, enthusiasts said you can still enjoy the snow without taking any risks.

“We sure hate to see anyone stay home because they are scared of the danger. Just come and play, and do it responsibly. Do it with the right equipment and gear,” Nielson said.

Those out in the snow appeared to be following that advice on Monday, enjoying the snow away from risky areas and dressing right for the conditions.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

UDOT Davis Co. detours...
Katija Stjepovic, Cary J. Schwanitz

Northern Utah construction projects could slow weekend plans

The Utah Department of Transportation will close the southbound lanes of Legacy Parkway between Park Lane in Farmington and Parrish Lane in Centerville for the second straight weekend.
18 hours ago
"Rainbow fentanyl" allegedly seized during an arrest of 51-year-old Jesse Wood, of Taylorsville, Ut...
Madison Swenson

Utah man arrested, charged with possessing fentanyl with intent to distribute

A 51-year-old man from Taylorsville, Utah, is behind bars on suspicion of possessing illicit drugs, specifically fentanyl, with the intent to distribute.
18 hours ago
Tooele sunrise...
Carter Williams, ksl.com

Snow advisories could bring up to 14 inches of snow Friday night

The snow is back, yet again. The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for the Wasatch Mountains, where 6 to 14 inches or more of snow is forecast between Friday and Saturday. It remains in effect through late Saturday afternoon.
18 hours ago
People attend a candlelight vigil in memory of Tyre Nichols at the Tobey Skate Park on January 26, ...
Simone Seikaly, KSL NewsRadio

Utah safety officials, NAACP, react to death of Tyre Nichols

The Utah Department of Public Safety together with the Salt Lake Branch of the NAACP have called the death of Tyre Nichols a "despicable act of violence and inhumanity."
18 hours ago
A teen girl was hit and killed by a school bus transporting high school students on Friday, Jan. 27...
Eliza Pace

School bus hits and kills 15-year-old girl

A school bus, with students on board, hit and killed a pedestrian at State Street and 8400 South Friday.
18 hours ago
Domestic violence victims...
Matt Rascon

KSL+: Curbing domestic violence at the State Capitol

SALT LAKE CITY — Domestic violence situations can be some of the most difficult for police to respond to and can lead to the most heartbreaking loss for families. This week, we look at how one family’s recent loss has taken them to the state capitol, on a mission to support Senate Bill 117 and […]
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Snowmobilers Enjoy Holiday, Despite Avalanche Risk