Third Backcountry Avalanche Triggered Near Area Of Fatal December Slide

Dec 25, 2019, 7:59 PM | Updated: Dec 26, 2019, 9:39 am
A snowboarder narrowly outran an avalanche triggered on Christmas Day in the same area where a slid...
A snowboarder narrowly outran an avalanche triggered on Christmas Day in the same area where a slide killed one person earlier this month. (Matt Baydala)
(Matt Baydala)

Third Avalanche Triggered In Dutch Draw Area

AVALANCHE DANGER: A snowboarder narrowly outran an avalanche triggered on Christmas Day in the same area where a slide killed one person earlier this month.More on the fatal slide from Dec. 15: courtesy Matt Baydala)

Posted by KSL 5 TV on Wednesday, December 25, 2019

PARK CITY, Utah – Utah Avalanche Center officials are reminding backcountry visitors to be aware of their surroundings after new video showed a snowboarder outrun an avalanche in the same area where a slide killed one man on Dec. 15.

Craig Gordon, an avalanche forecaster with the center, said snow has fallen statewide and backcountry visitors should always be informed with the latest forecast for the area they are visiting.

“We can still get out and enjoy all of this amazing snow,” he said. “This has been a great statewide storm.”

Gordon said new snow brings a heightened risk for avalanches that can become bigger issues with weak, crystallized snow near the surface from snowfall earlier this year.

“Right now, avalanche conditions aren’t particularly dangerous, but we’ve got a couple of issues with the snowpack,” he said. “First, new snow avalanches – they’re particularly sensitive, they’re easy to initiate on steep slopes and then secondly, we still have weak snow near the ground. So, what could be a problem is you start a new snow avalanche that then breaks a little bit deeper and wider than you expect and that is going to be an instant season-ending situation.”

He recommended backcountry visitors always remove earbuds, be cognizant of their surroundings and ride slopes one at a time.

Avalanche danger was rated as moderate across the Wasatch Front on Christmas Day and considerable in southeastern Utah.

RELATED: 45-Year-Old SLC Man Identified As Backcountry Avalanche Victim

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Third Backcountry Avalanche Triggered Near Area Of Fatal December Slide