Forecasters Warn Of Dangerous Avalanche Conditions In Logan Canyon
Jan 8, 2021, 6:26 PM | Updated: 7:42 pm
LOGAN, Utah – Avalanche danger is nothing new to Utah, but the Avalanche Center warned it is seeing conditions that are not usually present in the state.
The way that the snow has been spaced out, and the dry conditions combined to make the mountain snow unstable.
Forecasters took a look at the area near Tony Grove earlier in the week and they found cracking and fragmenting that indicated how thick and easily moved the top layer can be right now.
“That’s an avalanche that’s going to be pretty big,” said Toby Weed with the Utah Avalanche Center. “This was an exceptionally bad year, as far as shallow, weak snow is concerned.”
He said this particular combination is fairly unique. “There’s really weak snow and that weak snow was on the ground in November and early during that period of high pressure, and at that point, it became super weak,” Weed said.
With more recent snowstorms piling on top of that there is now a thick layer that could come apart and crumble down.
“What we’re seeing now are layers that are about two and sometimes three feet deep. And that’s what we call the slab layer on top. And that’s the layer of snow that will slide down the mountain when it fails on the weak snow underneath,” Weed explained.
Luck will probably run out soon. Two very close calls with solo skiers since Monday. pic.twitter.com/QB5uhQL9sw
— UtahAvalancheCenter (@UACwasatch) January 6, 2021
That adds reason to the warning to stay away from slopes that are steeper than 30 degrees.
“People should just, you should just tone it down. Make sure you have a partner, make sure you have the avalanche rescue gear – a beacon, a probe, and a shovel. And you should know how to use it and your partners know how to use it,” Weed said.
One avalanche triggered by forecasters up Logan Canyon was on a 38-degree slope that was 20 inches deep and 30 feet wide.