Forecaster Warns Of Backcountry Avalanche Danger As Storm Approaches
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A forecaster with the Utah Avalanche Center is warning those thinking about heading into the backcountry this weekend as a storm is expected to hit Utah’s mountains.
The warning comes after five people died in avalanches over the last two weekends.
“We’ve got a multi-day storm headed our way. We expect the avalanche danger to ramp up and it’s going to stay that way for several days,” UAC forecaster Craig Gordon told KSL. “What we need to realize is that we need to get to the mountain on its terms.”
Saturday’s deadly avalanche buried six of eight skiers and killed four of them.
So far this year, six people have died in avalanches in Utah.
Gordon said interest in the backcountry is at an all-time high and people are signing up for avalanche safety courses.
Storms a brewing for this weekend. Avalanche forecasters sending out a word of warning for those thinking about heading into back country after two deadly avalanches in as many weekends. @KSL5TV at 6:30 pic.twitter.com/WW0E6vp8RK
— Dan Rascon (@TVDanRascon) February 11, 2021
“Avalanche education, it is a hot commodity,” said Gordon. “Avalanche classes are selling out and they are selling out quickly.”
While that’s a positive step, Gordon said people need to think twice about getting into the backcountry this weekend.
“You’ve got to have some patience,” Gordon said. “Simply tone town your objectives. You can still play on gentle terrain as long as you are not connected to any steep slopes above you.”
Avalanche forecasts can be found on the Utah Avalanche Center’s website.
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