LOCAL NEWS

25 avalanches since Friday, ‘Special avalanche bulletin’ issued

Mar 13, 2022, 12:28 PM | Updated: 1:14 pm
(used by permission, Utah Avalanche Center)...
(used by permission, Utah Avalanche Center)
(used by permission, Utah Avalanche Center)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Avalanche Center was so concerned about conditions and more than two dozen avalances in the central and northern Utah mountains that it issued a special warning Sunday morning. 

We are very worried that a serious avalanche accident could occur this weekend. A considerable avalanche danger exists across northern and central Utah –This is when we see the most accidents and fatalities,” the bulletin said. 

A combination of dangerous avalanche conditions and great powder along with “beautiful weather” forced the center to issue the special bulletin. 

“There have been many close calls this week, but luck eventually runs out. We commonly see a string of close calls leading up to serious accidents,” the Avalanche Center said in a statement. 

Drew Hardesty with the avalanche center said there have been 25 avalanches since Friday, March 11.

The dangers proved to be all too real for a skier who was buried in six feet of snow Saturday afternoon. 

The 55-year-old man was in critical but stable condition after the incident up Big Cottonwood Canyon. 

A skier from the Utah Avalanche Center (lower left) inspects the remnants of an avalanche on Friday. (Used by permission, Utah Avalanche Center)

Also, a young snowmobiler was buried by snow in the Humpy Cutes area of the Uintas. Hardesty said he was rescued after people found him with his helmet and backpack sticking out of the snow.

The avalanche said skiers should make sure they have an avalanche beacon, shovel, and probe. 

Also, it warned skiers to avoid all steep slopes and avalanche terrain. The center said slopes with less than a 30-degree slope offer “great riding and powder.”

Also on Sunday, the Department of Transportation said conditions in Big and Lower Cottonwood Canyons were severe enough to require all vehicles to use approved traction devices. 

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25 avalanches since Friday, ‘Special avalanche bulletin’ issued