Experts warn of high avalanche danger in lower elevations this weekend

Dec 16, 2022, 6:25 PM | Updated: 7:08 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — The Utah Avalanche Center said there is an unusually high avalanche danger in the state’s lower elevations.

Greg Gagne, Avalanche Forecaster at Utah Avalanche Center said this is unusual because avalanches do not normally happen in the lower elevations.

But, with the recent snow fall, it’s made for dangerous conditions on all elevations.

“The couple of feet that fell, fell on this weak loose sugary snow that created unusual conditions,” Gagne said.

Gagne said if you are going to the mountains this weekend, to avoid avalanche terrain that faces northwest, north through east at all elevations.

He said avalanche terrain is any part of the mountain that is 30 degrees and steeper.

“People think of the lower elevations are generally safe, but right now they are just as dangerous if not more dangerous than the higher elevations,” Gagne said.

For some skiers and snowboarders headed to the mountain they said the avalanche danger is top of mind.

“With all the recent new snow are kind of worried of the avalanches that could take place,” skier Morgan Kotter said.

Skiers will be taking some precautions.

“Staying on the main runs and staying protected where ski patrol does their work to keep us protected,” skier Ben Curran said.

“Stick close to trails, maybe not do some back country today, we will be safe and hoping for a good time,” Kotter added.

Gagne said if you do get caught in an avalanche you will have to self-rescue.

‘I thought that was the end’, Man describes surviving Neffs Canyon avalanche

“You need the necessary gear, a beacon, shovel, probe, and partner, so if someone is in an avalanche, your partner can perform a rescue,” said Gagne.

The avalanche center posts updated avalanche forecasting on their website every day.

It recommends arming youirself with the latest avalanche conditions and the proper safety gear.



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Experts warn of high avalanche danger in lower elevations this weekend