Avalanche warning issued as new snow brings high risk to slopes

Jan 2, 2023, 7:51 PM | Updated: 8:01 pm

LOGAN, Utah — All of the new snow in Utah is keeping the avalanche danger high, with an avalanche warning out through Tuesday morning.

Lots of people still took advantage of the fresh powder in the backcountry up Logan Canyon, but they told KSL TV on Monday that you have to be prepared and pay attention to the warnings.

“Being around Christmastime, this is a lot of snow for what time of year it is,” said Dallon Jensen, who was among the many snowmobilers at Franklin Basin on Monday.

But at the same time, Jensen was paying attention to the warnings about the danger out in the area.

“I think today, it was basically every slope over 30 degrees, you shouldn’t be riding on it; it was considered unsafe,” Jensen said.

Information, he said, he gets from the Utah Avalanche Center each time he heads out.

“This thing’s four-feet deep, it’s breaking down to the persistent weak layer,” said Craig Gordon with the Utah Avalanche Center.

Forecasters like Craig Gordon were warning of the impact all of that new, heavy snow could bring.

“Where we can affect the thinner portion of the slab. This is what’s making this tricky. You could pull the rug out from underneath, and then you’re staring down the barrel of this super meaty slab.”

But if you play it right, it can be worth the effort.

“Snow was phenomenal,” said Jerry Fairchild. “Haven’t had this much this early for many years. So yeah, this is nice.”

“Biggest thing, make sure everyone in the group has a beacon. Beacon, probe, shovel is kind of the number one thing; avy bag if you have one,” Jensen said.

And forecasters say it hopefully won’t be this dangerous for too long. We just have to be patient while staying safe.

“Eventually, this stuff will stabilize, and we’ll probably have a bomber snowpack in the long-term, but the short-term, all bets are off,” said Brett Kobernik.

Forecasters warn that avalanches right now can be easily triggered for a distance, so you should not only stay off those 30 degree and steeper slopes, but stay out from under them as well.

KSL 5 TV Live

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Avalanche warning issued as new snow brings high risk to slopes