Utah’s fresh powder brings conditions for more avalanches

Mar 27, 2023, 5:30 PM | Updated: 7:22 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Spring just doesn’t seem to want to make an appearance lately as snow blankets most of Utah.

Right now on a scale from one to five, avalanche danger is rated at a level three or four meaning both human-triggered and natural avalanches are likely in the beehive state.

“In the past seven days, our mountains have received anywhere from 40 to 60 inches of snow. I mean, that’s as much as I am tall,” avalanche forecaster Craig Gordon said.  “Overnight mid Little Cottonwood Canyon stacked up a foot of snow in short order. Anytime the snow goes through rapid change, it’s a lot like people, it gets cranky, it gets irritable, and we start to see natural avalanches.”

Naturally many Utahns might be tempted to go out into the backcountry and get in some powder turns after record-setting snow this year but Gordon said to proceed with caution and do so at your own risk.

“You’ve got to be prepared for your own self-rescue. Avoidance is the big ticket item. You’ve got to be prepared with avalanche transceivers, shovels, probes, or even an avalanche airbag. Right now, there’s great riding to be had. Let’s just pump the brakes for a minute or two.”

Experts want to remind everyone that avalanche danger will remain throughout the second half of this week.

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Utah’s fresh powder brings conditions for more avalanches