Utah’s backcountry under warning of high avalanche dangers

Mar 31, 2023, 3:45 PM | Updated: 3:46 pm

Avalanche dangers level is high for Utah's mountains on Friday, March 31, 2023. (Avalanche.org)...

Avalanche dangers level is high for Utah's mountains on Friday, March 31, 2023. (Avalanche.org)


SALT LAKE CITY — Avalanche danger is high in central and northern Utah and comes with a warning for people to be extra careful in backcountry areas.

“The avalanche danger is high with large and destructive human-triggered and natural avalanches likely,” Utah’s Avalanche Center said in an advisory. “Some avalanches may reach valley bottoms.”

Anyone heading into backcountry should check the avalanche forecast at utahavalanchecenter.org. The map at press time shows high danger on the band of mountains that runs south from Utah’s border with Idaho through Logan, Ogden, Salt Lake, Provo and east of the Wasatch Mountains in the Uintas.

In the center of the state the Skyline area faces considerate danger and the mountains east of Moab are listed as moderate.

The release states in addition to checking the forecast, those in backcountry areas should:

  • Evaluate snow and terrain carefully. Use caution while route finding, and make conservative decisions.
  • Check everyone in your group for operational avalanche rescue gear and be sure everyone knows how to use it.
  • Cross steep slopes one person at a time, while the rest of your party watches from a safe place.
  • Avalanches on some slopes could be triggered from a distance, from an adjacent slope or from below.
  • Long running avalanches could impact trailheads and other recreational travelers (hikers, people fishing, dog-walkers, and snowshoers).
  • Staying out of backcountry avalanche terrain is the safest option. Avoid being on or under slopes steeper than about 30 degrees.

“Avoiding avalanche terrain is the safest option – avoid being on or underneath slopes steeper than 30 degrees and avoid avalanche runout zones,” Utah Avalanche Center stated.

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Utah’s backcountry under warning of high avalanche dangers