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Avalanche Awareness Week provides training for those going into the backcountry

Dec 4, 2023, 6:15 PM | Updated: 6:17 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Avalanche Awareness Week is coming at a critical time after some areas in the mountains of Utah got more than 4 feet of new snow as a result of the weekend storm.

“Couldn’t be a better time for Avalanche Awareness Week,” said avalanche forecaster Craig Gordon to KSL TV. “Things are super scary in the mountains.”

Gordon says the several feet of fresh snow fell so quickly that it created layers that can be dangerous.

“Strong dense snow on the weaker snow, and then what really tipped the scales were very strong winds that accompanied this latest wave,” he said.

It was a powder day Monday morning, for skiers and snowboarders at Brighton Ski Resort. The resort received 41 inches of new snow since Friday.

“Awe, it’s amazing. First powder day of the season for me,” said one skier.

It was a powder day Monday morning, for skiers and snowboarders at Brighton Ski Resort. The resort received 41 inches of new snow since Friday. (KSL TV)

“The new snow is much needed, said Jared Winkler of Brighton Ski Resort to KSL TV. “We always try and open as soon as we can before Thanksgiving but this year it’s kind of been a little slow, but we are coming around and catching up and looking forward to opening up some more lifts and terrain and open up as quickly as we possibly can.”

As a result, Winkler says the resort is having a grand opening celebration for its newest lift called that Crest Express, which will be much faster than other lifts.

“I’ll give you the scoop,” Winkler said.  “This Friday we are opening up our new Crest six pack and nobody knows except for you.”

At Sugar House Park on Monday night, the Utah Avalanche Center held its fifth annual Avalanche Awareness Week event. The event included mock avalanche rescue drills for beginners and experts and other training for those going into the back country.

“Avalanches that are getting triggered are deep, they are breaking wide, they are very dangerous right now,” Gordon said.  “We will be talking about the latest rescue techniques getting avalanche transceiver’s into people’s hands. We will be talking about current conditions what’s going on right now in our snowpack, and what to expect as the snow pack starts to evolve.”

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Avalanche Awareness Week provides training for those going into the backcountry