OUTDOORS & RECREATION

Utah Avalanche Center issues high danger warning for the backcountry

Feb 7, 2024, 5:57 PM | Updated: Feb 8, 2024, 8:28 am

MILLCREEK — The Utah Avalanche Center issued a high-danger warning for mountain ranges in Salt Lake City, Ogden, Provo, Moab, the Abajos and across southwest Utah.

“It is getting a little sketchy out there,” said Craig Gordon, an avalanche forecaster with the U.S. Forest Service’s Utah Avalanche Center. “It is snowing anywhere between two to three inches an hour right now.”

UPDATE: Little Cottonwood Canyon reopened after avalanche mitigation completed

Because of that rate of constant snowfall, Gordon said they are already starting to see indications of naturally triggered avalanches. That usually means human-triggered avalanches are next.

“The next couple of days, we just got to realize things are a little spicy in the mountains. We got to tone down our objectives and pump the brakes a little bit,” he said. “It doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy this amazing snow, but we’re encouraging backcountry travelers to simply stay away from and out from under steep wind-drifted slopes.”

Gordon says any avalanche that is triggered is going to be deep, it is going to break wide, and there’s a good chance it will be dangerous.

“It can instantly ruin our season,” Gordon said.

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Utah Avalanche Center issues high danger warning for the backcountry