OUTDOORS & RECREATION

Avalanche was ‘too close for comfort,’ for forecasters with Utah Avalanche Center

Feb 22, 2024, 4:54 PM | Updated: Feb 23, 2024, 10:09 am

WOODLAND, Summit County — Forecasters with the U.S. Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center had a bit of a scare Wednesday as they unexpectedly triggered an avalanche near the top of a ridge near Mill Hollow Reservoir.

“Oh, cornices! This was a little too close for comfort,” Avalanche Center director Mark Staples said in the video. “We were trying to stay kind of near where the grass and rocks are poking out. I think we were just a little too close.”

Mark Staples speaking about the close call in the YouTube video

Mark Staples speaking about the close call in the YouTube video. (Utah Avalanche Center)

Two snowmobiles were parked feet away from the edge of the slide. Staples was busy in the field Thursday, but another forecaster, Craig Gordon, told KSL why they take those risks.

“We’re getting out there, and we’re doing it very methodically so we don’t put ourselves in harm’s way,” Gordon said. “But more importantly, we want to get the information so the public doesn’t get into harm’s way.”

Gordon pointed out that conditions Thursday were rated considerable, and that while the snow is stable and safe in some areas, there are still sugary, weak layers underneath the thick layers of newer heavy snow.

Craig Gordon showcasing how deceptive the edges could be.

Craig Gordon showcasing how deceptive the edges could be. (Utah Avalanche Center)

“We’ve got a great snowpack. And in most places, it’s nice and thick. It’s deep, it’s robust,” Gordon said. “But we definitely have to step out with caution and realize that it is not a one-size-fits-all snowpack. And that’s what’s still keeping the avalanche danger elevated in many areas.”

Staples added a simple warning at the end of his video as he stood on the edge of the mountain ridge: “We got lucky. Good lesson for us. Stay away from cornices.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Outdoors & Recreation

(Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)...

Mark Jones

What Utah hunters should know about upcoming spring turkey hunts

Spring turkey hunts are about to get underway in Utah. And the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources says there is still time to purchase a permit. 

3 hours ago

One of the tennis courts that used to be available to the public but now closed due to repeated van...

Debbie Worthen

Some Salt Lake high school facilities closed to the public due to irresponsible dog owners

The Granite School District says irresponsible dog owners are forcing the closure of some high school tennis courts that used to be open to the public.

19 hours ago

With warmer weather in the forecast, that means more opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. But that ...

Brianna Chavez

Utah County search and rescue crews encouraging hikers to be prepared this spring

With warmer weather in the forecast, that means more opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. But that could come at a cost if you're not prepared.

2 days ago

Alta resort...

Eliza Pace and Daniel Woodruff, KSL TV

Utah’s ski industry contributed $1.94 billion in nonresident visitor spending during the 2022/23 season

Out of state visitors spent a record of $1.94 billion at Utah ski areas during the 2022/2023 ski season, according to data from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. 

7 days ago

Shelby Lofton and Mark Jones

Wildlife experts looking into unusual numbers of tularemia deaths among beavers in state

The Utah Department of Natural Resources has identified 10 animals that have died from tularemia — a disease that can be transmitted to humans.

8 days ago

Gorilla, Pele at Utah's Hogle Zoo...

Shara Park

Utah’s Hogle Zoo announces this years new arrivals

From rescued cougar cubs to a baby gorilla expected to arrive this summer, there are exciting things happening at Utah’s Hogle Zoo.

12 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Avalanche was ‘too close for comfort,’ for forecasters with Utah Avalanche Center