Backcountry avalanche alert in effect as crews mitigate risk

Feb 15, 2021, 1:45 PM
Avalanch danger...
Avalanche danger remains high in most Utah mountains, and an avalanche warning alert remains in place through Tuesday night. Photo: Utah Dept. of Transportation via Twitter

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Avalanche Center (UAC) reports that a backcountry avalanche alert issued by the National Weather Service is still in effect and will remain in effect until 6 p.m. MST on Tuesday, Feb. 16. The alert stated dangerous conditions exist in the backcountry.

Both natural and human-triggered avalanches are likely over the next several days due to an extended winter storm predicted for northern Utah. Skiers in the backcountry should stay off of and out from under slopes steeper than 30 degrees. 

On Monday afternoon, the Utah Department of Transportation tweeted a major road closure for Little Cottonwood Canyon in Salt Lake County, due to avalanche mitigation requirements.

A backcountry alert has been in effect since four people lost their lives in an avalanche on Feb. 6. Sarah Moughamian, age 29, Louis Holian, age 26, Stephanie Hopkins, age 26, and Thomas Louis Steinbrecher, age 23, died after an avalanche was released in the Wilson Glade area of Millcreek Canyon, according to the Unified Police Department. 

The avalanche in Millcreek Canyon is the deadliest in Utah since 1992, according to the Utah Avalanche Center’s webpage.

The slide was located at an elevation of 9,800 feet on a north-facing slope.

The UAC will keep the warning in place until 6:00 PM Tuesday. 

UDOT spokesperson John Gleason said Little Cottonwood Canyon will likely be the crews’ main focus. Additionally, crews will also be keeping a close eye on road conditions in Big Cottonwood and Provo Canyons.



Today’s Top Stories


Special Olympics Unified soccer teams compete for championship....
Waverly Golden

Special Olympics Unified soccer teams compete for state championship title

This afternoon Utah’s top 16 Special Olympics Unified soccer teams competed for the state championship title at the RSL soccer stadium.
10 hours ago
The Cottonwood Colts football team  (Courtesy of Deseret News)...
Chandler Holt

Cottonwood High School wins football game in bizarre fashion

There are over 14,000 high school football teams in the United States. Cottonwood High School's game against Jordan had an ending you probably haven't seen before.
2 days ago
free national park program not used as much by colored families versus white families...
Chris Jacobs and Amie Schaeffer

Arches National Park ends ticketing system

A pilot program that started last spring, allowed visitors to choose a time slot to visit the park. The program is ending.
2 days ago
run marathon running salt lake...
Elizabeth Weiler

Marathon runner to set record in the name of dyslexia: 26 miles in costume

Hannah Holt, an avid marathon runner and award-winning children's book author hopes to bring attention to dyslexia by running while dressed as a book.
6 days ago
Lincoln Beach pictured. Two shooting at Utah Lake happened near this beach....
Simone Seikaly

Utah County Health issues warning about harmful algal blooms

Utah County officials have detected high levels of harmful algal blooms at multiple Utah Lake marinas and beaches.
8 days ago
Idaho State Police are investigating a motorhome crash Sunday afternoon that injured two people fro...
Mark Jones

Motorhome crash in Idaho sends two Utahns to the hospital

Two people from Centerville were injured Sunday in a motorhome crash in Bannock County, Idaho, according to the Idaho State Police.
9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Backcountry avalanche alert in effect as crews mitigate risk