UTAH

Avalanche danger considerable today, says Utah Avalanche Center

Mar 16, 2022, 1:26 PM | Updated: 5:25 pm
Avalanche danger is considerable in the Northern Mountains today....
Avalanche danger is "considerable" today. Photo credit: Summit County Sheriff's Office, file.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Avalanche Center warned of considerable avalanche danger in the mountains today. Avalanche forecasters advised skiers to wait for conditions to improve before heading into the mountains.

A relatively dry January and February mean the snow we’re getting in March is all landing on a very weak layer of snow. Avalanche forecasters said human-caused avalanches have been happening day after day. 

Utah’s Northern Mountain ranges are all listed as “considerable” danger today.

“I can’t stress it enough, right now it’s just time to back off and let the hills stabilize. I would not recommend traveling on or underneath any slope that’s steeper than 30 degrees. Pretty much from central Utah all the way north to Logan we have very dangerous avalanche conditions,” said avalanche forecaster Trent Meisenheimer. 

The “considerable” danger is not the highest warning possible. But, Meisenheimer recalled that a skier who got carried in an avalanche in Big Cottonwood Canyon a few days ago survived. He pointed out that another massive avalanche a few days later would have been un-survivable.

“This thing was 600 feet wide, two to four feet deep, ran 1600 vertical feet down the slope, crossed the creek, and actually went up the other side of the mountain. So a very large avalanche. That one would be unsurvivable if you were caught in it,” said Meisenheimer of the recent avalanche.

The Utah Avalanche Center advised checking the conditions if you do go into the mountains. The center also advised taking a friend and proper equipment with you.

Meisenheimer said now is the time to be patient and wait for the conditions to stabilize. He said he is hopeful the warming temperatures will help the snowpack heal up.

Related: Park City Mountain Resort to see raised minimum wage

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Avalanche danger considerable today, says Utah Avalanche Center