OUTDOORS + RECREATION

Stay away from areas with high avalanche danger this weekend, forecaster says

Dec 31, 2022, 9:00 AM
snow on pine trees is pictured, avalanche danger will be high this weekend...
Pine trees point into the sky as snow falls in Big Cottonwood Canyon on Friday, Dec. 30, 2022. (Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)
(Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s backcountry is risky for avalanches right now.  Forecasters advised that incoming weather will worsen conditions in Utah’s mountains.

Avalanche forecasters said recent snow has brought with it a lot of water weight, increasing the risk for avalanches. Avalanche Forecaster with the Utah Avalanche Center Greg Gagne said we’re going to add to it with a weekend storm.

“It’s really going to get going this weekend, where we’re expecting widespread heavy snowfall strong winds, and adding a lot of waterways. Perhaps five to six inches of water over a two or three-day period.”

Gagne said if an area the UAC rated as “high danger,” you should stay away from those slopes. 

“This is happening statewide. Everything from the southwest mountains through the Uintas through the Wasatch, all the way to the Idaho border,” Gagne said, calling it “unusual.”

The Utah Avalanche Center website keeps an updated list of avalanche danger ratings in Utah’s mountains.

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Stay away from areas with high avalanche danger this weekend, forecaster says