Utah Travel Headlines Blog

Thursday, December 18, 2008

High Backcountry Avalanche Danger

The avalanche danger is high in backcountry areas in mountains east of Salt Lake City and Provo, according to the Utah Avalanche Center.

Recent storms have dumped heavy snow in many areas around the state. Snow conditions are monitored and measures are taken to minimize avalanche danger at developed ski resorts and along highways.

No control measures are taken in backcountry areas and so the danger of a natural or human-caused avalanche is high. The Avalanche Center gives this advisory:

Bottom Line for the Provo, Salt Lake, and Park City area mountains:

The avalanche danger is HIGH on and below mid and upper elevation slopes, especially those facing west through north through east and southeast. Human triggered avalanche are likely on slopes steeper than about 35 degrees, and slides can be triggered remotely from a distance, so avoid travel adjacent to and below steep avalanche paths. As the winds pick up this afternoon and this evening, a natural avalanche cycle could occur again. Only those people with excellent avalanche skills and experience should travel in the backcountry, and travel should be on gentle slopes and ridge lines well away from avalanche paths.

You can monitor avalanche danger at this website.

These events are scheduled to help people learn about avalanche danger:
- Free Avalanche Awareness Class, 12/23/2008 - 6:00 pm
- La Sals Avalanche Awareness Seminar, 01/12/2009 - 6:00 pm
- Avalanche Terrain and Decision Making Seminar, 01/14/2009 - 7:00 pm

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