Officials Warn of Avalanche Danger

Officials Warn of Avalanche Danger

Save Story
Leer en español

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

Tonya Papanikolas reporting It's the beginning of the avalanche season, and conditions are ripe for slides.

Dean Cardinale, Snowbird Snow Safety: "In the backcountry now, the danger is definitely high. We've had winds, heavy snow on weaker layers."

Yesterday four adults were caught in an avalanche in Summit County. The back country skiers were partially buried, and search and rescue personnel were able to get them out.

Today avalanche experts are warning about the high dangers associated with the snow and winds.

Snowbird is one of many resorts that have seen a lot of avalanches already. Of course, resorts can close areas that are dangerous, but this is an especially risky time for back country skiiers.

Last year eight people died in avalanches in Utah. At one point, we had more fatalities than all the other states combined.

Now it's the beginning of the ski season again, and experts are hoping snow lovers will pay attention to conditions.

Right now ski resorts say avalanches are just waiting to happen with all the snow we've had after a period of high pressure. In fact, we may even see a lot of natural avalanches on mid to higher-elevation slopes.

Dean Cardinale, Snowbird Snow Safety: “In the beginning of the season this time of year when it's unstable, start out on low-angle slopes, and work your way up to the different terrain."

Drew Hardesty, Avalanche Forecaster: : “Most avalanches occur on slopes 30-45 degrees, more commonly between 35-40 degrees."

Anyone who is going into the backcountry should take a locator with them, along with a probe and a shovel.

Always make sure to ski with someone. Experts say it's important to take an education course to know what you're up against.

Snowbird has already shut down certain spots. They say if you're skiing at a resort, stay out of closed areas.

The safest thing for a skier to do is avoid the most hazardous areas and be prepared. In addition to the equipment, you can call for updated avalanche info every day.

That avalanche hotline is 364-1581.

Related links

Most recent Utah stories

Related topics



Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast