Despite recent storms, avalanche danger is low

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SALT LAKE COUNTY -- People heading into the backcountry this weekend will certainly see a lot of fresh snow. While the Utah Avalanche Center says avalanche dangers aren't high, it's always a good idea to be prepared just in case.

Heading into the backcountry to snowshoe and ski is something Salt Lake City residents Taylor Hackett, Tyler Smith and Mitch Potter love doing together. They also like knowing they're prepared if something happens.

"We've got beacons, shovels and probers. And we're always going to be around each other, so yeah, we're well prepared," Hackett said.

Taylor Hackett, Tyler Smith and Mitch Potter getting ready to head into the backcountry.
Taylor Hackett, Tyler Smith and Mitch Potter getting ready to head into the backcountry.

Even though more than 100 inches of snow fell near Alta in the past week, the Utah Avalanche Center says the avalanche danger for Salt Lake area mountains is only moderate, one step above low.

"We've got a fairly warm snowpack, so we don't have any persistent weak layers. So just normal caution is advised," said Evelyn Lees, avalanche forecaster for the U.S. Forest Service.

Even though avalanche experts aren't too worried about this weekend, they are a little concerned about next week. "Probably the most dangerous period over the next few days is going to be Monday and Tuesday when we get that big jump in temperatures. It's going to get very warm for a few days, and that's going to cause a wet avalanche cycle," Lees explained.

Hackett, Smith and Potter say that's no big deal to them because they know safety is first.

"It's the most important thing when you're going into the grizzly. You need to make sure you're safe," Smith said.

"It's worth it, too, because it's your life, you know?" Potter said.

Currently, the Utah Avalanche Center says the Uinta mountains and Logan area have considerable avalanche danger; Ogden, Salt Lake, Provo and Moab areas have moderate avalanche danger. [[Click here to see avalanche conditions in other parts of the state.](


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Alex Cabrero


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