Avalanche danger is high after several rounds of wet storms and high winds

The Utah Avalanche Center in Logan has issued an Avalanche Warning for all the mountains in Northern Utah, including the Bear River, Wasatch and Western Uintas mountain ranges and the Manti-Skyline Plateau. The threat for avalanches is high on all slopes.

“Avoid travel in avalanche terrain today,” the warning says. “Natural and human triggered avalanches are likely on many slopes. Stay off and out from under slopes steeper than about 30 degrees and well clear of avalanche runout zones.”

The warning is in effect through Friday morning. Already, naturally occurring avalanches have been observed in Providence Canyon near the quarry. According to the Tony Grove Snotel reporting station, over 1 foot of heavy snow has fallen within the last 24 hours, with nearly 2.5″ of snow water equivalent.

Strong winds along with heavy, dense snow and even some rain on snow in lower elevations have created dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended.

Already this year Utah has experienced four avalanche fatalities; one caused by a skier and three from snowmobiles. In each case they either had no rescue gear or inadequate gear. The Utah Avalanche Center encourages anyone heading into the backcountry or out of boundaries to be prepared with five basic points:

1. Get the gear – carry a beacon, shovel and probe
2. Get the training – take an avalanche class
3. Get the forecast – read the local forecast
4. Get the picture – be aware of hazardous conditions
5. Get out of harm’s way – expose one person at a time

Winter storms are expected to impact the area through Friday. Another round of storms is expected to arrive late next week, as well.

For more information about avalanche safety, and current forecasts, visit utahavalanchecenter.org.

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