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Considerable avalanche risk in play for Utah backcountry skiers

Published November 17, 2013 11:02 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

While the skies were sunny across Utah on Sunday, the conditions of backcountry ski slopes weren't looking quite as rosy.

A "considerable" risk of avalanches was in play Sunday for the Logan, Salt Lake, and Uinta mountain ranges, according to the Utah Avalanche Center.

The center said Saturday's snowstorm combined with an unstable snowpack and "powder hungry people" had all aligned, increasing the odds of an avalanche accident Sunday.

Human-triggered avalanches at elevations above 9,300 feet were likely.

By Sunday afternoon, the center recorded two avalanches in the Rocky Point area. The first partially carried someone down the slope, but the person was not injured, according to a tweet from the center. No one was caught in the second slide, which a skier had remotely triggered.

The Avalanche Center also warned that because snowfall totals are still so shallow in the higher elevations, getting sucked into any avalanche could be even worse than normal as people would likely be dragged through thinly buried rocks and stumps.

Reporter Michael McFall contributed to this story.


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