SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – While the last few storms didn’t linger in the mountains, the systems produced heavy mountain snow which always helps snow pack and state economy, but avalanche conditions still exist in the spring. Brighton Resort has been hit hard with fresh powder from the last couple of storms. The active storm pattern is a welcome sight for our local resorts and it’s also demonstrates the major difference from years past.
“This year, we are back to those sunny powder days that I grew up loving. The last few years, we didn’t get those days, the season just faded away in March and April,” Jared Winkler, marketing manager for Brighton Resort said.
The current pattern has a storm moving through every week which helps build our snowpack numbers closer to average and does a favor for the groomers.
“We’re getting this one quick, in and out storm a week, that refreshes the mountain, gets everything skiing nice for the weekend, you can’t beat it,” Jared Winkler, marketing manager for Brighton Resort said.
The long range forecast shows storms lining up to close out the month, which means avalanche conditions will stick around. Winter avalanche conditions are a little different than spring avalanches.
“With spring storms, it changes rapidly mainly because of the sun angle because in the spring time as the sun gets higher in the sky, it affects the snow a lot faster and in an instant,” Chris Stowe, snow safety directoor at Brighton, said.
Spring avalanche conditions are very fluid and vary with the changing weather patterns. Ski patrol stays just as busy in December as they do in March and April, with crews watching to see how heavy and wet the snow gets.
“The first part of the year we think more about deep slab and persistent slab, because when it’s cold outside the snow is actually a lot weaker.With the warm temps it can bond faster. This time of year we think more about the storm snow than the deep layers,” Chris Stowe, snow safety director at Brighton, said.
Keep in mind, once you cross the rope and step out of bounds, you’re facing avalanche dangers alone.
For a look at the avalanche forecast go here: https://utahavalanchecenter.org/