Backcountry avalanche danger could rise to extreme levels

Weather

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The Utah Avalanche Center says very dangerous and deadly avalanche conditions exist and are likely in the Utah backcountry over the next few days.

Heavy snowfall and drifting from a significant and prolonged winter storm will continue to overload an exceptionally weak snowpack.

In a tweet, ABC4 Chief Meteorologist Alana Brophy says, “***CURRENT AVALANCHE CONDITIONS ARE HIGH** Periods of heavy mtn snow will continue thru Wednesday afternoon and will make any mountain travel difficult. We could see avalanche danger become “extreme” in parts of the state in the next few days. Stay SAFE & stay home!”

The current backcountry danger is high and will likely rise to the extreme in some areas.

According to the Utah Avalanche Center, an extreme avalanche danger means:
● It is the highest level of avalanche danger.
● Avalanches are certain to occur.
● Avalanches may run historic distances.
● Avalanches will be fast-moving, far running, and very destructive.
● Avalanches may reach or occur in places not normally affected by avalanches.

Routes you have used successfully for years may not be so safe now, and the public is asked to reassess travel routes and take extraordinary precautions. The Utah Avalanche Center added that many places may be unsafe due to long-running natural avalanches including places like areas near
Aspen Grove, the hike to Donut Falls, the Wood Camp area in Logan Canyon, and many others.

If you do go into the backcountry, the Utah Avalanche Center says:
● Use extreme caution.
● Expect unstable snow conditions, even where avalanches are unexpected.
● Choose safe routes in low angled terrain well out from under and not connected to slopes steeper than about 30 degrees.
● Avoid travel in all avalanche terrain.

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