More snow creates stable snowpack, fewer avalanches

Posted at 11:41 AM, Feb 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-11 14:11:26-05

There are significantly fewer avalanches so far this season compared to last year.

Twenty-five people have been caught in avalanches this year, according to the Utah Avalanche Center. That is compared to 124 people caught in avalanches last season.

There have been two deaths this year, compared to eight last year. Officials said only about 50 percent of avalanches are reported.

"Last year we had a much thinner snow pack, the shallower depths are... quite a bit weaker. So with a little bit more snow this year, we have more stable snowpack in general." said Brett Kobernik, Utah Avalanche Center.

He said there is still an avalanche danger and every storm that moved over the state brings a different set of circumstances.

Officials at the avalanche center remind individuals to check the conditions before heading out into the backcountry. People should also bring with them avalanche survival gear, such as a beacon and a shovel.

A man was rescued Sunday in Big Cottonwood Canyon after being trapped by an avalanche.