Avalanche danger high in Utah through at least Sunday

Posted at 4:11 PM, Jan 09, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY – Following recent snowstorms, an avalanche warning is in effect for northern and central Utah as of Friday and experts are urging people to avoid the backcountry in avalanche terrain.

The avalanche warning includes the Bear River Range, Wasatch, western Uintas and Manti Skyline, according to information from the Utah Avalanche Center.

According to the avalanche center, “Dangerous avalanche conditions are expected through the weekend, and back country travel in steep avalanche terrain is not recommended.”

A slew of fresh powder can tempt backcountry snow enthusiasts, but Evelyn Lees, who is an avalanche forecaster with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center, said Thursday this is not the time to be in the backcountry.

“And you’re also gonna have to dial it back,” Lees said. “I know everybody is dying to get out on steep slopes and enjoy the fresh powder, but this weekend is not gonna be the weekend.”

Lees said people should check for updates and be aware of current avalanche conditions.

The danger of avalanches is expected to increase each day until it peaks on Sunday. Utah Avalanche Center officials described the recent snowfall as “sugary” and “fine.” Officials said the snowpack is often unusually weak following storms of this nature.

Click here to visit the Utah Avalanche Center’s website.