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Avalanche danger expected to increase in Utah's backcountry

Posted at 7:34 AM, Feb 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-12 10:24:00-05

SALT LAKE CITY — It has already been a deadly avalanche season in Utah and conditions are expected to get worse.

New storms will bring up to a couple of feet of snow in some areas over the next several days.

WATCH: Busy backcountry ski season challenged by avalanche danger

Craig Gordon with the Utah Avalanche Center joined Good Day Utah Friday morning to discuss current conditions.

He says the heavy dense snow will fall on top of weak layers of snow. That can cause snow to break deep and wide, and bring a "couple of football fields" of snow crashing down, Gordon said. He added that it's possible for the entire snowpack to come down in some areas.

Gordon suggests avoiding any areas with steep slopes above, especially on north-facing slopes.

WATCH: Four skiers killed in Millcreek Canyon avalanche

He advises backcountry enthusiasts to ski or snowshoe in areas with no steep slopes, even finding wide open meadows.

Gordon also says it's a great time to enjoy Utah's snow within the boundaries of ski resorts which have been groomed and are safe as far as avalanches go.

Always carry beacons and other emergency gear, and check the latest forecast at the Utah Avalanche Center before heading out.