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Utah skiers, snowboarders get early jump-start on season

Posted at 5:33 PM, Oct 26, 2021

BRIGHTON, Utah — Up in the mountains, many backcountry skiers and boarders are getting an early start to the season, with Utah’s rare October snowpack.

The Brighton Ski Resort parking lot was unusually full Tuesday, filled with Utahans who share a love for the backcountry.

If you do plan to get an early start to the season, check conditions before you head out.

“It’s all backcountry right now so you’ve gotta be prepared for your own self rescue. Even a small avalanche that we trigger is going to reveal rocks and stumps and deadfall, just underneath the shallow snowpack so that could be an instant season ender,” Craig Gordon with the Utah Avalanche Center said.

Ski Open Date Calendar

Avalanche forecaster Craig Gordon says wind drifts along the leeward side of upper elevation ridges will be sensitive to the additional weight of skiers and boarders.

Nadia Bigney was one of the boarders in the backcountry Tuesday. She says she grew up on the mountain and knows what to look for and how important avalanche safety is.

“You know the tell-tale signs to watch out for with snow stability and then you check for that, Every day look at what the conditions are like, I am riding with someone I trust,” said Nadia Bigney.

Tapping into your local avalanche forecast will show you the zones and areas to avoid and where best to recreate safely.