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Utah Environment
5:48 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Avalanche Danger Remains High After Wet Weekend

Avalanche danger across the state remains high after a wet weekend.

Many new feet of snow fell on top of a shallow and weak preexisting snow layer over the weekend, creating dangerous conditions.
Credit Utah Avalanche Center

Extremely dry powder fell on top of old, faceted snow late last week. Then, over the weekend, heavy, wet snow and rain fell across the Northern portion of the state, creating dangerous conditions.

A Ferron man died in a Sunday avalanche in Sanpete County and a woman who was studying at Brigham Young University was caught in an avalanche in American Fork Canyon on Saturday and later died.

Utah Avalanche Center forecaster Toby Weed said conditions remain dangerous.

“The danger is high and natural [avalanches] are likely today as well as triggered avalanches. It’s still really active and it’s really dangerous,” Weed said. “Many of the slopes are kind of sitting in a state of balance and you could come along and trigger one pretty easily.”

Naturally occurring avalanches prompted the closure of Logan Canyon on Sunday. Weed said it will take time before the insecure snow stabilizes.

“It’s a gradual stabilization so, it’s really scary to me in that respect in that right now we’re seeing a lot of natural avalanches but then the slopes that didn’t avalanche, boy, a lot of them are ready to go. Right now, today, tomorrow, and the next day, it would be really easy for somebody to trigger a dangerous or deadly avalanche,” Weed said.

Weed estimates the state saw hundreds, if not thousands of avalanches over the weekend.