Avalanche Danger Videos Used To Reduce Risk

Jan 12, 2018

Utah Avalanche Center crews are using online videos to demonstrate the dangers of storms.
Credit Utah Avalanche Center

Utah avalanche experts have released a video demonstrating the high risk dangers of recreating in the state's back countries.

Trent Meisenheimer is a forecaster and education outreach director with the avalanche center. He and forecaster Mark Staples spent Tuesday triggering ridgeline avalanches for the video.

"Sticking to low angle slopes with nothing above or adjacent to you is what we are recommending through the weekend," Meisenheimer said. "Right now these avalanches can be triggered from a distance. If I snowmobile into the bottom of a steep bowl, it is just like walking up to a giant log pile and I pull out the bottom log and all of the logs come down on top of me."

A high avalanche danger warning has been posted for northern Utah. Meisenheimer says conditions right now are in the deadly zone and he is warning outdoor recreationist to stay off and out from under slopes steeper than 30 degrees.

"I am trying to show the viewers that these avalanches are now, they are serious and they are large and they are super deadly," he said. "In a matter of seconds you would be ripped down the slope, dragged over rocks, trees, stumps. It is no wonder that a quarter of us are killed from trauma in avalanches. Once they stop and if you are buried you only have a matter of minutes to get out of that snow before you die from asphyxiation."

The most snow fell Wednesday night in the Wasatch Mountains south of Interstate 80. Up to 21 inches fell at Brighton Crest. About 9 inches of new snow was reported at Powder Mountain.