Several Close Calls in Utah's Backcountry Friday
Be careful in the backcountry! Utah Avalanche Center reports multiple human-triggered avalanches Friday. UAC reports two very close calls occurred in the boundaries of Snowbasin resort, which is closed for the season. Another avalanche on Cardiac Ridge in Big Cottonwood Canyon was triggered by a skier and carried two people down. One skier had an airbag that deployed. UAC forecaster Drew Hardesty says there were only minor injuries involved in Friday’s slides.
“People were swarming the range and there were many, many close calls. People caught and carried, airbags deployed, people swept over cliff bands. Somebody carried up into a tree as debris washed by. Fairly active. Fortunately only just some minor scrapes, and a lost ski pole or two and by my count about 10 human triggered avalanches all told and six people caught and carried in three separate instances in Central Wasatch. Another three caught two carried in Ogden Area Mountains. I attribute this mostly to the natural challenges of adequate social distancing, if you will, on the up track as well as ill considered safe zones and and just the inherent risk of skiing and riding in radical terrain like off the top of Mount Superior or Mount Ogden up to the north. We will continue to have things on the upper end of moderate danger human triggered avalanches still possible on many aspects, primarily the upper elevations. These will be one or two feet deep in a couple 100 feet wide, so I would say high risk, high reward in this terrain. If you dial your slope angles back down to about 30 to 35 degrees, low risk, high reward.”
You can find more information at the Utah Avalanche Center website.