In this morning’s forecast, the Utah Avalanche Center revealed that there were 31 human-triggered avalanches reported yesterday. At least four people were caught and carried, with one person suffering an injury.
Already this morning, Friday 17th April, there have been reports of two human-triggered avalanches.
“Already 2 reports of human triggered avalanches this morning in Upper Little Cottonwood Canyon” – UAC Instagram Post
Scarily, a 2015 study on non-fatal avalanche involvements estimated that 90% of these go unreported. Is it possible that there were over 300 human-triggered slides yesterday?
The forecast for today warns of considerable avalanche danger, specifically warning: “Today has avalanche written all over it”
Today has avalanche accident written all over it.
Areas of CONSIDERABLE avalanche danger exist primarily in upper elevation northwest through east facing slopes. Human triggered avalanches 10-20″ deep and up to 250′ wide are probable on many steep slopes and some may be triggered at a distance. The danger for wet avalanches will rise to CONSIDERABLE on all steep sun exposed slopes today.
Remember that slope angle is the great equalizer. Low angle slopes continue to ride well. Low Risk High Reward.
The UAC added that yesterday’s slides occurred on all aspects at the mid and upper elevations, but primarily on steep northwest to east-facing slopes. Most were 8-16″ deep and 75′ wide with a couple of larger outliers at 250′ wide. These were failing within the new snow or at the new/old snow interface on last week’s temperature crust. Collapsing on this layer was noted; cracking was widespread, with a few avalanches triggered remotely (from a distance). Some took out previous tracks, some took out other skiers below.