Short video clip of a remotely-triggered avalanche by some backcountry skiers in the Rocky Point area between Alta and Brighton ski areas, Utah on November 17th, 2013.
Over the weekend (November 16th & 17th, 2013), there were 7 skier triggered avalanches in Utah. There was also a natural avalanche and an avalanche of unknown origin. That’s 9 avalanches in Utah in 2 days. It’s being reported that one skier did ride down one of the avalanches some distance but was uninjured. No other injuries are being reported at this time.
The avalanche danger was ranked as “Considerable” over the weekend and some Utah locations received up to 24 inches of new snow. RIght now, there are two weak layers in the Utah snowpack with one of them being right on the ground. Facets have grown right above the ground in the snowpack and this layer was the culprit in most of the weekend’s avalanche situations. Please view the above video for more details.
One thing we all have to remember is this: The best sign that avalanches are possible is avalanches. If you are going out for a backcountry tour and you see evidence of a recent avalanche, you need to modify your plan accordingly.
We also need to remember that because snowpacks are still low, the potential for getting traumatically injured in an avalanche right now is very high. Lets not forget that professional skier Jamie Pierre died in an avalanche at Snowbird ski resort in Utah in very similar conditions two years ago on November 13th, 2011.
Some of these weekend avalanches were small. Don’t forget that small avalanches have fatally injured many skiers and riders via suffocation and trauma. A small avalanche still has the potential to bury a person and starve them of oxygen. A small avalanche can also easy throw a person off a cliff or slam them into rocks or trees causing severe damage to the person.
We all need to settle down just a little bit. We certainly are all powder starved after a couple of dry years in the West, but we’ve got to stay sharp at all times in avalanche terrain.
For details on all this avalanches over the weekend, please visit:
7 thoughts on “7 Skier Triggered Avalanche in Utah Over Weekend!”
Welcome to Colorado…. It gets worse before it gets better. Be patient.
Miles et all, you’re doing a great service here… keep pounding the drum.. that one really great run is NOT EVEN CLOSE to worth the pain left behind by an avalanche injury or death…be patient and careful out there
Greatest snow on earth (for avalanches)
Those bottom facets scare me. They ain’t goin away soon…
We all need to downshift.