Utah Avalanche Center Warn of the Dangers of Early Season Snow

AvyBrains | | AvalancheAvalanche
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Beware of sketchy early season snow coverage. Credit: UAC

Heads up. With the first significant winter storm, please make sure you’re aware of avalanche conditions and shallow early season snow.

“Shallow, early season snow conditions can be dangerous.

Just in the past week [In early November 2020] …shallowly buried rocks were to blame for the tragic death of a Bozeman woman and a British Columbia snowboarder who was killed by head trauma in a “freak backcountry accident” while skiing on his splitboard in relatively flat, rolling terrain.”


Remember that if there is enough snow on the ground to make turns on your skis, board, or sled, then there is enough snow to slide. Be prepared, carry your avy rescue gear, and always travel with a partner. Remember that getting caught in an early-season avalanche with minimal ground cover means getting pulled over rocks, trees, and stumps. Even an early season avalanche can be fatal.

If we look back to November 13, 2011, an early-season powder day in Little Cottonwood Canyon ended with 18 unintentionally triggered avalanches, including six people caught and carried and one fatal. Check out the blog and podcast about “The Day of Madness in Little Cottonwood Canyon” by visiting: http://utahavalanchecenter.org/blog/33854

Tell your friends to help give everyone a heads up.

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The day of madness in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Credit: UAC

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