Dangerous avalanche conditions in Utah mountains

Dec 21 2013 - 9:17am

SALT LAKE CITY -- Dangerous avalanche conditions will continue through the weekend, the Utah Avalanche Center reports.

There is a high avalanche danger on any slope steeper than 30 degrees on upper elevation slopes that generally face the north half of the compass plus east facing slopes.

Friday at least seven people unintentionally triggered avalanches in the backcountry with with several people caught in very close calls. No one was injure

The center reports avalanche conditions are dangerous because:

* New snow on Thursday overloaded a very weak, pre-existing snowpack.  

* The additional new snow and wind today it will exacerbate already dangerous conditions

* With such a thin snowpack, people caught in even small avalanches will likely hit rocks, trees and logs on the way down

* People's focus on fresh powder may make them forget the avalanche danger and take more chances. 

* The best riding conditions exist on the exact slopes where avalanche danger is the highest

Backcountry travelers are advised to check the latest avalanche conditions at www.utahavalanchecenter.org or call 888-999-4019 for recorded information.

The avalanche conditions do not apply to ski areas where regular avalanche control exists.

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