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24 human-triggered avalanches occurred on Saturday across Utah; one injury, six people buried

UTAH —  According to the Utah Avalanche Center, there were 24 human-triggered avalanches on Saturday, at least 13 of which occurred in the Salt Lake region. While six people were caught and carried, and only one person was injured. The widest avalanche occurred near Ogden at Chilly Slabs, with a width of 400 feet and a depth of 2 feet. Much of the state had a danger rating of considerable to a high over the weekend.

The injury occurred in an avalanche that took place in Big Cottonwood Canyon at Butler Fork at around 9000 feet. The skier had not even switched from hiking mode to ski mode when the slide occurred. The skier was in the middle of the slide and was pushed into a stand of trees, where he was buried up to the top of their chest.

The skier said he heard his hamstring pop as his legs were tangled with skis, and even the skins were still attached. The skier’s partner had only been carried about 2 feet on the slide. After the first slide spread 100 wide, a second slide occurred with a widget of 250 feet. With the help of his partner, the skier was able to ski down to safety on one leg.

A factor in many of the avalanches over the weekend was wind-drifted snow combined with heavy snowfall. With heavy amounts of new snow, the weaker wind-drifted areas can be concealed, making it much more challenging to decern which areas are at risk, even with a high skill level and experience.

To find today’s danger risk ratings and area avalanche forecasts, visit the Utah Avalanche Center website.


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