(KUTV) After several close calls over the Christmas weekend, including one person getting buried up to their neck, the avalanche warning has been sounded again for northern Utah and southeast Idaho.
The warning asks those in the backcountry of mountain areas to completely avoid steep slopes by the Utah Avalanche Center and the USDA. It also said there are many areas where people can safely enjoy fresh power in the mountains without being in dangerous areas. After weekend storms dropped plenty of snow, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said there is widespread snow instability and numerous human-triggered avalanches have already been recorded in the "weak, sugary faceted snow."
It also said ski resorts do a great job of mitigating avalanche danger and also advised that slopes less than 30 degrees in the backcountry are safer and hundreds of miles of trails and roads are available and safe in big, flat meadows and in lower angled terrain.
The report indicated "several close calls" in the last few days with avalanches catching "experienced folks" who were dragged for long rides through timber and "burying one person up to the neck." It said a handful of avalanches were triggered Monday, including at least one from below. It warned that triggers from below make it likely that a person will be overrun by snow.
All backcountry users are encouraged to get and use proper avalanche rescue gear and know how to use it and get avalanche training.