SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 - Utah) The
“An avalanche is a very violent event,” said Craig Gordon. “You've got maybe a split second to get off the moving piece of snow.”
Craig Gordon is an avalanche forecaster with the
Gordon says this early in the season some areas are more dangerous than others.
”Right now we're not developing a real, deep, strong, stable snowpack,” said Gordon.
“Part of the problem is we're going to have alternating periods of warm and cold for the first half of winter, with the warm winning out,” said Chief Meteorologist Jim Kosek. “Basically, there'll be more melting and refreezing of the snow levels, creating more instability.”
The early snow
“This time of year we're all sort of looking for those slopes that have old snow, because we don't want to ding our skis, our boards, our sleds,” said Gordon. “But that's exactly where the more pronounced avalanche danger is.”
Gordon said the shady, north-facing slopes are at a higher risk for avalanches, at least for now.
“On the north facing slopes, snow sticks around, it grows weak and sugary. We put more snow on top of that and we see avalanches,” said Gordon.
Gordon said if there is ever a question of safety in the back country, sticking with ski resorts who take avalanche control initiatives is always a good backup.