13 April 2013 ~ Comments Off on Avalanche Forecasting

Avalanche Forecasting

For many years, I have done my share of backcountry skiing. The thing that always concerns me while traveling near or above timberline is the constant threat of avalanches. I am a novice at forecasting avalanaches, yet, recently, an expert avalanche forecaster was tragically killed in a slide near Big Cottonwood Canyon, which is east of Salt Lake City. The victim was Craig Patterson, a forecaster for the Utah Department of Transportation Snow and Avalanche Program, which forecasts and controls avalanches for both Big Cottonwood Canyon and Little Cottonwood Canyon. Craig was doing fieldwork alone on Kessler Peak to check out the snow stability conditions, because avalanche slopes on Kessler Peak can threaten the highway below. My condolences to his family for their loss.

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