No fatalities reported in Utah Avalanche Center annual report
PARK CITY, Utah – The Utah Avalanche Center (UAC) released its annual report for the 21/22 winter season on Tuesday.
No deaths have been reported. It is the third time in five years without a death.
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“The brief summary of the season is: above average snowfall in October, almost no snow in November, above average snowfall in December, a prolonged dry period for most of January and February , and snowfall in March, April and May,” the report said.
Significant cycles of dry snow avalanches occurred during heavy snowfall in December and with snowfall in early March. A major cycle of wet avalanches occurred in late March.
October snow became light and patchy on north-facing slopes, while it melted on south-facing slopes. The October snow became the weak layer on which many avalanches occurred in December and January, according to the report.
By mid-January, avalanche danger across the state had dropped to low on all aspects and elevations. No snow fell in most of Utah for a six-week period from about January 9 to February 16.
Avalanche danger in northern Utah increased toward the end of the first week of March. 47 avalanches were reported between February 19 and March 19 in Central Wasatch. It’s worth noting that many of the people who triggered these slides “seemed to be more experienced.”
UAC said there were several close calls, including an incident where a guide was buried six feet deep for 23 minutes and survived.
The last weekend of March was marked as the peak of wet avalanche activity.