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Accident: Oquirrh Mountains

Observer Name
UAC Staff
Observation Date
Sunday, January 28, 2024
Avalanche Date
Wednesday, February 17, 1926
Region
Salt Lake » Oquirrh Mountains
Location Name or Route
Bingham Canyon-Sap Gulch
Elevation
9,000'
Aspect
East
Trigger
Natural
Avalanche Type
Soft Slab
Avalanche Problem
New Snow
Killed
35
Accident and Rescue Summary
This avalanche took out parts of the town of Bingham, Utah on February 17, 1926. It is well-documented that the avalanche occurred on the morning of the 17th and that anywhere from 35-50 people were involved with anywhere from 25-40 fatalities as of the research so far. According to articles below the estimated depth of the debris in the gully features was between 50-100'. It sounded from the articles like this was a wet heavy storm and that the old snow surface was a melt-freeze crust. There was some conjecture that the avalanche was triggered by explosives from the mine (which was common thinking around that time). Not knowing where the explosives were placed makes it hard to come to a conclusion. There is also mention of mud/land slide involvement but same conjecture at the time.
Comments
Around the same time period there are mentions of avalanches in both Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons. Ogden Canyon, Provo Canyon, and the Canyon near the town of Ophir. (The Desert News February 18, 1936 Page 1) and Elbert Despain (mailman for LCC) is quoted as saying that no one had been down the canyon (Little Cottonwood) in two days.




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