With great sadness, the Utah Avalanche Center reports that a 57-year old skier, Kurt Damschroder of Park City, was killed Saturday, January 30 in a backcountry avalanche off of Square Top Peak, located on the Park City Ridgeline. The final accident report can be found HERE
. Our thoughts go out to those affected by this tragic accident, especially the family and friends of Kurt.
Skies are mostly cloudy. Mountain temperatures are generally in the teens with single digits up high.
The wind. 11,000' anemometers suffered a few gusts from the west-northwest over 100mph yesterday afternoon. They remain strong.
With an additional 3-5" (0.27"-0.5") overnight, storm totals are now up to 10-15" (0.75-1.01") in the Cottonwoods and along the Park City ridgeline.
Skiing and riding conditions are excellent and surfy on higher density graupel snow and wind whales across the landscape.
For today, skies will trend partly cloudy with mountain temperatures rising to the low to mid-20s. Expect no mercy from the northwest winds; they're forecast to increase in speed this afternoon.
With a high amplitude ridge to the West, we'll remain under a cool, breezy northwest flow through mid-week.
Greg anticipated the danger spiking to high yesterday during high rates of snowfall and strong winds and this verified with a couple periods of natural avalanching in the high, steep terrain mid-canyon above Little Cottonwood, including areas of White Pine Chutes and the Y/Y-Not.
Two notable avalanches stood out from the backcountry yesterday -
- Short Swing area of Mill D North: 9200' North facing unknown trigger estimated at 2' deep and roughly 125' wide
- Alexander Basin: a skier remotely triggered an estimated 2-3' deep avalanche possibly up to 500' wide low in the basin at 8600' north facing.
It has been a very active week with nearly 40 natural and human-triggered avalanches reported to the UAC from the Salt Lake mountains. The actual number is likely much higher. This included two very-close calls as well as the second avalanche fatality of the season in the state. Get caught up by reading our Week in Review
for this past week where we highlight significant avalanche, snow, and weather events