2018-19 Snow Season at Mid-Gad

Article by WWD Webmaster.
May 22, 2019

Records? Yes. We are now in the 4th deepest snowpack ever in recorded history. Granted I'm comparing Mid-Gad snow study plot to the Alta Guard station study plot, so it's not exact. But, if you look at season totals you will see that there are only 2 seasons where we've had 700" or more at Alta Guard. My educated guess is that we will exceed 700" at Mid-Gad within a day or two, and there are storms lined up beyond that.

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Snow Sense: A Guide to Evaluating Snow Avalanche Hazard

Published by Alaska Mountain Safety Center, March 24, 2017
By Jill Fredston & Doug Fesler

"A new edition of a best-selling classic. Snow Sense is North America's leading primer on how to avoid getting caught in an avalanche. Written by the experts, Snow Sense focuses on the critical terrain, snowpack, weather, and human factors that allow avalanche accidents to happen. A must-have for anyone who works or plays in avalanche country."

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Allen & Mike's Avalanche Book

Published by Globe Pequot Press / Falcon Guides, December, 2012
By Mike Clelland and Allen O'Bannon

"With more and more people heading into the winter backcountry on skis, snowshoes, and snowmobiles, avalanche safety is of paramount importance. Allen & Mike's Really Cool Avalanche Safety Book distills the sometimes overly technical information of snow science into a user-friendly format with helpful illustrations and easy-to-understand text."

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Utah Avalanche Center - Tutorials

Published by the Utah Avalanche Center.

The best way to learn about avalanches and how to avoid them is to take an avalanche class from a qualified instructor.  You can get a good introduction to understanding avalanches, though, by studying avalanche articles, books, and videos.  It's also important to keep your skills current.

These resources provide a great way to brush up on skills and keep up with the latest technology, theory, and professional practice.

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Traffic in Utah's Cottonwood Canyons Getting Worse

The Salt Lake Tribune, March 30, 2019
By Brian Maffly

"On powder days, Rafferty and nearly every other Alta and Snowbird skier not staying on the mountain, spent more time in cars than on the skis....'While the ski areas have adjusted to accommodate growth on their mountains,' Maughan said, 'the road and parking capacities are the same as they were 15 years ago.'”

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The Wizard of the Wasatch (WoW)

Bob Athey is the Wizard of the Wasatch. His website is “Snow and avalanche conditions in the Wasatch range including photos, diagrams, snow pit graphs and trip reports in winter. Images of wildflowers, goats and other wildlife, changing season leaves, and trip reports from hikes and runs in the summer and fall.”

Spend some time poking around his site. You’ll be well rewarded for your efforts. Here too is a collection of articles and videos featuring the WoW.

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Colorado Avalanches: Hwy 550, Highlands Ridge & Winter Storm Ulmer – March, 2019

Colorado was the lucky recipient of historic snow falls early in March, 2019. Here is a collection of some of the news stories and video about the storm and some of the resulting avalanches. This article focuses on the overall storm, eventually labeled as Winter Storm Ulmer, and avalanches along U.S. Highway 550 and the Highlands Ridge avalanche.

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A Forgotten Wilderness: Nature's Hidden Relationships in West Central Idaho

“Idaho author Matthew Deren discovered a hidden niche from the ground up in West Central Idaho as he researched a book about nature's hidden relationships in the temperate forests between McCall and Riggins.”

"‘I noticed a convergence zone in West Central Idaho that no one had really discovered before,’ Deren says. ‘It's a point where the south meets the north, the dry meets the wet, and where civilization meets the wild. It's the largest temperate block of wilderness in North America.’"

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Field Guide to Snow Crystals

Field Guide to Snow Crystals is the classic original book on the subject of snow crystals. It is a collectors item with copies on Amazon ranging from $45 to $290 for a new hardcover copy. While it may be outdated in terms of the level of understanding of snow crystals, it is nonetheless one of the early and most well respected guides on the subject.

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Little Cottonwood Canyon Weather & Avalanche Information

Little Cottonwood Canyon is a unique environment. Weather is often intense during the Winter and avalanches are of course a major concern. This page provides a variety of information sources so that you can be well informed of current conditions in the canyon. Included are resources from Alta & Snowbird, National Weather Service, Utah Avalanche Center, Utah Dept. of Transportation & Unified Police Greater Salt Lake.

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