Avalanche Center urges caution, even with moderate slide risk

Nov 21, 2011

Parts of the Bridger-Teton National Forest got more than two feet of snow last week, which led to a considerable risk of avalanches.

The Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center has now reduced the risk to “moderate,” which means natural avalanches are unlikely but human-triggered avalanches are possible.

Lead forecaster Bob Comey says avalanches are often a result of people skiing, snowshoing or snowmobiling in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“Most people that get caught and die in an avalanche – they initiate or trigger the avalanche, or someone in their party triggers the avalanche that kills them,” Comey said.

Comey says anyone venturing into higher elevations needs to have safety gear and know how to spot dangerous areas.

“One of the most obvious signs of avalanche hazard is recent avalanche activity," he said. "So whether you’re on snowmobiles or snow shoeing or skiing in the back country, if you’re seeing recent avalanche activity, that’s a big red flag.”