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Mon April 25, 2011
Avalanche danger will remain high in western Wyoming
By Molly Messick
Jackson, WY –
With high levels of snowfall in western Wyoming this year, the Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center says avalanche danger will likely persist into June. Center director Bob Comey says the warming and freezing the region will see as spring progresses could lead to instability in the snowpack. And Comey says there's still the likelihood of significant snowfall at higher elevations - and when that type of snowfall occurs, people should be cautious.
"Most avalanches occur during and immediately after a storm. So anytime this spring we have a big snowstorm with lots of snow and wind, we're going to have avalanche hazard. Especially in the spring when you get the warm days preceding that and you get a firm hard crust. You put that new snow on the firm hard crust and during the storm it wants to go."
Wyoming's first avalanche fatalities for this season were confirmed over the weekend, when two skiers were found dead. The Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center stops issuing its daily advisories for western Wyoming in late April, when fewer people are heading into the backcountry.