Winter storm brings avalanches to western Wyoming

Dec 29, 2011

The winter storm in northwest Wyoming has caused avalanches in Jackson Hole, Teton Pass, and Hoback Canyon. And the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center says more slides are likely to come.

An avalanche warning is in effect through Friday night. Forecaster Jim Springer says that doesn’t just mean there’s a risk of avalanches; it means they’re already happening.

“If you venture out right now, you’re going to have avalanche problems,” Springer said.

He added that conditions are ideal for slides right now, because early-season snow has been sitting for so long.

“When you have that snow sit, it basically crystalizes and it loses its strength and can act like ball bearings,” Springer said. “And any new snow on top of that just won’t be well supported.”

The Avalanche Center urges people to stay away from avalanche terrain until the warning is lifted.