Merry Christmas, after many dry weeks creating a weak sugary snowpack the time of reckoning is finally here; we have a slab on top of it all. Yesterday (12/23) the upper Cottonwoods received a little over an inch of snow water equivalent with over a foot of snow and moderate winds and tonight (12/24) another storm is expected to bring another round with similar totals. As a consequence to the new load dangerous avalanche conditions will be present in the coming days throughout northern Utah.
If looking to ski in the backcountry be sure to stay in areas where the preexisting old snow prior to these recent storms does not exist (primarily on S and SW slopes) or at the very least stay on slopes 25 degrees or less which are not connected to or immediately adjacent steeper slopes. Consult the Utah Avalanche Center for further, more detailed information!
The good news is that with the presence of heightened avalanche danger we can still find good skiing and have fun in mellow unexposed terrain! Learning opportunities are abundant and now is the time to see what a dangerous set-up looks like from a safe location. If looking to enter the backcountry proceed with great caution or hire a qualified guide such as the ones with The Backcountry Pros.