Four people were killed in an avalanche in Millcreek Canyon Saturday. Salt Lake County Unified Police say four others survived. The group of eight were skiing together in an area near Alexander Basin.
The Utah Avalanche Forecast Center’s Drew Hardesty warned of high avalanche danger Saturday morning, saying that there had been large natural avalanches overnight due to the new snow in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons as well as Millcreek Canyon.
“These were about two to three feet deep,” Hardesty said. ”One was reported to be 500 feet wide. It would be good to have a couple of eyes on that one. But these are dangerous conditions still. The winds were the main player with the storm. They at times reached gusts up and over 100 miles an hour at the 11,000 foot level. I would expect to see some avalanches triggered in the back country and the resorts. I wouldn't be surprised to see a couple days ripping out to the ground. It seems like accident weather today the skiing riding conditions are really excellent. But, again, dangerous avalanche conditions exist.”
In a tweet, Utah Governor Spencer Cox advised Utahns to “please exercise extreme caution. This is a terrible tragedy," he continued, “and our prayers go out to the victims and families involved. “
This follows the two fatal avalanches in Summit County last month – both in the backcountry accessed off the 99-90 chairlift from Park City Mountain Resort. The gate to the backcountry to the Park City ridge from the resort remains closed following last week’s fatality.