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Mon December 20, 2010
Western Wyoming sees high risk of avalanche
By Molly Messick
Laramie, WY – Avalanche danger is high in parts of western Wyoming right now. That's after more than a foot of heavy new snow fell in the western mountains over the weekend and Monday morning. Bob Comey is the director of the Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center. He says so far this year, the high avalanche danger has been due to specific and predictable conditions.
"What we're dealing with so far this season in the most part is just the new snow that comes in. And so a storm comes in, the avalanche hazard goes up. A storm moves on and the avalanche hazard comes back down."
Comey recommends that people stay away from steep slopes during and after storms. He says gentler terrain is safer. It's also key that people carry equipment like shovels and beacons, and know how to use them. A backcountry skier was swept up by an avalanche over the weekend, after leaving the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort boundary. According to reports, he was injured but not buried. Last year, Wyoming saw five fatalities as the result of avalanches.