(KCPW News) The Utah Avalanche Center is urging avid skiers to wait for a few more snowstorms before hitting the slopes. On Sunday, professional skier Jamie Pierre fell victim to an avalanche he triggered while snowboarding at the unopened Snowbird ski resort. Utah Avalanche Center Director Bruce Tremper says unfortunately, people tend to get powder fever this time of year, despite dangerous conditions resulting from early snowfall. He says 93 percent of avalanche accidents are triggered by the victim, when a weak pre-existing snowpack is topped with a layer of heavier snow.
“So the snow is just kind of waiting there like this giant trap that’s ready to break as a slab, and break above you, and then it’s like somebody pulls a rug out from underneath you and off you go. So these early season conditions are often quite dangerous,” he tells KCPW.
Tremper says the typical avalanche victim is an expert at their sport, but there is usually a gap between their sports skills and their avalanche skills. Snowbird expects to open this Saturday.
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