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Backcountry Skiers On The Lookout For Avalanche Danger

OPB | Feb. 19, 2014 12:30 p.m. | Updated: Feb. 19, 2014 3:49 p.m.

An avalanche occurs at an elevation of 10,500 feet at Elk Point, Utah, in the Wasatch Mountain range.

An avalanche occurs at an elevation of 10,500 feet at Elk Point, Utah, in the Wasatch Mountain range.

Bruce Tremper / U.S. Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center

Avalanches have killed nine people in the Western United States since February 8. The most recent death occurred on Sunday, when a man on a snowmobile was buried in an avalanche in central Idaho. Several people were injured and two more died in an avalanche in Eastern Oregon last week.

Avalanche experts say recent storms following an unusually dry winter have created unstable conditions in backcountry ski areas. There is currently an avalanche warning in effect for areas of Oregon and Washington.

Are you a backcountry skier? What kind of precautions do you take to avoid being caught in an avalanche? Have you ever had a close call?

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