The risky avalanche conditions are not limited to Europe or the alps this week, North America is seeing some equally scary conditions.

The High Traverse and Sunspot at Alta on Friday afternoon. (photo: Marc Guido : http://www.firsttracksonline.com/ )

The High Traverse and Sunspot at Alta on Friday afternoon. (photo: Marc Guido : http://www.firsttracksonline.com/ )

Earlier today, 3 skiers were partially buried in an in-bounds avalanche in Alta. A spokesperson for Alta, Connie Marshall, confirmed that at 11:35 this morning¬†(18:35GMT), 3 skiers were caught in a slide on¬†Spot Slot, high in Collins Gulch¬†above the resort‚Äôs Sunspot run and the High Traverse, at about 10,400ft. It’s believed the avalanche was triggered by a skier. Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake officials were on the scene quickly and¬†the 3 were dug out without injury. ¬†The Collins chairlift was closed following the incident.

The Utah Avalanche Center’s current advisory for the area is “high” above 8000ft and on all aspects except SE,S and SW which are “moderate” to “considerable”, but inbounds areas are expected to be controlled by the resort. ¬†Their weather report states: “Lots of graupel fell over the past 24 hours (that Styrofoam ball type of snow) with 9 inches of snow containing an amazing 1.6 inches of water weight measured at two different weather stations at Alta”.

I think this is going to be a VERY interesting year, and urge you all to exercise caution when off the marked runs.

Alta Ski Area: http://www.alta.com/

Utah Avalanche Center : http://utahavalanchecenter.org/

First Tracks Online : http://www.firsttracksonline.com/