"Imagine being buried under thousands of these" – Utah ski patroller poses next to huge boulder-sized snowball

An avalanche
The Utah Avalanche Center shared the picture of a ski patroller standing next to an enormous ball of snow that appears to be both taller and wider than he is (Image credit: Gwendal Le Bourvellec / EyeEm)

Utah's Park City ski resort just saw the snowiest February on record and epic conditions for powder skiing and riding have meant some boulder-sized snowballs have formed, prompting officials to caution backcountry skiers of the current avalanche risk.

In a social media post, which you can view below, the Utah Avalanche Center shared a picture on Monday of a ski patroller standing next to what they call a "rollerball," an enormous ball of snow that appears to be both taller and wider than he is.

"This rollerball from the PC ridgeline may look cute but wet debris piles are the real deal. Imagine being buried under thousands of these," writes the UAC with the picture. 

Wet debris means that springtime conditions result in free-flowing water in the snowpack, which can cause it to creep downhill and may result in potentially catastrophic slides.

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The Park City Ridgeline is an avalanche-prone ridge also known as the Wasatch Crest, that you can reach by skinning or splitboarding. It extends for 10 miles and provides stunning views the Central Wasatch and the High Uintas.

With the current El Niño snow pattern being very kind to the resort, which has received nearly six feet more snow than an average year and has extended its operating season, backcountry skiers and snowboarders are reminded to check the avalanche report before traveling, understand avalanche safety and carry an avalanche beacon, shovel and probe.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.