Officials say man buried in Park City avalanche has died
PARK CITY, Utah — Summit County officials have announced via Twitter that the 31-year-old man from Clinton, Utah, who was buried in an avalanche near Park City has died.
Avalanche Update – It is with great sadness we report that the 31 y o male has been located and died in the avalanche. Our most sincere condolences go to the family, girlfriend and friends. The name will not be released at this time. pic.twitter.com/ZOhPGsdJ4f
— Sheriff Justin (@SummitCountySO) January 8, 2021
Search and rescue teams responded after the avalanche was reported around 11 a.m. Friday in the backcountry outside Park City Mountain. County Sheriff Justin Martinez confirmed the response of search and rescue and air support on the scene shortly after the area was secured.
Avalanche occurs outside Park City Mountain boundaries
Officials believe the avalanche buried or swept the missing person somewhere in the Dutch Draw area, a backcountry skiing location that separates Big Cottonwood Canyon from the Park City area. It’s not clear whether he was skiing or snowboarding.
“Any time you’re headed into the backcountry, you need to be prepared for your own rescue,” said Craig Gordon, forecaster and media coordinator for Utah Avalanche center. “As is always the case, the best avalanche is the one we don’t trigger. Avalanche avoidance is paramount.”
Although there hasn’t been much snowfall from Tuesday night, Gordon said it was just enough “to keep things teetering on the edge.” The area experienced several other close calls earlier this week, he said.
Rescuers hoped for a good outcome in Friday’s search. But, according to Gordon, when rescuers wind up “this deep” in the search for skiers buried underneath avalanches, the situation rarely ends well.
Dutch Draw popular with skiers
Dutch Draw is a common area for avalanches. This might be because the snowfall looks safe, giving a false sense of security, Gordon said.
However, as skiers travel through they can set off any of the several dangerous backcountry conditions, triggering an avalanche.
More skiers and snowboarders may look to the backcountry to avoid large crowds at resorts during the coronavirus pandemic. But Gordon said they need to educate themselves on avalanche rescue before heading out.
“There’s a lot more people going into the backcountry,” he said. “If you’re headed into the backcountry you need to prepared.”
This includes knowing the current avalanche forecast, preparing for your own rescue and completing basic avalanche-awareness education.
- States turn to drones to predict avalanches, spot wildlife
- Snowmobiler’s death puts spotlight on avalanche danger
- Utah ski resort visits hold steady, but analysts expect a hit this season
- US ski resorts adapt to new normal of amid pandemic challenges
Today’s Top Stories
- Missing girl from Arizona found in West Valley basement
- Elk herd again on the move near Foothill Drive and Parley’s Canyon
- Bill would allow individuals to become teachers without a bachelor’s degree
- Check your pantry, a Conagra canned meat recall may affect you
- UHP arrests man suspected of trafficking New England teen
- A Utah lawmaker and her sister at odds: Should rape victims need to contact police before…
- Credit union will pay for larger dog adoptions this weekend
- As two federal pandemic emergency-assistance programs near an end, Cox has solutions
- Court says gun law targeting domestic violence suspects is unconstitutional
- Intermountain’s 40-year study provides insight into weight-loss surgery