1) The first avalanche fatality occurred this past Saturday when a BYU student snowshoeing just south of Salt Lake City in the American Fork Canyon was caught in a slide. Avalanche danger at the time was rated “Extreme” or “High” after a large winter storm dropped 33″ on parts of the Wasatch Mountains.
2) The second avalanche killed a snowmobiler southeast of Provo, Utah near Huntington Reservoir on Sunday, February 9th. A snowmobiler was with 3 other snowmobilers when he remotely triggered a slide and was buried 6-8 feet deep.
The man’s fellow snowmobilers had avalanche equipment and were able to extract the buried man within 20 minutes but he was already gone. The deceased snowmobiler is survived by his wife and 5 children.
“So often the focus is on prevention tools. But that doesn’t prevent you from being in an avalanche. There are deadly, un-survivable avalanches, no matter what equipment you bring sometimes.” – Drew Hardesty, an avalanche forecaster with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center
Image of the Avalanche victim’s sled. photo: utah avalanche center
“It was a party of four experienced snowmobilers, all with rescue gear. Some of the snowmobilers became stuck and one person circled uphill and to the side of them to come help. He triggered the avalanche that buried him but the avalanche did not catch the stuck snowmobilers. They other snowmobilers began rescue efforts immediately but the victim was buried 6-8 feet deep and it took 20 minutes to extricate him. They began CPR but he did not respond”. – Utah Avalanche Center