A snowmobiler was saved by his brother after getting buried in a football field sized avalanche near the Utah-Idaho border near the Franklin Basin of Logan Canyon this week. FOX 13 SLC reports the buried snowmobiler was found by his avalanche airbag which he had deployed in the slide:
“I called over the radio and said, “Avalanche. Avalanche. Trace was buried. When I finally saw the airbag and it was against the tree, I just, I mean: Worst case scenario is what comes to mind. I started running towards him, he’s only 50 yards away from me up the hill, but with that deep of snow it felt like it took me an hour to get to him. He kept saying, ‘hurry, hurry my leg,’ and we couldn’t dig fast enough. Time stood still. Everything we did just seemed too slow.”
After a 45 minute struggle, Trace’s brother and uncle we able to free him and while his snowmobile was crushed, Trace was thankfully uninjured. Trace’s brother credits the airbag for his brother’s survival:
“We would not have found him. He would have been completely buried. That [avalanche air bag] is what saved his life. He would have been completely under.”
The Utah Avalanche Center wants to remind us to always check conditions before recreating in the mountains and to ensure you have the right gear. The Francis family expressed their sincere gratitude for those at the Utah Avalanche Center and the work they do. For more from the Utah Avalanche Center go HERE.