Lone Peak, Utah- A rescue effort yesterday for three skiers in Utah’s backcountry resulted in tragedy. KSL TV 5 reports that two people were killed in an avalanche at Willow Creek Canyon below Lone Peak. The other individual dug himself out, was rescued by a helicopter, and then was transported to the hospital. His injuries didn’t appear to be serious. Recovery efforts were called off yesterday due to difficult conditions. The area recently received three feet of wet snow, making recovery difficult. The bodies were recovered today.

According to a preliminary report from the Utah Avalanche Center, the skiers were boot-packing up Big Willow Aprons and were nearing the top of that slope when the slide occurred. The slide was two feet deep and 250 feet wide, leading to the two victims being fully buried.

The two victims were 32 and 23 years old. Today, those individuals were identified as Andrew Cameron from Utah and Austin Mallet from Montana. Both individuals were experienced backcountry skiers. It’s the first avalanche fatality in Utah during the 2023-24 season.

Craig Gordon of the Utah Avalanche Center gave the following statement to KSL:

“This situation of course, deeply rocks my world, and deeply breaks my heart, and my heart is very heavy for this group that loves this snow and loves the mountains as much as I do and are now dealing with something that is so emotionally insurmountable, my heart breaks for this entire community right now.” 

We here at Unofficial Networks send our thoughts and prayers to the victims’ families and friends during this challenging time. We’ll update this article as more details emerge.

We’ve included a video report from KSL below, which includes Craig Gordon’s reaction.

Image/Video Credits: Utah Avalanche Center (Featured & Header Image), KSL TV 5

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