A skier in Utah was seriously injured after he triggered an avalanche Wednesday that dragged him down the mountain and buried him in feet of snow.
The man was skiing by himself along the northwest side of Thomas Fork of Neff’s Canyon when he caused the snowslide, which carried him down the Salt Lake City mountain and trapped him in “chest-deep” snow in a drainage of the trail, the Utah Avalanche Center said.
The man was stuck in the snow for about 45 minutes before another skier heard his cries for help. The second skier called 911 and began helping the trapped skier out from the packed snow mound.
Rescue crews on foot and via helicopter arrived to help the skier. He was taken on a snowmobile to a trailhead before he was transported to an ambulance.
“Dangerous avalanche conditions exist! The north-facing slopes that are harboring old weak faceted snow surfaces are not to be messed with,” the Avalanche Center said on Facebook.
The avalanche was the second in two days, the center said.
Earlier this week, Utah was blanketed in fresh snow, which continued to fall on and off through Thursday. The fresh, unpacked snow makes for dangerous skiing conditions and can set off a slide.
On Tuesday, officials found the body of a skier who had gone missing the day before at Solitude Mountain Resort, approximately 17 miles from Neff’s Canyon.
Devon O’Connell was last seen on a chairlift Monday at noon, and was reported missing several hours later, KSL-TV said. Search and rescue teams braved rough weather conditions overnight and found his body “just off of the Sensation ski run in some trees,” a Unified Police Department spokesperson said. The circumstances around O’Connell’s death have not yet been revealed.
The Solitude resort had gotten nearly 2 feet of snow within 48 hours. Roads up the canyon were closed part of Monday due to crashes.
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