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Snowboarder Dies in Park City Avalanche + Inbounds Slide at Steamboat

A snowboarder was caught and killed in a backcountry avalanche outside Park City, Utah on Sunday. The 45-year-old man exited the Canyons Resort boundary into the Dutch Draw area where he unintentionally triggered the avalanche on a Northeast-facing slope. He was caught and fully buried. Emergency services responded to the scene and were able to extricate him, but were not able to revive the man. This is the second avalanche fatality of the season, after a woman died in Colorado last week. Our condolences to all those affected by this tragedy.

RELATED: Hadley Hammer - Mitigating Consequence in the Mountains

The Utah Avalanche Center published a preliminary report on the accident, read it here.

Separately, an avalanche released in a closed inbounds area of Colorado’s Steamboat Resort on Sunday afternoon. Eight people were caught in the slide, and one was fully buried. The victim was successfully extricated and was transported to a hospital with injuries. According to the Steamboat Pilot, the persistent hard slab avalanche was human triggered and occurred in a closed inbounds area between Big Meadow and Chutes 1 and 2. The slide looked to have been triggered from below. The buried victim was recovered conscious and breathing within minutes, a testament to the ability of the rescue party to conduct a swift and efficient rescue.

Avalanche conditions across the west continue to be dangerous, with an unstable weak layer lurking deeper and deeper in the snowpack as more storms come. In the words of our local Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center: “At the mid and upper elevations, conditions are prime for a serious avalanche accident in our forecast region.” Similar conditions exist across most of the mountain west, so be sure to thoroughly understand your local hazards before venturing into the backcountry this week. 

About The Author

stash member Max Ritter

I manage digital content here at TGR, run our gear testing program, and am stoked to be living the dream in the Tetons.