Monday, December 24, 2007

Killer Avalanche at the Canyons Ski Resort

Ripped from the Avi Report:

Avalanche Accident: By now most of you are aware of the fatality and the heroic rescue of the boy at the Canyons mountain resort inbounds off the 9990’ ski lift. Just before noon yesterday, three men were caught and carried after triggering a 3-5’ deep and 175’ wide avalanche. One man in his late twenties died from injuries due to trauma while the flowing debris engulfed a man and his 11 year old son in the flats below. The father was able to dig himself out while his son remained completely buried. The ski patrol soon located and excavated the boy from the debris. No pulse. No respirations. Upon immediate CPR, the boy revived and was evacuated to a hospital in Salt Lake, where he remains in critical care. Control teams had peppered the area with over 170 lbs of explosives the day before. It’s a tragic accident.

Ripped from the Tribune:

A man was killed and a boy critically injured Sunday morning when an avalanche swept over them while they skied within the bounds of The Canyons Resort. It was the first death of the avalanche season. The skiers were in the Red Pine Chutes area when the avalanche began just after 11:15 a.m., said resort spokeswoman Elizabeth Dowd. The man - 25 to 35 years old and possibly a Colorado resident - was found about 10 minutes later, but died at the scene, she said. A friend of the man suffered minor injuries. The 11-year-old was skiing at the bottom of the double black-diamond run with his father when he was caught up in the slide, Summit County sheriff's Capt. Andrew Leatham said.

Three women witnessed the avalanche; one found the boy about 30 minutes later with her ski pole. Rescuers performed CPR, and the boy was flown to Primary Children's Medical Center, Leatham said. As of late Sunday afternoon, the boy was in intensive care and doctors were warming his core temperature, he said. The slide occurred within resort boundaries, in an area that had opened Saturday, Dowd said. Explosives, a snow pack assessment and a test ski had been administered at the avalanche site less than a day before the slide, she said. "Aggressive avalanche control work had been performed at The Canyons throughout the week as new snow fell," she said. Investigators didn't know what triggered the slide, which was 125 feet wide and 500 feet long. The depth ranged from 3 inches to 5 feet. Avalanche deaths are "very rare" in ski resorts, said Brett Kobernik, forecaster for the Utah Avalanche Center. "It's only happened a handful of times since the resorts have opened here," he said. The avalanche danger in the area Sunday was considerable, according to the center, which warned that dangerous human-triggered slides were likely. The risk was expected to remain today, Kobernik said. "The avalanche danger will be on the rise again on the back country . . . due to more snow and stronger winds," he said.


Anonymous said...

Hey genius, it wasn't a ski patroller who rescued the boy. It was 15-year-old girl! Sheesh!

Forrest said...

Why are giving me a hard time, I just ripped the report from the avalanche center, have some balls and dont leave anonymous comments.