Eden, UT – A ski patroller at Utah’s Powder Mountain ski resort was carried for 1,800 vertical feet and buried by an avalanche on Tuesday, before being successfully dug out by his fellow patrollers.
The unidentified man, age 30, was performing a ski cut on James Peak to try to provoke an avalanche at around 9:50 a.m. when the snow broke free, carrying the patroller. He was extricated from two to three feet of debris in six to 10 minutes and found unconscious, but breathing.
The man was airlifted to McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, where he was treated and released.
The east-facing slopes of 9,421-foot James Peak are where Powder Mountain hosts its Lightning Ridge single-ride snow cat service. James Peak was scheduled to open for the day on Tuesday, but remained closed to the public following the incident.
Tuesday’s accident is the second avalanche-related incident involving a ski patroller in the Ogden Valley. Last month, a Snowbasin ski patroller was also buried by an avalanche that occurred during routine control work.
Also on Tuesday in Utah, a skier was caught and carried by a two-foot deep avalanche at 9,500 feet along the east-facing Park City ridgeline. No injuries were reported.