KAMAS, Utah, Feb. 10, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — The Utah Avalanche Center said a man survived a “close call” Saturday after being trapped in an avalanche near Kamas while snowmobiling with friends.
“No one was injured and they all had rescue gear,” said a post on Facebook from UAC. “They dug out their friend in a matter of seconds. We really appreciate them telling this story so that we can all learn and be safer.”
A snowmobiler who was involved in the incident said that he and his friends were “side hilling” a slope in the Woodland area when the avalanche occurred. Side hilling is defined as riding a snowmobile on edge, tipped with one ski in the snow and one in the air.
“I wasn’t going to post this because I really didn’t want my wife to know,” the snowmobiler wrote in a Facebook post that was then shared by the UAC. “But if I can spread awareness and talk even one person into getting a beacon, then it’s worth it. My buddy Rob and I were side hilling this slope. I was leading and a little higher and made it through when I looked back the snow and Rob was gone. We flew back to find him.”
The snowmobiler said he launched his snowmobile up into the avalanche where he saw his friend’s hand sticking out of the snow.
“I got his head free and started looking for others,” the post said. “We had four guys unaccounted for. Two guys rolled up and we radioed the others. Super lucky.”
He added: “I learned a couple things. 1) just because there are tracks across a side hill doesn’t make it safe. 2) Know the number of guys you are with because thinking of all the names of the guys in your group is seriously hard when you are wondering if one of them is buried. 3) Radios are a tool I never thought I’d use in an avalanche situation. 4) I will admit to this! Keeping your composure and staying calm in that situation is near impossible! I lost it!”