Third avalanche in 2 weeks occurs in Dutch Draw area of Summit County

The third avalanche in two weeks has occurred in the Summit County backcountry near the Canyons Village side of Park City Mountain Resort. Video still courtesy: Utah Avalanche Center

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah, Dec. 26, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — The third avalanche in two weeks has occurred in the Summit County backcountry near the Canyons Village side of Park City Mountain Resort.

The Utah Avalanche Center reposted the Facebook video below Wednesday along with this account: “Almost witnessed this man get caught and buried in this storm slab #avalanche today on the Park City ridgeline. Felt helpless just watching this happen in almost the exact same spot of the fatal avalanche last week. I waited to speak to this snowboarder, to let him know what just occurred. He like so many that leave the backcountry gates didn’t have any avalanche equipment or even a beacon. I explained to him just how lucky he was, he told me he has been skiing here for 20 years and just didn’t think it was steep enough to side, which I thought was just absurd! I am relieved this man didn’t get seriously hurt or killed on this Christmas morning and he gets to return home to his family.”

On Dec. 15, Raymond M. Tauszik, 45, of Salt Lake City, passed away after he triggered and was caught and carried in an avalanche in the Conehead area of Dutch Draw.

The Utah Avalanche Center posted on its website that Tauszik left the Canyons Village area of Park City via the backcountry exit gate at the top of the 9,990 foot lift to access Dutch Draw.

“The Conehead area of Dutch Draw along the Park City ridgeline is steep, rocky, avalanche prone terrain and was the site of an avalanche fatality in February 2012,” the post said. “The avalanche is adjacent to a cliffband on an east-northeast facing slope at roughly 9600 feet.”

Then on the afternoon of Dec. 17, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of an avalanche in the same Dutch Draw area.

“It was determined that the avalanche was triggered by a skier using a snow kite,” said a news release from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office. “No skiers were buried or injured in the avalanche.”

The news release said that officials urge skiers, snowboarders, snowmobilers or anyone in the backcountry who triggers an avalanche to call its office immediately at 435-615-3601 or to call 911.

“It is NOT a criminal violation to trigger an avalanche, and no action will be taken against anyone who reports an avalanche,” the news release said. “When reporting an avalanche, please provide as much detailed information as possible; general location, GPS coordinates. Reporting avalanches directly to us allows us to keep our responders safe and reduce the use of resources.”

The news release said officials also urge skiers and boarders to check avalanche conditions with the Utah Avalanche Center before entering the backcountry. “Always have the proper equipment, take someone with you, and always let family and friends know where you intend to go,” the news release said.



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