Update: Nightfall prevents Summit County rescuers from reaching avalanche victim, operation to resume in a.m.

Photo: Summit County Sheriff's Office
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SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah, Jan. 30, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The Summit County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a man buried in an avalanche Saturday afternoon in the backcountry area known as Square Top.

The avalanche, in the area outside of resort boundaries near Park City Mountain Canyons Village, was reported at 3:26 p.m. and was triggered by two skiers, one of whom was caught in the avalanche, a news release from Sheriff Justin Martinez said.

The man’s friend was able to dig to the victim and attempted life-saving measures.

Lt. Andrew Wright, Summit County Sheriff’s Office, told Gephardt Daily at 5:28 p.m. Saturday that a Department of Public Safety helicopter was trying to reach the man and hoist him out.

“But it hasn’t reached him, and we are losing light,” Wright said.

The subsequent news release from the Sheriff’s Office stated that “because of the extreme avalanche danger in the area the friend had to leave,” and the “extreme avalanche danger prevented rescuers from getting into the area before nightfall.”

Summit County Search and Rescue, with assistance from the Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter, will resume rescue operations in the morning.

The operation is ongoing, and no further information will be provided until rescuers have made contact with the avalanche victim, Martinez said.

The news release concluded with the following:

“The Summit County Sheriff’s Office reminds people to use extreme caution when entering the backcountry. People should check avalanche conditions at the Utah Avalanche Center, avoid areas where there is avalanche danger, and be prepared with the proper equipment.

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