Update: Search resumes for Summit County backcountry avalanche victim

Photo Courtesy: Summit County Sheriff's Office
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SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah, Jan. 31, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Summit County search and rescue crews have resumed the search for a man buried in an avalanche Saturday afternoon in the backcountry area known as Square Top.

“We resumed #avalanche operations this morning at 7 a.m.,” said a tweet from Summit County Sheriff Justin Martinez at 9:15 a.m. “Our friends from Utah Department of Public Safety are assisting us with their helicopter. We are attempting to make the area safe so personnel can get into the burial site. Updates will be given when new information is available.”

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 previous news release from 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.”

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.

Gephardt Daily will have more on this developing story as information is made available.


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