Video: Skier buried in Big Cottonwood Canyon avalanche survives to warn others

Screen capture: Utah Avalanche Center/Twitter

BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON, Utah, Dec. 18, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The Utah Avalanche Center is reminding everyone about avalanche danger after a skier was caught and buried Friday.

Fortunately, the skier survived without major injury and was able to share details and a video of the potentially life-threatening event, so that others can learn from this accident, UAC said in a post on Facebook.

A party of three skied the runs known as Brad’s Line and Silver Spoon,” the UAC said in a summary of the accident.

“After skiing those runs, they returned to the ridgeline and moved further south to the ‘Football Field.’ When they reached the top of the ‘Football Field,’ they transitioned to downhill mode and experienced a significant ‘collapse’ of the snowpack.”

The three descended one at a time, with the third skier seeing “shooting cracks to his left and right,” as he skied over the breakover.

“The avalanche quickly caught him and pushed him into some small trees. He was fully buried but luckily could move his arm and clear his airway,” the summary says.

His companions transitioned to uphill mode and attached climbing skins to their skis. It took them about 10 minutes to reach the buried skier and help him dig himself out of the debris.

His only injuries were a few scratches, and no outside rescue or help was needed, according to the summary.

“We aim to learn from accidents like this and in no way intend to point fingers at victims,” the UAC said. “We at the Utah Avalanche Center have had our close calls and know how easy it is to make mistakes.”

To view the complete summary and details about the specific location of the avalanche, click here.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here