Two skiers killed in avalanche

By John Mercury May 12, 2024

Two skiers have been killed during an avalanche in mountains near Salt Lake City.

The men, aged 23 and 32, were swept up in the avalanche in Utah’s Wasatch Range on Thursday morning.

A third skier was rescued and taken to hospital after digging himself out from the snow, according to Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera.

The avalanche followed several days of spring snowstorms in the area.

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Craig Gordon, from the Utah Avalanche Center, said around 2.5ft (76cm) of heavy, wet snow had fallen in the area in the past three days during the snow storms, which he said had also brought very strong winds.

“With spring, avalanche conditions can change in an instant,” Mr Gordon said.

He also described the sight of the avalanche, near Lone Peak, as “very serious” and “steep” terrain.

An ambulance pulls away from Hidden Valley Park in Sandy, Utah, after emergency crews responded to a report of an avalanche and three missing skiers in Little Cottonwood Canyon on Thursday, May 9, 2024. (Isaac Hale/The Deseret News via AP)
An ambulance at the scene. Pic: Isaac Hale/The Deseret News via AP

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Lone Peak, is one of the highest peaks in the Wasatch Range, towering over Utah’s capital city.

Its steep, rugged terrain makes it a popular destination for advanced back country skiers and experienced climbers.

The sheriff’s office said the families of the two skiers had been notified of their deaths.

The deaths bring this winter’s tally of avalanche deaths in the US to at least 15 – which is less than the average of about 30 people who are killed by avalanches each year.

In January, one person was killed and another person was injured during an avalanche in Lake Tahoe.


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