Close Call for Snowmobiler Completely Buried by Avalanche in Utah on Monday

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Location of the buried snowmobiler. Credit: UAC

A snowmobiler triggered and was completely buried by an avalanche near Whitney Reservoir, Utah, on Monday.

The 2-foot deep, 40-foot wide avalanche slid 100-feet, carrying then completely burying the snowmobiler in the Humpy Chutes region.

We’re still sifting through details, but here’s what we know about a close call late Monday afternoon near Humpy Peak-

A group of sledders is riding in the Humpy drainage when one snowmobiler triggers a small piece of snow on a steep, north-facing slope which catches, carries, and buries him in a terrain trap (small gully). The rider tries to deploy his airbag, though is unable to successfully engage and he’s buried with a hand sticking out of the snow.

The sledder briefly loses consciousness, but everyone in the group is wearing avalanche rescue gear and they quickly locate the buried rider and dig him out. The group is pretty rattled, but after taking some time to regroup in the Whitney Basin warming hut, they ride back to their rigs and return home safely.

Whew… close call!

– Utah Avalanche Center preliminary report

A medical helicopter was sent to the scene but refused by the victim. Credit: UAC

Search and rescue crews as well as a medical helicopter was dispatched to the scene but were refused by the victim.

The man was identified as a 44-year-old from Morgan, Utah.

Avalanche location. Credit: UAC

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