Officials have confirmed that 42-year-old Snowbasin, UT ski patroller Mike Erickson was caught in an avalanche and injured while performing avalanche control at Snowbasin this morning. Mike pulled his airbag and was partially buried when the avalanche came to a stop.
Mike reports hearing a ‘pop’ then feeling the avalanche sweep him off his feet and thrash him through several trees. The avalanche broke above him.
Mike was dug up by two other ski patrollers who were nearby. Mike was injured in the avalanche and brought down the mountain by toboggan. He was taken by ambulance to a local hospital for his injuries.
“The safety of Snowbasin Resort guests and staff is of the utmost importance to us. All Snowbasin Resort ski patrollers are equipped with beacons, airbags and avalanche rescue gear.” – Snowbasin’s Tess Hobbs
Utah is currently under an Avalanche Warning and the avalanche danger in the Snowbasin are is currently ranked as “High”.
Our hearts go out to Mike and we’re hoping for a speedy recovery. Thanks for all your service on the mountain, Mike. Ski patrollers do so much for us out there and we greatly appreciate all of it.
AVALANCHE WARNING for UTAH:
BULLETIN - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED BACKCOUNTRY AVALANCHE WARNING FOREST SERVICE UTAH AVALANCHE CENTER SALT LAKE CITY UT RELAYED BY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SALT LAKE CITY UT 340 PM MST MON DEC 21 2015 THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE IS TRANSMITTED AT THE REQUEST OF THE FOREST SERVICE UTAH AVALANCHE CENTER. THE FOREST SERVICE UTAH AVALANCHE CENTER IN SALT LAKE CITY HAS ISSUED A BACKCOUNTRY AVALANCHE WARNING. * TIMING...IN EFFECT FROM 3:30 PM MST MONDAY TO 6 AM MST WEDNESDAY * AFFECTED AREA...ALL THE MOUNTAINS OF NORTHERN AND CENTRAL UTAH AND SOUTHEASTERN IDAHO TO INCLUDE THE WASATCH RANGE, THE BEAR RIVER RANGE, THE WESTERN UINTAS AND THE MANTI-SKYLINE PLATEAU. OTHER MOUNTAIN RANGES WILL LIKELY BE AFFECTED AS WELL * AVALANCHE DANGER...THE AVALANCHE DANGER FOR THE WARNING AREA IS HIGH * IMPACTS...HEAVY SNOWFALL COMBINED WITH STRONG WINDS IS CREATING WIDESPREAD AREAS OF UNSTABLE SNOW. BOTH HUMAN TRIGGERED AND NATURAL AVALANCHES ARE LIKELY AND WILL OCCUR IN MANY AREAS. STAY OFF OF AND OUT FROM UNDER SLOPES STEEPER THAN 30 DEGREES.