Skier Buried in Avalanche in Little Cottonwood Canyon, UT Yesterday | Video, Photos, Report

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video of the avalanche as it happened

A female skier was completely buried by an avalanche that she triggered in Grizzly Gulch in the Alta Backcountry in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah yesterday.  The avalanche was 14-18″ deep, 125′ wide, and it ran about 150′ downslope.  The person she was with was taking photos of her and he did not have a beacon, probe, nor shovel.  The buried skier was AMAZINGLY LUCKY that an avalanche forecaster and friends were nearby and saw the incident occur.  They sped to the scene and were able to have back to the surface in 5 minutes.  If not for this very timely and lucky rescue, she would not be alive.

cottonwood avy
Photo showing the entire avalanche.

Accident and Rescue Summary: 

We were skinning up michigan city on the north side of grizzly gulch. We saw an old skier triggered avalanche across the way. We had our camera out taking pictures of that to write up a report. Then we saw a guy taking pictures and a girl drop in. We looked at each other and said “ready to do a rescue?”. She took a hard turn on the slope and a large piece pulled out and then the whole slope released. She pulled her airbag immediately and then got dragged to the bottom of the gully. See the video and pictures. I skied down and yelled across the way to Rusty, who skied down from the other side. While Joe called Alta Central. At the bottom, the guy who had been taking pictures had no beacon shovel or probe. I switched my beacon got it down to .3m and then hit her with a probe about a foot deep luckily. While I did the search the guy took the shovel out of my bag. Rusty, the guy, and I took turns digging with the 2 shovels. We had her out in less then 5 minutes. If she had not pulled the airbag she easily could have been 1.5-2m deep. – Utah Avalanche Center

Read the full Avalanche Report by the Utah Avalanche Center here:

Accident:  Grizzly Gulch

grizzly gultch avalanche
photo of the skier triggering and getting caught by the avalanche

The Utah and Tahoe snowpacks are known to be dangerous right now.  Lets all get educated, make smart calls, and be safe in avalanche terrain.

avalanche profile
Profile of yesterday’s avalanche in Grizzly Gultch, Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah.

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avy crown
Yesterday’s avalanche crown. photo: jake hutchinson

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