Snowbasin Backcountry Avalanche Claims Life of a Snowboarder

Snowbasin Avalanche

HUNTSVILLE, UT – The life of a snowboarder ended prematurely after being killed in an avalanche outside the ropes of the Snowbasin Ski Resort. According to the Utah Avalanche Center the snowboarder was found buried under 3 feet of snow via the assistance of a search dog as the snowboarder was NOT wearing an avalanche beacon.

Recent Avalanche Activity

Snowbasin had received 17″ of new light density snow in a 48 period. The (3/4/15) Utah Avalanche Center Advisory stated the following problems:

“In the Ogden area mountains, soft slabs and sluffs were easily triggered yesterday, especially during the periods of heavy snowfall and in wind drifted terrain. These were large enough to bury a person.”

The recent storm snow was not bonding well to the snowpack as mentioned in the Utah Avalanche Center Advisory on 3/4/15.

Hells Canyon Slide Image http://www.ksl.com

Hells Canyon Slide Image http://www.ksl.com

Avalanche Details

The fatal avalanche occurred on a North Facing slope at 8,700 feet in elevation.

Unfortunately it seems like the snowboarder that died today was not an experience backcountry traveler. Anytime you leave the confides of a ski resort in search of fresh snow you must always be wearing an avalanche beacon.

Snowbasin Backcountry Gates

Snowbasin Backcountry Gates

That being said tools alone will not save your life in the backcountry. Education is key!

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims friends and family and the ski patrol that responded to the scene.

View of a similar fatal slide in Hells Canyon from 2007

View of a similar fatal slide in Hells Canyon from 2007, yellow line notes ski area boundary…

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About the Author

Mike Hardaker
Mike Hardaker grew up surfing and snowboarding in Orange County and followed his love of surfing to Hawaii before eventually moving to the mountains to concentrate on snowboarding and join the Freeride World Tour. When not on a board, Mike worked for Snowboarder and later oversaw TGR's online publication. He went on to found Mountain Weekly News where he is still CEO and Editor in Chief.

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