Snowbasin Backcountry Avalanche Claims Life of a Snowboarder

Snowbasin Avalanche

HUNTSVILLE, UT – The life of a snowboarder ended prematurely after a Snowbasin Avalanche buried him 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.

Snowbasin Avalanche

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 experienced backcountry traveler. Anytime you leave the confines 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 victim’s 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. 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. Mike spends most of his time splitboarding in the winter months and backpacking throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in the summer.

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