HomeOutdoorsNewsShouts Lead Utah Rescuers to Skier Buried Waist-Deep in Avalanche

Shouts Lead Utah Rescuers to Skier Buried Waist-Deep in Avalanche

by Sean Griffin
(Photo by EyesWideOpen/Getty Images)

A solo skier found themselves in the middle of an avalanche and swept away, seriously injuring them in the process.

The unidentified man ended up getting buried waist-deep in snow after an avalanche occurred on Neff’s Canyon near Salt Lake City, according to Utah officials. The incident occurred on Wednesday, December 14th.

The skier was trapped for around 45 minutes until one skier heard his cries for help. That person came to his rescue, according to the Utah Avalanche Center. They then called 911 and started trying to dig the man out. Apparently, the man was seriously injured, as per the center.

Once reaching the man, rescuers carried the injured skier out on foot, then by helicopter and snowmobile.

According to local news outlet KSLTV, the skier was a man in his 30s. He was not only buried to his waist, but rescuers say he was actually chest-deep in snow.

Sgt. Melody Cutler reports that the injured man broke his femur and has an arm injury.

Firefighter Skiing Happened to Hear Cries of Injured Skier Stuck in Avalanche

“To his luck there was a Unified Firefighter and EMT who was out in the area recreating and heard his cries for help and was able to respond and dig him out,” Cutler said. “He stayed with him the entire time.”

The rescuers were still working on getting the man out of the snow by 6:30 p.m. that night, and he had been transported to a hospital around 7:00 p.m.

Sgt. Cutler said they had to ski the injured man down the slope since the weather was too inclement for a helicopter retrieval. Cutler also explained that there was a further risk of an avalanche when they were rescuing the man.

“The ground was very unstable,” Cutler stressed. “The entire slab had not come down, so getting our rescuers on there was quite frightening.”

The avalanche took place in Thomas Fork. According to KSLTV, it measured about two hundred feet wide and about one and a half to three feet deep.

Neff’s Canyon is near Mount Olympus, where a massive and devastating avalanche occurred back in May 2019, as per the local outlet.

After the incident, the Millcreek Municipal Government’s Facebook page posted a warning to local residents. “With all the snow we have been receiving lately, please be cautious,” they wrote.

However, crazily enough, an avalanche occurred inside of Little Cottonwood Canyon near Pink Pine Ridge. A skier was injured in this incident, according to the Utah Avalanche Center. In that incident, the avalanche injured the man seriously but it did not bury him. A woman he was skiing with was able to call 911, and rescuers brought the man to an ambulance.