PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — A Utah man who was snowboarding near Park City was caught in an avalanche in the backcountry Friday morning and died, according to police.
The 31-year-old man from Clinton, Utah was with his girlfriend when he attempted to snowboard down steep backcountry terrain and triggered an avalanche, according to a statement from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office. The avalanche occurred in an area known as Dutch Draw that is located outside resort boundaries near Park City Mountain Canyons Village.
First responders found the man at about 2:30 p.m. approximately 2 feet (0.6 meters) below the snow’s surface, authorities said. The man’s name is not being released at this time until family members have been notified of his death.
Avalanche forecasters and search-and-rescue groups have expressed concern that large numbers of skiers and snowboarders will turn to the backcountry to avoid crowds and reservation systems at resorts as they did when the pandemic prompted closures in March.
Avalanche forecasters in Utah recorded more than 100 human-triggered slides across the state from mid-March through the end of April, including 50 during one 48-hour period, according to Nikki Champion with the Utah Avalanche Center.