A Salt Lake City woman died Sunday after being rescued from an inbound avalanche at Snowbird ski resort.
H—— G—-, 27, died at University Hospital in Salt Lake City, said Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder. Rescuers dug her from beneath several feet of snow at the resort. She had been buried for at least 50 minutes.
The avalanche occurred about 12:30 p.m. on Mount Baldy in an area called the Eye of the Needle. G—- was found alive but unconscious by rescuers with a probe, said Salt Lake County sheriff’s spokesman Levi Hughes.
She was flown to University Hospital in extremely critical condition, Hughes said. She had been skiing with a male friend and was a longtime Snowbird skier, said Snowbird spokesman Dave Fields. A witness reported the avalanche via cell phone.
Rescuers suspended all searches for other potential victims about 5 p.m. No one else has been reported missing, but several skiers were in the area, Fields said. Sunday was the first day Snowbird opened that part of the resort — the easternmost area — and crews did avalanche control that morning, Fields said.
This is the second year in a row that someone has died from an inbound avalanche; last year at the Canyons, and now this year at Snowbird. What makes it even more depressing is that thus far this season there’s been so little snow that a big storm brings everyone out … and that even though Snowbird patrolled the area, it wasn’t enough to protect one of their guests.
But skiing is a dangerous sport … and avalanche control will never be a perfect science. My heart goes out to Ms. G—-‘s family and friends.