Utah avalanche: Search crews recover bodies of 2 skiers

Time Of Info By TOI Desk Report   May 11, 2024   Update on : May 11, 2024

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Search crews on Friday recovered the bodies of two skiers who were swept away by an avalanche in the mountains outside Salt Lake City and buried a day earlier, reports ABC News.

The victims, Andrew Cameron, 23, of Utah, and Austin Mallet, 32, of Montana, were killed in the snowslide Thursday morning in the Lone Peak area of the Wasatch Range southeast of the city.

Rescue operation teams uncovered the bodies on Friday morning, Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera said.

The bodies were taken to the medical examiner’s office via a helicopter from the mountainside, said Sergeant Aymee Race, of Unified Police, Salt Lake City.

Fierce storms on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday brought up to 3ft (1m) heavy, wet snow and strong winds to the area.

Avalanche forecaster, Craig Gordon, at the US Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center, said the incident immediately ramped up the chances of an avalanche.

The other important element that further complicates weather conditions is spring, as weather patterns and weather systems change rapidly during this season in the mountains, he added.

A day can start off sunny and clear before giving way to thick dark clouds or snow or strong winds.

The three hikers were climbing a ridge on a slope named Big Willow Aprons and were near the top when the slide gave way, the avalanche center said in its preliminary report. Only of them survived and dug himself out and called for help.

The three men, who were friends, did not plan to ski down the face where the avalanche broke out. Rather, they had planned to ski in several other locations on Thursday, Gordon said.

With these deaths, this winter’s tally of avalanche deaths in the US rose to 15, as per the Utah Avalanche Information Center. At least 30 people die on average in avalanches every year in the US.


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