Skier triggers Summit County avalanche

Posted at 12:52 PM, Dec 19, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-20 00:03:58-05

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah  - The Summit County Sheriff's Office responded to an avalanche Wednesday afternoon near The Canyons ski resort.

The avalanche was triggered by a skier in the Dutch Draw area and no one was caught in it, according to the Utah Avalanche Center.

Both aerial and ground patrols were conducted in an effort to locate anyone who may have been trapped.

Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds said avalanche dogs were also used and investigators are confident there are no victims in the slide.

Witnesses said the avalanche was about 80 yards wide and several hundred yards long.

"It was surreal, I mean to see the dogs come out and to hear the patrollers talking on the radio - it was pretty scary," said Darin Johncock, a witness.

Edmunds told FOX 13 News the Dutch Draw area is a dangerous one for those who like to ski and snowboard in the backcountry.

"We've had fatalities in that exact area and I think we're fortunate today that it doesn't look like that's the case. But we're going to continue to [...] do everything we can to make sure that no one's there," Edmunds said in an interview Wednesday afternoon.

In February, 24-year-old Timothy Baker of Salt Lake City died while snowboarding in the same area.

Summit County authorities urge skiers and snowboarders to stay in bounds.