Man survives after being buried by avalanche in Cache County

Posted at 4:38 PM, Feb 11, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-12 00:53:13-05

CACHE COUNTY --A snowmobiler is alive after an avalanche buried him a couple feet in Cache County Tuesday afternoon.

The 28 year-old victim who only identified himself as "Travis" from Salt Lake City was in good spirits and walking after a team of 15 rescuers pulled him out of Providence Canyon Tuesday night.

Police say the victim triggered the avalanche while snowmobiling with a group of friends in a popular recreational spot on the south side of Providence Canyon. The snow slid just after 4 p.m. burying the victim under 2 feet of snow for several minutes.

"I swam like they tell you to do -- swam closer to the surface, had my boot sticking, which helped with the recovery," the victim said.

Fortunately he was with four or five other snowmobilers who were well-trained and well-equipped. They witnessed the avalanche and took quick action.

"My friends had a quick reaction time, which saved my life," the victim added.

Life Flight was prepared to fly the victim to a nearby hospital but he turned that down. He was conscious and breathing with no broken bones or significant injuries.

Still, it's a reminder how dangerous the backcountry is right now. Just in the last 4 days, avalanches buried three people. Two of those victims died, including a BYU student who was killed Saturday while snowshoeing in American Fork Canyon.

"With all the storms we've had and the snowfall, as people recreate in the mountains, be very aware of the avalanche danger, of the conditions and where they're at. If they do choose to come up to the area, have the right equipment with them," said Lt. Mike Peterson with the Cache County Sheriff's Office.