PARK CITY, Utah. – An avalanche today in the High Dutch Draw area buried a Utah man, whose condition remains unknown at this time. The High Dutch Draw area is located outside the boundary of the Canyons side of Park City Mountain Resort and can be accessed via the 9990 backcountry gate.
Emergency services reported one burial and an AirMed helicopter landing near 9990 at 11:24 a.m.
“Teams are working to make the area safe so they can begin search efforts,” Summit County Sheriff Justin Martinez said in a tweet at 1:16 p.m. “Based on firsthand witness information we believe one adult male has been buried in the avalanche.”
The Sheriff’s Department reported that the victim is a 31-year-old man from Clinton, Utah. Rescuers were still working to locate him Friday afternoon.
Parkite Mike Chao was snowboarding on 9990 around 9:20 a.m., shortly before the avalanche occurred, and said he had noticed lines in the Dutch Draw area that looked troubling given the current avalanche forecast. But, he said, some people were undeterred.
“There were definitely people heading up without backpacks, therefore with no (avalanche) equipment,” Chao said. “Square Top ripped yesterday; it’s the same aspect as Dutch’s. It was just a matter of time.”
The area has long been considered by locals to be extremely dangerous, and was the site of a fatal avalanche accident involving a lone snowboarder in Dec. 2019.
This is a developing story and we will provide more information as it becomes available.
Helicopters arriving on the scene of an avalanche near the High Dutch backcountry ski area outside the Canyons side of Park City Mountain Resort boundaries. This video was taken by Chris Beckett while on the Tombstone lift. Two helicopters and a view of the slide are visible in this footage.
We are currently working an #avalanche with a possible burial in the backcountry outside PC Mountain on the Canyons Village side. Search & Rescue and air support on scene. More information will be pushed once we get it. #summitcounty #backcountry
— Sheriff Justin (@SummitCountySO) January 8, 2021
9990 is on HOLD @PCski
— ParkCityMtnAlert (@PCMtnAlert) January 8, 2021