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Body Of Clinton Man Recovered After Backcountry Avalanche

PARK CITY, Utah – Summit County Sheriff Justin Martinez said search and rescue crews located the body of a 31-year-old Clinton man who was caught up in an avalanche Friday morning.

Search and rescue crews responded to the Dutch Draw area in Summit County around 10 a.m. Friday.

The area is located outside resort boundaries near Park City Mountain Canyons Village and is accessible via a backcountry gate near the 9990′ Lift.

Officials said the man attempt to snowboard down the steep backcountry terrain and triggered the avalanche, which was estimated to be 200 feet wide with a 700-foot vertical drop.

Crews worked to make the area safe before rescue efforts began, Martinez said.

“The avalanche failed on a buried sugary persistent weak layer near the ground, which is a widespread problem this season across the Utah mountains,” avalanche officials said.

Avalanche danger in the area was rated “considerable” by the Utah Avalanche Center, meaning human-caused avalanches were likely.

“Summit County Search & Rescue, Park City Mountain Ski Patrol, Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter, Park City Fire District, and University of Utah AirMed assisted in the rescue and recovery,” officials said. “With the assistance of the DPS helicopter, avalanche control measures took place to make it safer for rescue personnel to get into the area. Rescue personnel were transported by snow machines into the area of the avalanche.”

A Park City Mountain Ski Patrol avalanche dog located the victim at 2:29 p.m. Deputies said the man was buried two feet below the surface.

“The Summit County Sheriff’s Office offers our sincere condolences to the family, girlfriend and friends of the decedent,” officials said. “The name of the male will not be released until family members have received proper notification of his passing. We appreciate the help of so many volunteers, professionals, and agencies who worked diligently to find the male.”

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