VIDEO: snowboarder caught in avalanche in Big Cottonwood Canyon

Jan 9, 2023, 11:31 AM | Updated: 12:20 pm
(Utah Avalanche Center)...
(Utah Avalanche Center)
(Utah Avalanche Center)
BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON, Utah — Intense video shows a man who survived being caught in an avalanche in Big Cottonwood Canyon Sunday.
According to the Utah Avalanche Center, the slide was triggered in the Argenta area of Kessler Peak unintentionally by a snowboarder in the Greaseball Couloir section.
The avalanche was five inches deep and 50 feet wide with a vertical of 1,250 feet.
(Utah Avalanche Center) (Utah Avalanche Center) (Utah Avalanche Center) (Utah Avalanche Center) (Utah Avalanche Center)
The snowboarder, who shared their experience on the Utah Avalanche Center’s website, said he and his companions dug a snow pit to test the stability and found no instabilities in the snow structure.
“As we traversed from the summit of Kessler to the entrance of the line, we started noticing cross-loading beneath the top of the couloir which was causing some strange wind pockets and small cornices. To test the stability of the cross-loaded surface, I stood back and stomped at the base of a cornice about the size of a small fridge. The cornice broke and dropped onto the slope without causing any propagation on the slope below,” the snowboarder said.
The snowboarder decided to take the descent and was shortly caught up in the slide.
“After making a heel-side turn, an isolated wind slab broke loose below and above me which knocked me off my feet and took me for a ride. I was able to keep the majority of my body above the snow and was able to radio my partner that I was sliding with the debris. I made swimming motions with my arms and kicked my board to help keep me on top,” the snowboarder said. “After about 300 feet, I was able to slow down and stop, while the rest of the debris released below me. After regrouping, we descended the debris.”

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VIDEO: snowboarder caught in avalanche in Big Cottonwood Canyon