ACCIDENTS & CRASHES
Out-of-state skier dies in Thursday’s Summit County avalanche
The Summit County Sheriff’s Office has identified the killed skier as 46-year-old Ryan Barr from San Diego, California.
According to the sheriff’s office, Barr’s family sent this message:
“Ryan was a devoted husband, father, son, and brother. He was part of a close-knit family, who loved nothing more than to spend family vacations and celebrate birthdays and holidays together. Ryan was loved by all and will be remembered for his big personality, kindness, and ability to light up a room. He worked in commercial real estate and loved skiing, surfing and cooking. He lived life to the fullest and was taken too soon. His wife, Caroline, and young daughter, Anna, will miss him dearly.”
Barr’s family also shared these photos of him and his family.
SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah — The two men buried in Thursday’s deadly avalanche in Summit County were visiting Utah from out of state, according to the Summit County Sheriff’s office.
One of the skiers died on scene—making this Utah’s first fatal avalanche in two seasons.
The other man was successfully freed from the snow and taken by helicopter to a local hospital where he’s reported in good condition, according to Summit County Sheriff’s Deputy Skyler Talbot.
“The vast majority of the immediate rescue efforts were from individuals, witnesses who were in the same group of skiers,” Talbot said. “We do know that this was an unintentional, man-triggered avalanche.”
The men’s names have not been released.
The avalanche was reported to emergency dispatch around 3:30 p.m. Thursday. It occurred in a remote area of upper Weber Canyon in Summit County. The closest city to the slide is Oakley.
“A group of guided skiers triggered a large avalanche in Upper Weber Canyon,” stated a description of the slide from the Utah Avalanche Center.
The center said the man who died was buried deeper than his fellow skier and wasn’t breathing when he was uncovered.
“Both air ambulance and guide personnel initiated CPR, but he passed away at the scene,” the center said.
The slide measured 400 feet wide, four feet wide and traveled downhill 1,250 feet, the center calculated.
Avalanche forecaster Craig Gordon said they are concerned about this weekend’s storm, which he described as a trifecta of wind, rain and heavy snow.
“This entire combination is going to throw a curve ball to what has been a predictable second half of the winter season,” Gordon said.
He said the heavy wind and snow will move the hazard to lower elevations.
“Whether we are up skiing, or snowmobiling, or out for a trail run underneath some of our big avalanche paths, or even for a dog walk, we’ve got to be aware of steep terrain that’s above and adjacent to us,” Gordon said.
The Utah Avalanche Center said the state is at an elevated level of avalanche danger this weekend.
“That means that human-triggered avalanches are likely,” Gordon said. “I think tonight we’re going to start seeing natural avalanches as well.”
He said to consider pumping the brakes on some of our activities and give the snowpack time to settle.
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