Man buried in avalanche up Pole Canyon; search and rescue responding

Mar 27, 2023, 7:07 PM | Updated: 10:32 pm

UTAH COUNTY, Utah — One person was buried Monday following an avalanche in the area of Lewiston Peak in Pole Canyon.

Sgt. Spencer Cannon with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office said a couple of guys were snowmobiling in that area when one of them got caught and subsequently buried in an avalanche.

“It was apparently quite large,” he said of the avalanche, which he described as breaking at the top of the mountain and falling approximately 1,000 to 1,500 feet.

Cannon said it’s at an elevation of above 8,000 feet in an open bowl area. He explained that they came over from the Tooele County side and into the area.

“Exactly what happened, we don’t know if he was near the top of this and rode down with it, or was further down on the mountain and got caught up in it as it came down.”

A Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter and medical helicopter are currently on scene, as well as team members with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue.

Cannon said the man that was trapped — described as a man in his late 30s — does have a beacon on him.

“They have a good, general location of where he is under the snow, just trying to get to him right now,” Cannon said in a press conference Monday night.

Another person that was with the trapped man called dispatch after the avalanche occurred.

Cannon said he could only recall a few times that they received a call like this in the area.

“It’s not very common and it’s a very popular area for people that own it, but a lot of it is private property, and so that limits, to some extent, how many people can access the area, legally anyway,” he said.

The sergeant described how they initially started with snowmobiles and side-by-sides, but quickly realized the most effective way to get out to the scene was by helicopter.

“When they put team members up on the mountain, they tell them to take gear to plan to stay overnight. Now, we hope that they don’t have to, but whenever you go on the mountain like this, you always plan for what might be the worst case scenario. So, everyone that’s up there is prepared to stay overnight, but right now, the main way of getting up there has been the helicopters… and they’re shuttling people back and forth.”

Cannon said it takes several minutes for the helicopters to get search and rescue members from the landing zone up to the scene. He then described how the searchers are lining up in a row and digging, as well as using the probes, to see if they can find anything underneath the snow.

“We don’t know what’s going to be the thing that’s going to work, but they’re employing all of the options that they have right now in an effort to find this guy,” he said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

The Green Loop area in downtown Salt Lake City. (KSL TV)...

Katija Stjepovic

Pop-up green spaces take over roads in downtown Salt Lake City

Some downtown Salt Lake roads are filled with hundreds of trees in the middle of the road as a part of a 6-week project called Green Loop.

18 hours ago

FILE — Salt Lake City Council member Amy Fowler discusses the opening of a new temporary, emerge...

Larry D. Curtis

Salt Lake councilwoman announces resignation after DUI

After an arrest on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, a member of the Salt Lake City Council announced she is stepping down.

18 hours ago

A Granite School District sign is pictured at the district's offices in South Salt Lake on Monday, ...

Larry D. Curtis

Granite School District to offer summer lunches for children

Children 18 and under will have free summer lunches provided at Granite School District locations.

18 hours ago

FILE PHOTO: Utah Highway Patrol...

Michael Houck

UHP reports decrease in fatalities, increase in DUIs over Memorial Day weekend

Utah Highway Patrol reports that they performed more traffic stops this year compared to 2022 during Memorial Day weekend.

18 hours ago

FILE — Handcuffs in a jail cell. FILE PHOTO (Ravell Call/Deseret News)...

Michael Houck

Police: Two men arrested for stealing from multiple Cedar City storage units

Two men are accused of breaking in into multiple storage units from April to May, with one suspect stealing from the other.

18 hours ago

Former Park City High School girls tennis coach Lani Wilcox was legally justified in defending hers...

Pat Reavy

Park City tennis coach justified in defending herself against student, judge rules

Charges against the former head coach for the women's tennis team at Park City High School, who was accused of attacking a student during a heated argument, have been dismissed.

18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Brunette guy in headphones playing games on his desktop computer...

PC Laptops

Looking For a New Computer? Use This Desktop Buying Guide

Choosing a new desktop computer can come with a lot of questions, so we created this desktop buying guide.

Portrait of happy boy playing and splashing water in the swimming pool...

Get Out Pass

Family Fun Activities in Utah You Have to Try This Summer

These family fun activities will entertain you all summer, so if you ever feel stuck in a rut wondering what to do, refer to this guide!

Woman IT specialist in elegant suit working on notebook computer in data center next to server rack...

Les Olson

Your Complete Guide to Outsourcing IT Services

This guide covers everything you need to know about the different benefits of outsourcing IT services to meet your small business needs.

diverse group of friends dance outside under string lights...

Lighting Design

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor Lighting

Read for the most frequently asked questions about outdoor lighting to help narrow the search for your home.

Stack of old laptops with dark background...

PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...

BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.

Man buried in avalanche up Pole Canyon; search and rescue responding