PARK CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News) - A 24-year old Salt Lake man is dead after being trapped in an avalanche on Thursday afternoon in Dutch Canyon, just outside of Canyons Resort in Park City.
Timothy Robert Baker was buried in the slide just after 3 p.m. in an out-of-bounds area not far from the Canyon's Ninety Nine 90 ski lift. Crews pulled Baker from the avalanche about an hour after he was buried. He was flown by air ambulance to the University of Utah where he died a short time later, according to Summit County Sheriff's Sgt. Ron Bridge.
Bridge and other local authorities are unsure of what triggered the slide, but avalanche experts say it's not surprising given the atypical winter the Wasatch has had this season. "It's the periods where we don't get any snow that we start to develop weak layers in the snowpack. Last night's strong, raging winds put a dense, cohesive slab on weak, sugary snow. That's the problem," says Utah Avalanche Center forecaster Craig Gordon.
Authorities tell ABC 4 News that Baker was in "extremely critical" condition when he was transported. It's not clear if Baker was skiing by himself or if he was with a group. Rescue crews do not believe anyone else was involved in Thursday's avalanche. It was a witness who called 911 to alert police that they had seen a man go down in the avalanche.
Stay tuned to ABC 4 News and ABC4.com for more on this story.