Avalanche claims life of man with Utah ties

Local News

STANLEY, Idaho (ABC4) – A man with ties to Utah has died following an avalanche, Friday.

On February 19, according to the Sawtooth Avalanche Center, a snowmobiler triggered a deadly avalanche while climbing a slope near the head of Smiley Creek in the Western Smoky Mountains.

According to the department, the avalanche broke 3-4′ deep and over 500′ wide on a south-facing slope at 9100′.

The avalanche then ran into a gully that acted as a trap, and debris piled up to an estimated depth of 20-30 feet, they add.

Avalanche reports now indicate that as the snow began to ascend, the rider deployed his airbag and was carried at least 600 vertical feet.

Crews were then able to locate the surfaced rider but due to the trauma, he succumbed to his injuries.

Officers have not officially identified the rider, but according to a recent fundraiser and obituary that has emerged, it is believed the man had Utah ties.

ABC4 news will update as more develops.

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