Accident: Uintas

Observer Name
UAC Staff
Observation Date
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Occurrence Date
Saturday, March 10, 2001

Region:

Location Name or Route
Near Oakley
Trigger
Snowmobiler
Carried
3
Caught
3
Buried - Partly
1
Buried - Fully
2
Killed
2
Accident and Rescue Summary

On March 10 a pair of snowmobilers were caught and killed in the Uinta Mountains. A small storm had dusted northern Utah, including the Uintas, with 4 to 6 inches of new snow. The Uinta Mountains have a snow climate more like Colorado than the Wasatch Range. Thick layers of faceted snow are quite common and the range is receiving increasing use from snowmobilers. The accident followed a common pattern. A high- marking snowmobiler became stuck and his two friends went up to help him. The weight of the three people and machines released a large hard slab avalanche running on faceted snow near the ground. One of the three was only partly buried and the sleds were on the surface. The search for the missing two men focused on the vicinity of the sleds. Eventually the search widened and both men were found via surface clues but resuscitation efforts proved futile.

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