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1 skier found, 2 still missing in Utah avalanche

The avalanche happened at Lone Peak Summit, a popular area for recreationists.
Posted at 2:23 PM, May 09, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-09 17:53:05-04

Multiple departments are responding to an avalanche Thursday after three skiers were initially reported missing.

Hours after the avalanche happened, officials said one skier had been rescued and taken to the hospital.

Efforts to rescue the remaining two skiers continue, officials with the Unified Police Department stated in updated information.

Helicopter brings in person video

Sgt. Aymee Race with the Unified Police Department was not able to provide many details as she said the investigation is very active.

Unified Fire Authority, backcountry search and rescue crews, Sandy officials and Draper Fire crews are all assisting in the response.

The avalanche happened at Lone Peak Summit, a popular area for recreationists in the area of Little Cottonwood Canyon, Unified Fire officials told Scripps News Salt Lake City.

Craig Gordon with the Utah Avalanche Center explained that the area is extremely challenging and called the avalanche "unusual" for this time of year.

"This is very serious terrain, it's steep, it's North-facing," he explained. "The crew that was up there would have to be experienced. This isn't the type of zone you'd just stumble on."

The avalanche comes on the heels of a late-season storm that brought several feet of dense, heavy snow to Utah's mountains.

"The past three days, Big and Little Cottonwood Canyon have seen over 30 inches of snow with over three inches of water," Gordon said.

He explained that the storm was a "game-changer" and "definitely elevated" backcountry avalanche danger.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

This story was originally published by Melanie Porter at Scripps News Salt Lake City.