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CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Snowboarder caught in Utah avalanche narrowly escapes


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Dutch Draw Area of Park City Mountain Resort | Courtesy Utah Avalanche Center

PARK CITY, Utah — A snowboarder in the Dutch Draw area near Park City, Utah was nearly caught in an avalanche Christmas day.

An employee with the Utah Avalanche Center caught the whole thing on video.

“There it is, right in front of our face,” he says as the snowboarder begins his descent. “Heads up! Heads up!”

The snowboarder seems to have triggered the avalanche, but KUTV reports he narrowly escaped without any injuries.

The video was later posted on the Utah Avalanche Center’s Facebook page.

“I waited to speak to this snowboarder, to let him know what just occurred,” the Facebook post reads. “He like so many that leave the backcountry gates didn’t have any avalanche equipment or even a beacon. I explained to him just how lucky he was. He told me he has been skiing here for 20 years and just didn’t think it was steep enough to (slide), which I thought was just absurd!”

The identity of the snowboarder was never released. The Utah Avalanche Center is reminding people to be safe and prepared for any type of emergency while skiing or snowboarding.

“I am relieved this man didn’t get seriously hurt or killed on this Christmas morning and he gets to return home to his family,” the Facebook post continues.

This is at least the third avalanche in less than two weeks in the Dutch Draw area. Forty-five-year-old Matt Tauszik was killed Dec. 16 while snowboarding at Park City Mountain Resort on Silver Peak on a slope called Conehead. He was alone and did not have any rescue gear, the Utah Avalanche Center reports.

“Based on his tracks in the snow, Matt began his descent near the top of Silver Peak,” the report states. “He rode the initial 100 vertical feet off the peak on an open slope before descending into a stand of trees for another 150 vertical feet. Near the bottom of the trees, he made a right-hand turn and jumped off a small rock. Upon landing or just after landing, he triggered the avalanche.”

Tauszik was later found buried under three feet of snow with his snowboard sticking out.

Utah’s slopes are some of the most dangerous in the country. Avalanche danger is currently moderate in most of Utah’s mountains, according to the state’s avalanche center.

Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center near Jackson is also reporting moderate conditions.