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Submitted By: UAC
Place: Co-op Creek
Summary: 3 snowmobilers caught, 1 buried and killed
Avalanche Accident Report
Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center
Monday, December 31, 2007
Western Uintas ? Co-op Creek ? Male snowmobiler caught, buried and killed in avalanche
Three snowmobilers were caught in an avalanche on Monday. Two were able to get out of it but one was caught and killed in the avalanche that occurred on Monday, December 31st near Co-op creek in the Western Uintas.
Details are being sifted through, but what we do know is a 40 year old man snowmobiling in Smith Basin near the Co-op trailhead, triggered a very large avalanche at approximately 3:00 in the afternoon. Initial reports indicate the slide was 4? deep, 200? wide, running close to 1000? vertical feet. No one in the group had avalanche beacons, but they were carrying shovels and a few probes. The man was found an hour later by members of his group.
Weak snow from early in the season with a larger amount of newer snow on top is the likely culprit. We will have more details on this accident after the site is visited and after we can talk with witnesses.