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Man survives being carried 1,000 feet in avalanche

Posted at 9:26 AM, Feb 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-19 11:26:29-05

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    SALT LAKE CITY (KSL ) — A Salt Lake City man was carried about 1,000 feet by an avalanche in the Big Cottonwood Canyon backcountry Sunday. He walked away without serious injuries.

The man, who asked to remain anonymous, hoped other people would hear his story and exercise caution in the backcountry. He was snowboarding with a group of friends near Pioneer Peak between Brighton and Solitude.

“I dropped in, stopped about 50 feet down to plan out where I was going to go, and then the ground started moving around me,” he said. “I started backpedaling, trying to swim, stay above it, then I went off about a 10-foot cliff, compressed my back pretty hard, kept just trying to stay afloat, couldn’t see a thing; it was just white.

“After everything stopped and settled, I stood up and looked around and could not believe what just happened.”

The man said the whole experience lasted 10 to 15 seconds, but felt more like an hour. He said the avalanche danger was listed as moderate and they were carrying shovels, poles and beacons. Although they prepared for the possibility of an avalanche, he said he would be more cautious in the future.

“You’ve got to be more conservative. It’s never worth dying in an avalanche. It made me think of my family and people I love. Having fun isn’t worth not seeing them again,” he said.

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