Authorities in Utah are warning of avalanche dangers after a backcountry skier pulled from a snow slide in Sanpete County died at a hospital and a snowboarder was treated for an injured knee after another slide near Ogden.
Garrett Smith, 26, died Sunday at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo, a day after he and two others were rescued from a steep slope in the Manti La-Sal National Forest, KSL-TV reported.
Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center chief Bruce Temper told the Standard-Examiner of Ogden that recent storms have left a complex snowpack and dangerous conditions.
"The winter's not over yet," Temper said. "We'll continue to have some tricky avalanche conditions until the end of the month."
Smith's family released a statement Sunday calling his death tragic, but saying that Smith was with six other experienced backcountry enthusiasts.
"Garrett and his loved ones loved being in the backcountry," the statement said. "They took every known precaution possible and did everything right, but all risks cannot be mitigated."
Bryce Barker, Smith's father-in-law, said group members determined that conditions weren't safe for skiing just before the avalanche before noon Saturday.
One skier dug out another who was partially buried, and they dug out Smith and administered CPR before rescuers arrived.
Weber County rescuers reached Michael Clary, 29, by helicopter Saturday after he hurt a knee in an avalanche on Malan's Peak near Ogden, the Standard-Examiner reported.
Clary said he flipped and fell as the mass of snow swept over him, tumbling him down the slope into a tree.
"I was terrified; honestly I didn't know what was going to happen," he told Fox 13 in Salt Lake City on Monday. "If it wasn't for that tree, I probably wouldn't be here today."