This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A Snowbasin Ski Patrol member escaped serious injury after being caught in an avalanche he triggered as part of his duties at the Weber County resort.
Mike Erickson was doing avalanche control work and had just gotten out of the way of a slide he meant to trigger when another avalanche broke off above him Tuesday morning, The Associated Press reported.
Weber County Sheriff's Lt. Brandon Toll says the rushing snow threw Erickson into a tree and tossed him through rocks and other debris before he came to rest at the bottom.
The 15-year veteran of the Ski Patrol was able to call for help from other Ski Patrol members who dug him out.
Toll says Erickson was taken to a hospital with injuries that likely include broken ribs, but he deployed a protective air bag that protected him from more serious harm, according to The Associated Press.
A resort spokeswoman confirmed he was "going to be all right," but did not immediately provide other details.
The Utah Avalanche Center on Tuesday issued warnings for backcountry snowslides, putting the mountains above Provo at "extreme" risk for avalanches, and all the state's other mountains at "high" risk.
Ski resort patrol members routinely use small explosive "throw" charges to trigger controlled slides along unstable slopes within resort boundaries.