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As he skied in the backcountry between Mill Creek and Big Cottonwood canyons, a Salt Lake City man triggered a large avalanche Thursday that carried him hundreds of feet and buried him under the snow.
It was Utah's first avalanche death of the season.
A preliminary report by the Utah Avalanche Center says the skier, Douglas Green, was found without a pulse and CPR was initiated. The 49-year-old Salt Lake City resident was pronounced dead after being flown to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray.
A 50-year-old companion, Tyson Bradley, also of Salt Lake City, was skiing with Green on Gobblers Knob's Whitesnake run; he was carried into a tree and partially buried. He also was flown to the hospital after the slide, which occurred about 2:30 p.m. He was treated for minor injuries and released late Thursday night, Unified Police Department Lt. Lex Bell said.
A preliminary report by the Utah Avalanche Center indicates the two men were on top of Gobbler's Knob before skiing Whitesnake, a steep south facing run into Mill A basin.
Bradley skiied 300 feet down to an island of safety on the right, then called for Green to ski down to him.
When they regrouped, Bradley skiied down another couple of hundred feet and off to the right. As Green started down this second pitch when he collapsed the slope and triggered the avalanche.
Green inflated his avalanche airbag, but the snow carried him hundreds of feet into the gulley below. Bradley, too, was caught and carried into a tree, where he was only partially buried.
After extricating himself, Green skied down to the bottom of the slide, conducted a beacon search and then, using a metal probe, located Green at a depth of 3 to 4 feet under the snow.
Green had no pulse and CPR was initiated. A medical helicopter landed and evacuated both men to a hospital, where Green was pronounced dead, the avalanche center reported.
The incident comes just over a month after the avalanche center warned of snowslide danger in out-of-bounds areas.
Forecasters this week warned that recent snow, heavy in the higher elevations, had coupled with windy conditions to make unstable slopes, especially those steeper than 30 degrees.
Mark Staples, director of the Utah Avalanche Center, said the danger of triggering an avalanche will remain elevated even after an avalanche warning is planned to expire Friday morning. He said avalanches are heavily dependent on the weather and the amount of snow that falls.
The center puts out an avalanche forecast every morning because conditions can change drastically and quickly, he said.
An investigation will continue Friday.
Reporter Bob Mims contributed to this story