Snowmobiler found dead at southern Utah’s Circleville Mountain, buried by avalanche

A snowmobiler has been found dead on Circleville Mountain, buried by an avalanche that hit Thursday afternoon.

The body of Brad Stapeley, from Washington County, was recovered Friday morning by search and rescue crews, a Beaver County Sheriff’s dispatcher said.

FOX 13 reported that three snowmobilers triggered an avalanche on the mountain. The avalanche was 200 feet long and a couple of hundred feed wide.

One snowmobiler avoided the avalanche and helped dig out a second snowmobiler, who had been buried up to the chest. They were unable to find Stapeley and his sled.

Search and rescue teams from Beaver County got the call around 5 p.m. Thursday night, but the search was called off due to darkness and the remaining avalanche danger. Teams from Beaver, Piute and Sevier counties set out again this morning.

Circleville Mountain is some 200 miles south of Salt Lake City, or about 20 miles east of the town of Beaver, at the south end of Fishlake National Forest.

At least two others have been killed in avalanches this year in Utah, both in late January, according to the Utah Avalanche Center. The last recorded avalanche-related fatality before those deaths was in January 2016.

The story will be updated.

Editor’s note: The Salt Lake Tribune and FOX 13 have a content-sharing agreement.

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