A Park City man died after he was caught in an avalanche near Square Top Mountain, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office announced Sunday.
Kurt Damschroder, 57, was skiing with a friend at Park City Ski Resort on Saturday when his drop down the mountain triggered the avalanche. His friend went to his aid and dug around Damschroder enough to perform CPR on him for about an hour, but the friend was forced to leave the area due to the dangerous conditions of the avalanche.
After the search for Damschroder was called off Saturday evening, it resumed Sunday morning. Summit County Lt. Andrew Wright said officials recovered Damschroder’s body, which was still partially buried in the snow.
The avalanche was reported to the sheriff’s office at 3:26 p.m. on Saturday, Wright said that day. He said Saturday evening that rescuers were attempting to get to the rocky and steep avalanche area by helicopter because there wasn’t another safe way.
Around 7 p.m. Saturday night, the sheriff’s office announced on Twitter that the rescue operation wouldn’t resume until Sunday morning. The extreme avalanche danger prevented rescuers from getting to Damschroder before nightfall.
Wright said Damschroder was prepared in the event of an avalanche because he had all the proper equipment, and what happened to him is a reminder of how dangerous such slides can be.
“Even if you are prepared with equipment, you’re still at the mercy of the avalanche — the force of that,” Wright said.
The Utah Avalanche Center said avalanche danger is currently high in the Salt Lake Area Mountains, which includes Square Top.
The Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake got called about an avalanche in Millcreek Canyon around 1 p.m. on Saturday after a witness saw a man yelling for help in the avalanche. Police were able to rescue that man and took him to the hospital in fair condition, said Detective Kevin Mallory.
— Tribune reporter Alex Vejar contributed to this story.