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A special gallery created by SportsShooter.com member
Jim Urquhart
"Avalanche Saftey Class"     [index] Next ->>
Avalanche 1 Wasatch Powderbird guide Spencer Wheatley guides in a helicopter for a landing atop 10,500 foot Patsy Marley in Little Cottonwood Canyon during Powderbird's Avalanche Safety Class. Jim Urquhart/Salt Lake Tribune ---As part of an assignment I recently took an avalanche safety class with Wasatch Powderbirds in the backcountry of the Wasatch Mountain Range. I would strongly urge any photographer or outdoor enthusiast that is considering venturing out-of-bounds to take a class on snow science and avalanche awareness as well as outfitting themselves with the proper gear to facilitate a rescue or increase the odds of their own rescue. (transceiver, shovel and probe) In Utah, we average 4.1 avalanche fatalities a year. Last year, slides caught 43 people in Utah, partially or fully buried 17, injuring nine and killing three. In 90 percent of all avalanches involving people, the event was triggered by the victim or someone in their group. Snowmobilers are twice as likely than any other outdoor group to die in an avalanche. 75 percent of fatal avalanche victims die of asphyxiation. 50 percent die within 25 minutes of being buried and only 5 percent survive after two hours.