Snowmobiler killed in Summit County avalanche
March 10, 2014
An avalanche triggered by snowmobilers on Friday led to a man’s death in the Gold Hill area of the Uinta Mountains. Although the man had a helmet and an avalanche beacon, he was unable to be revived after being uncovered from the snow.
Ryan Noorda, 39, of Honeyville, was snowmobiling with family members on Friday when the father and his grandson returned to the RV in which the group was staying at the Bear River Trailhead, according to a Utah Avalanche Center report.
Noorda and his brother decided to ride on a slope in the Gold Hill Basin and Noorda triggered a slide roughly 2,200 yards wide which traveled 200 yards down the slope, according to Summit County Sheriff’s Capt. Justin Martinez. Noorda was buried three feet under the surface of the snow and was located by his brother using avalanche beacons.
Noorda’s brother performed CPR, eventually flagging down another snowmobiler and his son to inform Summit County Search and Rescue. Life-saving efforts continued upon Search and Rescue’s arrival, but were not enough to save Noorda’s life, who was declared dead at the scene.
Martinez said the Sheriff’s Office extends its thoughts and prayers to Noorda’s family and friends and offered words of caution to those looking to recreate in the backcountry.
"It’s a very unstable backcountry right now," Martinez said. "It’s very prone to avalanches. If [people] are coming to recreate, do it cautiously."