Backcountry Skier Uses Air Bag, Survives Avalanche

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Avalanche Paths

Avalanche Paths

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- An avalanche that was caught on video dragged a backcountry skier into a Utah ravine and buried her in snow, but the woman survived because she deployed a special air bag and other skiers were able to quickly dig her out.

It was the first time this season that a person has been caught in an avalanche in the state.

Video of Monday's slide shows the skier turning into a steep ravine and triggering the avalanche in Grizzly Gulch, just outside the Alta ski area east of Salt Lake City. A detailed report ( on the Utah Avalanche Center's website says the woman was dragged 100 feet.

Other skiers were on hand to rescue the woman from under several feet of snow. They say she could've been trapped longer under much deeper snow without the air bag.

The woman pulled a ripcord on an air bag-equipped backpack -- a European-style safety device that is becoming more common in the Rocky Mountain backcountry. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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