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In-bound avalanche injures one, canyon reopened to traffic


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SNOWBIRD, Little Cottonwood Canyon -- An avalanche that occurred in-bounds at Snowbird Ski Resort injured one person.

Officials confirm that the avalanche occurred around 2 p.m. in the Blackjack area, a west-facing ski run off the Peruvian Ridge that separates Snowbird from Alta. The slide was 2 to 3 feet deep, 80 feet wide and about 600 feet long. The victim, a 24-year-old male snowboarder, was transported to the Intermountain Medical Center by Unified Fire with minor injuries. No other skiers were injured.

The area is normally controlled for avalanches prior to opening for skiers, and avalanche-control measures were taken following the last snowfall, according to Snowbird. Snowbird Spokesperson Emily Moench attributes the cause of the avalanche in part to the rapid warming following that last snow.

Additional avalanches near Snowbird closed the highway in Little Cottonwood Canyon Sunday from about 11:30 a.m. until just after 4 p.m., according to Unified Police, keeping people already at the canyon resorts from leaving, and preventing many others from getting to the canyon.

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John Hollenhorst and Steve Fidel

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